Abigail (Dena Kaplan), with Sammy (Tom Green), at the ice rink at the end of series two.
Recently I have started watching the third series of Dance Academy on Netflix and through this, and through rewatching the first and second, I have decided that Abigail Armstrong is, in fact, my favorite character. Tara is, naturally, our heroine, and Kat is a hot mess, and Ben is just wonderful, and Grace is mildly interesting, and Sammy…. oh god, Sammy….. *
But: Abigail. Abigail Armstrong is the most interesting character on the program. Oddly self-aware for a teen, Abigail is the mean girl you secretly, or not-so-secretly, root for when all the other characters are being insipid or weird or selfish or competent. Abigail is the most normal character, and the most consistent character. She is only sometimes mean just to be mean, mostly she’s mean because she is a straightforward person, no nonsense, brief and to the point. She thinks she’s stupid because she has never explored interests other than ballet, but she’s actually quite intelligent. She has trouble trusting other people after her best friend dropped her for the rebellious life. But she has stayed focused and ambitious. But she isn’t an automaton devoid of feeling. We see Abigail fall in love, we see her open herself up to possibility, we see her reach out and stand up for her friends, and for herself. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she doesn’t let setbacks keep her from trying.
I really hope Abigail’s storyline ends well. I’m really rooting for this character. I’ve really enjoyed her story arch, watching her growth as a character, and seeing the lovely Dena Kaplan show us this character and all her depth and dynamics.
*you’ll notice I didn’t mention Christian: Screw Christian, I’m so tired of him and his mopey ways; it’s like book five of Harry Potter, fcuk Harry.
Being brave can be a pretty tough thing to do. I am often not brave. I am often chicken-shit. I often cut and run the other way. I over-think things, freak myself out and run.
But being brave is also one of the most rewarding things a person can do. I’ve learned over the years that my bravado facade of charging ahead really isn’t a bad way to go. I’ve been some interesting places and met some interesting people that way. Being not afraid to do something or go somewhere, while it can get me in trouble, it also pushes out the comfort zone and allows me to expand my horizons (and all that other junk).
I’m never sad that I’ve been brave. In the end, it usually turns out to be the better choice. Wearing pink nail polish, taking the bus to NYC, saying ‘let’s do this’ when I’m not sure I want to have all helped make me a stronger person. It’s all working together to make me a more interesting person, a person with stories, a person of understanding, a person with something to write about.
I envy other cultures that value travel. I’ve met so many interesting Australians and Swedish people (amongst others) while they were traveling. They’ve been to so many places and seen so many things and have gained a very practical outlook on the world. I envy them their bravery to just forge ahead and go new places with or without a travelling companion. There’s no fear. No worry. Just a new place and a new interesting thing. They are tenacious, and they are inspiring.