Monday, April 10, 2006

The Rise and Rise of Captain Schoolgirl...

Cheap and crazy sometimes trumps lavish and maudlin...and then there is the iconic lunacy of “Captain Schoolgirl”?
Where to begin?
The independent comic book or the DVD?
The comic created by one “Fernandito” revolves around a goth girl who is a freshman at a local catholic high school. She does not fit in as is often the case and to confront her own alienation she doodles up an alter-ego the sexy Captain Schoolgirl who prances around in parochial uniform righting wrongs or some damn thing.
The Captain’s comic book depiction is a mite unfocused, she is both upholder of the status quo (a punisher of tardiness) and a great subverter of the catholic high school zeitgeist all at the same time.
There is something to be said for this, parochial schools are the last frontier in the American Teenage Firmament, they are seldom depicted realistically nor parodied with any kind of wit or insight.
The DVD on the other hand is a sort of straightforward satire drawing on such puerile fare as Filmation’s old “Secrets of Isis” Saturday morning show. The comic’s framing device and some of its satiric edge is accordingly dispensed with. The main conceit is that is this a normal episode of a mythical TV show called “Captain Schoolgirl” with clips setting up conflicts from previous shows and a nominal cliffhanger ending.
The tone of the whole enterprise though, is bracingly cheap and feckless, with strong performances from the title lead (alas her name is off the credits) and her sidekick “Dunceboy” (Sean Pridgeon) who reminds me of Jon Heder from Napoleon Dynamite. The story such as it is revolves around a bullying new kid and Captain Schoolgirl’s attempts to ward off the advances of the lecherous Reverend Mooney (Shane Scott both bearded and smooth shaven) and defeat the local Queen Bee Cheerleader (Jules Hartley). Imagine an ABC after school special as executed by William Burroughs and you’ll have the whole show figured out very nicely.
Where the DVD fails though, is in some details, ergo Captain Schoolgirl is the only pupil who wears a uniform, her male classmates for the most part are garbed in trashy street wear. For the record, when I was at a catholic school in North Cambridge it was suit coats and ties every day.
Ahhh...but for a labor of love shot over a few days “Captain Schoolgirl” has class and a sort of charm.
One hopes the production team can find time to produce more episodes before their nominal lead actress takes off for Hollywood, she is that good in my opinion.

Captain Schoolgirl's blog, DVDs & Comics can be found Here and or here.
Well worth the trip IMHO.

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