Tuesday, February 23, 2016

'Georgie' Taught Me That Romantic Love Is Insane and Messy

Georgie – or Georgie! or Lady Georgie – is an 80’s anime series that was licensed, “Tagalized” (dubbed in Tagalog), and aired by a local network during the 90’s.  Like with all 90’s cartoons, I immersed myself in it.  It eventually became a favorite of mine.  Up until now, I can still sing by memory its (Tagalized) opening theme song.

I loved all of those “Tagalized” 80’s-90’s anime series, but I found Georgie a unique experience above all the others.  Now, I actually haven’t re-watched it since I was a kid (can’t find a source that has all episodes in English or Filipino) so I can’t tell how it will hold up if I watch it as an adult.  I might find it cheesy or ridiculous if I watch it now, but there was a time back in the 90’s in which I thought of it as the best thing on TV.

Again, I found Georgie a unique experience.  What do I mean by that? Well, I watched this at the same time as Cinderella Monogatari (this one, however, I’ve been able to re-watch many times through the years – the recent instance was early this year – and I still find it appealing; that’s why it’s one of my most favorite anime series ever), and as far as I can remember, with these two shows, it was the first time I felt “romantic thrills” (kilig in Filipino terminology).  Both are basically romantic love stories, but what made Georgie superior in my eyes at that point is that it’s not the “fairy tale” kind that Cinderella Monogatari is (btw, a very well-written one at that), but it dares to be complex, crazy, and messy – a surprising departure from the usual idealistic, innocent romance tailored for kids.

Most TV soap drama engages in “love triangles”, wherein two boys are pitted for the love of a girl.  Georgie has three boys competing for Georgie’s heart.  And it’s insanely complicated.

Georgie is a soap opera drama that centers on the titular character named Georgie.  Growing up in an Australian family, she is unaware that she is adopted, though she does find it strange that her parents and brothers all have brown hair while she is blonde.  Her father and brothers love her, but her mother is cold and mean to her – much more so, when she is blamed for her father’s death.  Eventually, Georgie learns the truth that she is adopted, and her only connection to her past is a golden bracelet with which she was found with.

The first couple of episodes focus on Georgie as a cute little girl, playing with her brothers and enjoying life in the Australian countryside.

The chaotic, melodramatic romance begins when they become teenagers.  Both of Georgie’s adoptive brothers – Abel and Arthur – fall in love with her.  Thus, a rivalry arises between the two.  However, Georgie falls in love with a British aristocrat named Lowell.  Lowell leaves for England.  Georgie decides to follow him – pretending to be a boy so that she can board a ship.  Abel and Arthur proceed to go after her.   Lowell breaks off his engagement to his fiancée, Elise, so that he can be with Georgie, but is disinherited as consequence.  Lowell and Georgie suffer a rough, penniless life together.  Lowell becomes sick, and Georgie can’t afford the medicine.  Thus, she decides to sacrifice their love to save his life; she brings him back to Elise.  Lowell and Elise go back together.  The story ends with Georgie going back to Australia with her brothers.

There are much more interesting details in the plot that I failed to remember or explain.  My synopsis above does not really give justice to the madness of Georgie.  And from what I read, the manga was way more messed up.

The point is, it was in Georgie that I first find this kind of themes in a kids’ cartoon.  It didn’t necessarily give me a wholesome or inspiring concept of romantic love.  But it somewhat gave me an inkling on the reality that it’s a complete insane mess.  It prepped the 90’s kid me on what to expect about romantic love in this world.  In a sense, Georgie actually de-romanticized romance for me.

Of course, I’ve had many more romantic thrills since watching Georgie – getting them from both fiction and in real life.  But I’ve come to realize through the years, through experience, through pop culture – a part of which is Georgie – that romantic love is never perfect or lasting.  But it definitely could be deeper than what the world is letting on.

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