“The children are our future” so the saying goes. Kids and teens have been pretty hard done by over the years; be it from the fear spread by media such as Reefer Madness in the 1930s, any teenage rebellion movie in the 1950s, or more recently, Waterloo Road. Indeed, on-screen portrayals of adolescents are often just hate-inducing.
It is troubling to find that such a grim world view of the big and small screen can have an influence on a persons perception of the tykes, to the point where you feel vindicated to trip-up the next pubescent chap or chappette that you see in the street. It’s not fair or nice and you can’t help but feel manipulated by a cackling writer somewhere, who is idly writing another gormless, unsympathetic teen character into a script somewhere.
Here are a few current TV programmes that will turn you into a bitterly vengeful teen-hater:
One of the BBC’s latest attempts at ‘getting down with the kids’, can be found on BBC Switch (a kind of CBBC for teenagers). It is a type of docu-drama series set in a ski-town somewhere in the European Alps and is very similar to other real-life documentaries like The Hills or Laguna Beach, but this time it’s full of British kids on their gap year (or should I say “gap yah”).
Now the first thing to make clear is that these kids are bastards! They are just horrible examples of humanity, being all spikey haired, perpetually grinning and beanie hat-wearing in the case of the boys and pretty, dim and “random!” exclaiming in the case of the ladies. If there was ever a reason to cause an avalanche to bury a town, then this is it.
You will recognise many of these strutting pricks from your first year at university, or lurching around your local shopping center. You know the type: the people that wear shorts and sandals despite it being winter and that seem to hang around in a cluster of six or so of their type, with a self satisfied smirk on their big fuzzy faces.
I think I have said enough on this blog as to why Skins is a horrible, horrible TV show (despite being frustratingly compelling sometimes) full of the sort of kids that somehow have decided warehouses are the coolest places on earth. They also have casual access to drugs that most kids could have only dreamed of getting their hands on. If you want to know more about the people you see on Skins this video should explain them better.
This programme has issues. That isn’t a criticism, more of a matter of fact, as a majority of the programme’s plotlines seems to revolve around whatever the latest vogue issue affecting young people is. Whether it be drug addiction, teenage pregnancy or STI’s, Hollyoaks seems to have them with alarming regularity. It does beg the question why parents living in the village don’t pull their children out of Hollyoaks Comprehensive, as it would seem to have the highest teenage preganancy rate in Europe, not mention a high fatality rate…
Getting back to the teens in question, they couldn’t be a more dislikeable group of rebellious bellends. They whine, they fuck each other and generally ruin their lives and all without much in the way of normal common sense, which most real teenagers actually do have most of the time. They always seem to be written as lowest common denominator types; so teen girls that aspire to be glamour models, get pregnant or get addicted to smack etc. Then on the other hand you have the boys that want to smash everything and/or fuck everything. Sure this happens in the real world but not every day in the same village necessarily. Or does it?
Another soap opera that gives real teenagers absolutely no hope of being taken seriously. I get the impression that the writers see teens as a malleable source for plot devices.
Most teens on this programme are self righteous, mentally unstable and just make you want to smash your head through the TV screen in some kind of vain attempt to reach into the show and throttle them into silence. One of the loathsome teen portrayals in this show are weirdo outsider characters. These can be found doing odd things like befriending paper clips, or becoming convinced that they are communicating with an alien called Thanziel. To contrast with this you also get the occasional fully fledged teen revolutionary, complete with a shaky political agenda, like freeing all the stray dogs infected with rabies at an animal testing lab. Either that or you are delivered a feminist fighting to ban umbrellas because they restrict women, or something equally as trite.