Exploring Female Friendship, New York City, Queerness and Skate Culture: HBO’s Betty

Betty is a show based on, and essentially an extension of, Crystal Moselle’s 2018 wonderful kaleidoscope collective of a skate film, Skate Kitchen. Just knowing it exists makes my heart glow. It feels like a daydream. Like, Do we really live in a world where this beautiful authentic gorgeous intimate incredible moment gets made into a movie, and then HBO picks it up for a series? Is the world really that good a place right now? It’s entirely surreal in the best way possible. And I’ve just discovered there’s going to be a second season! Truly blessings on blessings.

Continuing with the endless summer vibe that Skate Kitchen has, Betty is filled with badass skating, chilled weed smoking, genuine kindness, friendship ups and downs, and incredible self-expression in every single outfit. Also, we meet a bunch of new characters! Queer, creative, diverse, super self-confident, incredibly cool, lovely characters. The series (Created, directed, executive produced by Crystal Moselle, too) is this glorious unfolding of the lives of the same cast, minus Jaden. We meet up with the Skate Kitchen girls at the skate park and city we shared with them in the movie, and it still feels like Crystal is giving us a window into their lives. She films all their conversations and exchanges in the most beautiful, intimate way. And for real, how magical that they got the same cast! It should be too good to be true, but it totally is.

Betty, like Skate Kitchen, is an exploration of female friendship and queerness and skate culture; of patriarchy and class and privilege, race and rule-breaking and loyalty. Near the end of the season, Kirt says something like “I want to spend less time fighting the patriarchy, and more time helping the matriarchy.” which totally is the vibe of the show and the girls as they grow throughout each episode. Betty is wonderful! I love it! And it’s been renewed for a second season! You should watch!

The trailers! ♡

Every time I watch it, I am captivated by this ‘Surely this is unscripted and this is someone in their irl crew filming while sitting next to them’ feeling (reminiscent of the roadtrip driving scenes in American Honey, but more). I find myself falling in love with the sound of concrete scraping against skateboard wheels and wishing I could watch so much more of these girls’ lives.

Wishing for more stories in the Skate Kitchen universe is a feeling Betty solves! Betty feels like it picks up right where Skate Kitchen ends, and it continues this almost hold-your-breath-beautiful, sun-filled, magnificent yet casual vibe.

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