AWWWW YEAH! Welcome back to my weekly dose of teenage angst!
Providing clueless adults with a spotlight towards all things TWEEN!
Buddy, I know understanding you’re little underachiever and all their little quirks
is something of a mystery for you. So allow me to dive down into the shallow waters
that are teen angst and send you a life raft so that you to may poses the gifted skills to
have a drama free conversation for 5 minutes, twice a week, if your lucky. 🙂
THE BREAKDOWN: Here I will give you a brief but understandable description of some of today’s shows.
The Secret Life: The Secret Life of the American Teenager. This is ABC Family’s answer to 7th Heaven and really a waste of television viewing time unless you’re watching for a train wreck. Its simplistic in its writing, often overbearing on its views when it comes to social issues like condoms and ore-marital sex, its blunt with its simplification of the role of parents in TV today. The show is a hit because deep down it’s the simplest of the simple. Everyone says dumb stuff all the time because life don’t always move at the speed of a Gilmore Girls conversation. The casting is usually a wash, nobody too attractive but nobody unattractive usually. This is supposed to pass as family viewing and is a wholesome alternative to something like 90210 perhaps. The truth is that shows like this hit every cliche in the book, they use basic television dynamics and editing from week to week in order to keep you hooked on what happens next when deep down inside you know that its painfully obvious what happens next. The tween population is watching this the way that adults watched Degrassi, its a joke really even if nobody is acknowledging it right now. However, the boldness of the shows topics does sometimes force conversations that need to be had so for that it gets a plus in the right direction. It’s a little dated, a little silly and a whole lot of a mess but it tries to be in the vein of family, it tries to be in the name of open communication and the family dynamic. So for that, we can let the silly stuff pass….
Switched at Birth: Switched at Birth, the topic of one of my previous posts is about two girls who are complete opposites who find out they were switched at birth and how they and their families cope with the new members and new decisions makers in their lives. Of course it had to be rich/poor… it could have been gay/homophobic or vampire/vampire hunter but the easier and most common go to is rich/poor and they over did themselves this time… the poor family is so damn destitute that they end up living in the guest house on the grounds of the rich parents home! The overall theme of this show is acceptance and understanding, building relationships that last, sex is often trivialized and seen off screen but is also usually portrayed as consequence free, unless its a “Very Special Episode”…
Pretty Little Liars: PLL is the show all the other shows want to be. This show has all the hot 20 something actresses playing 16 year old girls shopping addictions and eating disorders. This show features fashion over function and is often to frustrating for words. The show is about a group of girls who have secrets and someone who is going to share them secrets with the world. It’s all about figuring out who is who and keeping the truth from coming out. When in reality, if the truth came out, everyone, even the multiple characters that usually die over the seasons would have been better off if they had just been honest and took the hard conversation or weeks punishment instead of prolonging us with the agony and the angst. BUT HEY! That is why we love it! Its fun to watch the drama unfold, its fun to see the shriek and scream of trivial scares week after week as these over accessorized fashion icons get dressed up for a demographic that cant even afford what they are selling…
Melissa & Joey: Melissa & Joey maybe the closest thing to a sitcom the way it existed in my day. It has shades of Who’s The Boss, shades of the TGIF era shows and shades of safe prepubescent angst written all over it. Displaced man, in need women, adorable kids and you have sitcom gold. Formulaic for sure but in the best possible way. Laugh track added for authenticity. I’m going to do a feature on this show soon, including some clips and scenes. There is something special in this show, the actors, child stars themselves, and really doing something right and remarkable in this show together, its a shame more people wont see this Who’s The Boss like family sitcom.
Baby Daddy: Baby Daddy isn’t a real show. I mean this because this show is a starring vehicle for the actors and actresses of this show to get their faces on television so that it will eventually lead them to a more starring and fame making role. The story-lines are predictable,he loves her,she loves him,she don’t know he loves her garbage. It’s not funny but its not that bad when it comes to sex, sexuality, and all those cringe worthy topics. Familiar faces make it bearable but in the end it falls flat.
90210: A TV show so good they named it twice! This spin-off / reboot / continuation of the angst ridden characters we grew up with is as genuine as they come! Missing parents, check. Criminal backgrounds, check. Promiscuity, check. Blind ambition and over use of sexuality, check! 90210 has it all! This show is a great example of what kids should not be watching! Sex is a weapon on 90210 and all these kids are armed. Meaningful relationships are for sweeps week, we want angst and we want it now!
Gossip Girl: TV royalty in some angst circles. XOXO Gossip Girl gives you all the twists and turns while navigating Manhattans East Side. B, S and Lonely Boy are all back for other season of impossibly absurd situations, more money than everyone reading this article has combined being thrown around by kids not old enough to drink the expensive Scotch in their hands! Michelle Trachtenberg’s addition is going to send then last year of Gossip Girl down a comedy spiral and I for one can not wait.
The Vampire Diaries and other supernaturally angsty television dramas: Who are the real monsters, this writer will never tell! Over the last couple years we have been in-fluxed with more supernatural TV shows than normal. The popularity of shows like Supernatural and movies like Twilight have made the paranormal a cash cow. Throw in a little teen angst and you have a bon a fide hit on your hands these days. From The Vampire Diaries to Secret Circle and the canceled 9 lives of Chloe King the supernatural shows all capture one of the greatest devices know to angst-dom… the can they cant they love affair. Without doubt a majority of these shows will hold true to the age old knowledge that for a show to be a hit they couple must not get together until later in the series. Enjoy your favorite monsters and villains along with a healthy dose of teen angst!
YOU PROBABLY MISSED IT:
Here goes one you might not have caught when it was first on ABC Family… catch it in re-runs!
RUBY & THE ROCKETS: