Do you binge watch shows? Are Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video some of your best friends? Do you find yourself saying “one more episode” too many times to count? Yeah, me too.
For the past three days, while fighting a cold and feeling completely crummy, I have been binge watching 90210 (the reboot, not the original). I was watching this morning and had a realization. If you were to look at my watch list over the last few years, you would see a who’s who of teen dramas – The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, The OC, Gossip Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dawson’s Creek, Veronica Mars, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill. I’ve wondered why I’m drawn to them. I don’t come close to fitting the demographic, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I do enjoy a good teen drama.
The first thing that draws me to the genre is angst. Let’s face it, teens have more than their fair share of angst. It’s almost a monopoly. I love angst. I love to watch it. I love to read it. I want to feel a connection, an emotional one, to watch I read or draw. Angst probably draws me in faster than anything else. Yes, it can be played a little overdramaticly on a teen show, but I think that’s the reminder that it is fiction and not reality. Although, raising four children, one of whom is still a teen, we’ve had plenty of drama in our home of the normal, everyday variety – grades, broken hearts, curfews, etc. It’s the stuff that all parents deal with at some point.
That brings me to the other thing that draws me to the teen dramas. They aren’t reality. At the end of each episode, I’m relieved that I have a normal, boring family. The drama that goes on in our house occurs in thousands of other homes each and every day. Thankfully, for us, it doesn’t involve vampires, werewolves, witches, trust fund kids, Hollywood parties, love triangles, apathetic parents, gangs, drugs or teenage pregnancies. Other than the first three items on that list, all of those things are a fact of life for some people. But they aren’t for me. So, watching these shows while silently judging the adults who don’t seem to have a clue might give me a little “thank goodness that’s not me” moment. If nothing else, they provide an escape.
Isn’t that what fiction of any kind, whether books, tv, movies or theater, is about? An escape from your day-to-day life. I, for one, enjoy those little journeys.
Back to the angst for just a moment. All of the shows that I listed above are loaded it with it. Do you have a favorite moment from one of those shows? Maybe from a show that I didn’t list? Please share it in the comments. I love talking about my favorites and I’m always looking for something new to try.