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TV & Movies

Weekly Angst : The History of Angst Part 2 – The Present

Weekly Angst

By Nick Wilkinson

The History of Angst part 2: The Present

Children of angst rejoice! I have returned with even more info-cation about all things angst!

Last week we looked into the history of angst and how television networks like The WB & CW were formed. This week we will look at the present and future of teen angst on television!

The CW (a quasi combo of The WB and UPN networks) is the current epicenter of angst and to date, the only remaining programs that survived the merger are Supernatural & America’s Next Top Model.

However, many familiar faces are still active when it comes to The CW who makes signing young actors and actresses to multi-year deals and not specific show deals.

Gossip Girl, the Manhattan elite’s answer to teen angst features (or at one time featured) Blake Lively (of Traveling Pants fame), Michelle Trachtenberg (of Buffy & Are You Afraid of the Dark), Lizzy McGuire herself, Hillary Duff, and many other NYC regulars who have made extended cameos.

Gossip Girl:

90201 (the continued series of Beverly Hills 90210) debuted in 2008 and has featured former cast members Jenny Garth, Shannon Doherty and Tori Spelling, while also extending its universe with a whole new cast of West Bev’s students including Degrassi alum and star Shanae Grimes, and continues to this day to feature cameo’s my cultural phenoms (Carly Rae Jepson, Rumor Willis, Bruno Mars, Diego, and many others…)


Developed by Dawson’s Creek & Scream (movie hits) Kevin Williamson and based off of the smash LJ Smith books, The Vampire Diaries has capitalized on the Twilight craze that swept the nation and brought back to us some very familiar faces in the angst arena including Degrassi alum and star Nina Dobrev, Ian (BOONE from LOST) Somerholder, and has introduced us to son of screen legend Steve McQueen in star Steven R McQueen.

The Vampire Diaries:

Hart of Dixie, the gender swapped television version of Doc Hollywood was an instant hit with the networks in no small way thanks to The O.C. alum Rachel Bilson and former Friday Night Lights star Scott Porter (Jason Street). This fish out of water show pushes the boundaries of “teen” angst and may be an evolutionary step towards more adult oriented angst.

Hart of Dixie:

The LA Complex, Arrow ( a DC comics Green Arrow based television show), Beauty & The Beast (starring Smallville alum Kristen Kruek) and Emily Owens M.D. Have recently debuted on the show to mostly good ratings and will most likely have continued success on the network.

LA Complex:

Beauty & The Beast:

Emily Owens M.D.:

Canceled or previously ended shows include: 7th Heaven, smash hit Gilmore Girls, Smallville, One Tree Hill, Veronica Mars, Hidden Palms, Life is Wild, Reaper, Privileged, The Beautiful Life, Life Unexpected, The Secret Circle, Hellcats, and the short lived (read: failed) Melrose Place continuation.

Gilmore Girls: Inspiring an almost cult like following:

Hidden Palms: Short lived series staring Amber Heard:

Life is Wild: South African set short lived series:

Privileged: Joanna Garcia’s short lived follow up to Reba:

Reaper: One of the most controversial cancellations still inspires the occasional rumor of a return to television:

Life Unexpected: Despite the cross over episodes with One Tree Hill & the superior cast this show could only get two seasons and did not find traction with fans:

The Secret Circle: proving Wicca is out and vampires are in this supernatural series proved that witchcraft just couldn’t hold the attention of the angsty teen:

Hellcats: High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale’s two season cheer leading series:

Melrose Place: The reboot that never was:

Future series (or mid season series yet to debut) include Sex & The City prequel The Carrie Diaries features Soul Surfer / Bridge To Terabithea star Anna Sophia Robb & Cult the mysterious thriller (and little know about) series will all be debuting in 2013 and are both highly anticipated as of this article.


The Carrie Diaries:

Next week I will continue my History of Angst series with THE FUTURE OF ANGST when we look at where current TV trends are taking us as well as an in depth look at the steadily rising network FOX/ABC Family and its major contributions to the teen angst genre.



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