"Betty" has premiered on HBO. At the moment, there is only one season of six episodes, each 25 minutes long, available on the digital platform, but the show has already been renewed for a second season.
The series is unusual in every respect. In the first place, the story does not develop through plots but rather through narratives portraying a particular scenario, a way of life, a subculture: that of skater girls. In fact, the title comes from the derogatory nickname male skaters often use to refer to a skater girl: a betty.
Another aspect that stands out is that main characters are not professional actresses but real skaters who coincidentally meet up with the director in the NY subway back in 2016, when she proposed them to make a documentary film. After that first experience together, they made a movie with the same theme and now they are working back together in this brand-new project.
We are presented with a show we could describe as “made of portraits” since Crystal Moselle, creator and director of the drama, crafts an innovative storytelling that invites the viewer to explore the distinctive world of the protagonists: skateboarding, friends and marijuana.
Actually, pot becomes just one more character throughout the series, as well as their skateboards. Interestingly, Indigo, one of the protagonists, starts hanging out and skating with the rest of the girls while she works selling marijuana vaporizers.
The story is set in New York, the perfect scenario to present friendship, class differences and diversity, all together with skates and cannabis, and confront people’s challenges as if the drama were an essay on human nature. Based on the film "Skate Kitchen”, written by the same creator and shot with the same group of young women as protagonists, the series portrays the girl’s perspectives when overcoming their own particular obstacles in a predominantly male-oriented universe.
A highly recommended series, especially for skateboarding and marijuana lovers.