In a large amount of tv aimed at teenagers, realism is thrown out the window. Disney sitcoms and CW dramas seem to exclusively deal in stereotypical characters and not with how teenagers actually act. For me, American Vandal and the Inbetweeners are the best recent examples of accurate portrayals, but I’m sure there’s more.
What makes a good portrayal of a teenage character? Which shows do it well? Why do shows aimed at teenagers ditch realism in a way that other shows do not?
I think that a lot of shows ignore how teenagers would typically act because it wouldn't provide enough entertainment or drama. Most teen-based shows are filled with drama and different love triangles, and there may be a glimpse of realistic teenage feelings, but the reactions are only determined in order to create wreak havoc in everyone else's lives. – Lex5i3 years ago
Not enough shows actually show teenagers being kids and having fun. Drinking, partying, sex, and drugs are a huge part of the modern depiction of teenagers and while it has told some interesting important stories - I think it has also glamorized a certain aspect/view of teenagehood that can ultimately be misleading and not accurate. I would love to see more shows about teenagers doing more chill things, and goofing around. This isn't to morally grandstand, I don't think we should avoid tough or controversial topics, but let's not forget how young teenagers can be. I think a great example is the anime "My Hero Academia." The way that the central Class 1A unit function in the show, hanging out and boarding together and dealing with tough classes and societal pressures around their role as "elite students" feels much more real than the way Skins makes you think every kid off the street is a heroin addict. There is a balance. – Dimitri3 years ago
You can also look at shows like 6teen. It's a bit older now but I think it's still relevant to this discussion. One of the main things that tv shows gets wrong about teens is how they talk, often assuming that they are constantly using (outdated) slang. Speech patterns are often quite different in teenagers than adults, but that doesn't come across in shows. – banne3 years ago