I'm talking TV programs & films exploring "issues" of importance to young people, which they wouldn't consider too patronizing, moralistic or twee. Realist representations of their lives, in other words. One lot for 13 -14 year olds, another for 15 to 16 year olds. These could include any number of themes - eg friendship, family, school, drug "issues", love, etc .... And (here's the catch!) this material would have to be suitable for viewing by students in schools, so anything classified "recommended for adult viewers" is out. So not easy, hey?
While looking around, I came across this television series from way back - 1994: My So-Called Life. I was only going to watch a particular episode or 3, but ended up watching the whole lot! It presented a pretty realistic picture of young people, plus quite a bit more:
My So-Called Life deals with issues much discussed in the mid-nineties, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, homelessness, adultery, kinky sex, school violence, same-sex parenting, censorship, and drug use. While a lot of shows brought up these themes as a one-time issue (a "very special episode") that would be introduced as a problem at the beginning of an episode and resolved at the end, in My So-Called Life they are just a part of the continuing fabric of the story lines. The title of the show alludes to the perception of meaninglessness that many teenagers experience, and therefore encapsulates the main theme of the series. The show depicts teenage years as difficult and confusing as opposed to a light, fun-filled time of pranks and jokes.
The young cast (excluding the oldies) of My So-Called Life.
What about "Stand by Me"? Not sure what the rating is. But I thought it portrayed teens realistically. The movie was good.
BTW, I hated "Ferris Beuller's Day Off." The message in that movie pissed me off.
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 08:06 am
Oh oh oh! "Juno"!
Sixteen-year-old Minnesotan high-schooler Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) discovers she is pregnant with a child fathered by her friend and longtime admirer, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). While at first she intends to have an abortion, she changes her mind and decides to make a plan for the child's adoption. With the help of her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), Juno searches the ads in the Pennysaver and finds a couple she feels will provide a suitable home. Along with her father, Mac (J. K. Simmons), Juno meets the couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), in their expensive home and expresses a desire for a closed adoption.....
Someone already has Juno. Try the first season of the TV series "Popular". "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" is good. Both are a little unrealistic, but they cover issues. One ok for everyone is Hairspray. Not just for teenagers per se.
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 08:21 am
Are you thinking of DeGrassi Jr High? That's what I thought of, though I haven't seen it, just read about it.
This was an amazing show btw, I loved it when it was on. Might be a bit too dated though.
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 08:38 am
I haven't seen the movie "Antwone Fisher" but I read the book "Finding Fish" and it was pretty amazing. A true story about a boy born in prison and raised in a terrible foster home. Very inspiring:
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 08:39 am
How about some series that just get into exploration or adventures, where the kids are critical parts not just post assemblers of a plot or victims or the embodiment of your "Tweeness" (I hadda look that up).
When I was a kid I ws always devouring adventure and exploration books, why not some shows sort of like the "Goonies" but without all the simpleton ****.
I think that kids oughta be spoken AT, not down to.
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 08:54 am
"Good Will Hunting" is excellent:
but according to the imdb it comes with this warning:
Sex & Nudity
EditHistory The movie covers young adult intimate relationships, but the scenes do not include nudity, only a man is seen with no shirt on and you see his upper half.
No sexual activity is shown.
A boy (Matt Damon) asks a man to have sex with him the dialogue is sexual
There are a few mentions of blowjobs.
Violence & Gore
EditHistory There's one scene where a fight is shown in slow motion, there's one shot where Will punches another guy in the face and from the impact of the hit, he cuts him and blood smears. Other than that, nothing explict.
EditHistory Strong language. 7 uses of d-words, 29 s-words, 94 uses of f-words, & 7 uses of Jesus.
EditHistory Many scenes with alcohol and smoking. Many bar scenes.
Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:01 am
"Good Will Hunting" reminds me of another good one, "Finding Forrester":