Don’t we all crave the title ‘popular’? To not stand awkwardly in the hallways and brun from bullies who are hell-bent on making your non-existent reputation worse, to just be accepted and revered and just…be more chill?
Ned Vizzini wrote ‘Be More Chill’, an accurate representation of teenagers, how wild they can get and just how far they will go to get what they want. This book was turned into a play and later, an off-broadway musical.
Jeremy Heere and his best friend Michael Mell are losers for obvious reasons. Jeremy believes he has no chance with theatre kid Christine until…he gets a squip. When his former bully Rich recalls his tale of how it takes him from sad to interesting to hip, Jeremy knows he just has to get his hands on one.
He’s willing to ditch it all, his parent’s trust, his dignity, his best friend…all to get popular.
The SQUIP is a small supercomputer that analyzes social situations and then provides the best reaction to it, causing people to start to get attracted to you, making you popular.
And who will refuse you when you’re popular?
The mindset of every character is very real and if you heere (pun intended) Jeremy’s thoughts, you’ll probably remember a situation where you thought the same thing. He wants Christine, and he believes the only way to get her is by being popular. Unfortunately, you have to make sacrifices and during the ‘bathroom intervention’ scene Jeremy knows he’s in too deep, shutting down Michael and leaving him in the bathroom to cry to himself.
Jeremy realises too late that the SQUIP was a bad idea, and manages to repair his relationships. He realises that his successful interactions with Christine only occur when the squip was off, and that he’s uncomfortable in situations that ‘popular’ people get into.
He’s just happy with being him, and that’s all he should be.
Sometimes we feel like we could just disappear into nothing and because we’re not the in crowd, no one would care. But, just like how Jeremy comes back for his Player 2, there is always someone who cares, someone who you are important to
The SQUIP, to me, is a metaphor for the stereotypical person you are forcing yourself to be. You believe everything about you is so terrible, you need to be that impeccable image to be accepted. You watch someone else transform, and then suddenly you realise you can too, without thinking of the repercussions.
For some, being popular is a natural thing. Their personality is just wired that way. You don’t have to be them, if that’s not the way you are comfortable. You are the way you are, and you cant let anyone else ridicule you for you, you need to stand up, not think that you are unacceptable in society.
You cant let people get to you, because no one else can have the same sense of humour or the same gawky smile or the same interest in old vintage games, but you!
And who knows, one day the type of person you were will be deemed ‘popular’.
(I’ve linked in the songs where i’ve used the lyrics!)