The Romanticization of Teen TV

Myajah Wilson, Assistant Opinion Editor

When I watch movies and shows, I tend to compare my own life to that of the characters. Teens are constantly breaking from the pressure imposed on us from society.

Watching TV shows and movies that create unrealistic teen experiences doesn’t help the pressure and causes us to idolize an unattainable teen experience.

When I grew up I thought that high school was going to be like Victorious. In the show, the characters had a sense of freedom and fun that I thought only I would only find in high school.

Looking back, I realize that when I watched things as a kid, the entire teen experience was heavily romanticized.

They conveyed the idea that being a teenager was a sort of dream and was going to be this perfect stage of life. Now that I’m a teenager, the fact that that was what I was expecting makes me laugh.

Think of High School Musical. The trilogy sugarcoated the entire high school experience. Sorry to break it to you, but love at first sight and breaking out into dance or song whenever a milestone or minor inconvenience occurs doesn’t actually happen in real life. There’s no popular person that rules the entire school or anything of the sort. It’s not that glamorous or dramatic unfortunately.

Being young and naive you get eager and excited to turn into a teen, expecting to have this cinematic worthy experience. Let me tell you, I am disappointed; I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.
You reach the reality of things and get extremely underwhelmed. You realize that life isn’t as fun and adventurous as the cinema makes it out to be.

As you grow, so do the shows that you watch and their maturity levels.

Rather than only romanticizing the teen experience, shows nowadays also drastically dramatize them.
Take Euphoria for example. The entire show exaggerates things. Not to mention it promotes sex, smoking, underage drinking, and the use of drugs.

Not to say things like this don’t happen, but I can assure you there are very few high schoolers sneaking drugs in the bathroom on a daily basis.

In the show teens are captured participating in very adult-like activities. Not to mention they’re inappropriate and illegal.

There is also an excessive amount of sex scenes.

Incorporating things like this in the show promotes an unhealthy and unsafe teen lifestyle. Seeing these things will cause teens to chase dangerous habits just because they seem “cool” in a popular show watched by millions.

Also, the fact that these kinds of shows have adults playing these teen characters further shows that this is not normal or appropriate behavior.

Shows like Outerbanks where the teenage main characters are constantly going on adventures and are hardly ever in school cause you to crave that kind of freedom.

The idea that a group of teenagers can go around solving mysteries, doing whatever they want, and stow away to the Bahamas by themselves is frankly absurd.

All of these shows together created the unfeasible “average” teen experience and pushed the idea upon us that we would one day have it too.

It’s harder for teenagers to find their sense of selves with all of these shows because the shows that they engage with are so much more extreme than reality.

It’s all a misrepresentation of how teenage hood really is.

When watching, take these TV shows and movies with a grain of salt and remember that “everything is not what it seems.” Fair warning: prepare yourselves great deal of disappointment.