We all watch television because of how realistic they are at portraying life, right? Especially about teenage life, right? Right? Oh, excuse me, I’m being informed that’s completely wrong. Okay, fine, but there are a few things TV can get right without having to sacrifice their storytelling — and they never seem to care to actually correct them. For example, males and females can actually be just friends without wanting to hop on each other’s junk. Crazy. Also, people have more than two friends sometimes (read: sometimes, that’s certainly not the case with my. Unless you count my Internet friends, then I have like three friends). And lastly, when people break up, they seldom remain best friends.
But that’s stuff you’ve heard before. There are others. In fact, even if they’re not really talked about, I’m quite baffled some of these still go on in current television. Here they are, the top five things TV series get wrong about everyday teenage life:
5. Teenagers have time before going to school
As a person who went through four years of high school, with first period beginning at 7:30AM, I can confidently say: I had no extra time before class started. None. Perhaps I should qualify this by saying that I’m male and hardly ate breakfast. Maybe teenagers of the female persuasion have bucket loads of time before class starts; I don’t know. And yes, sometimes you get to school early and have a few minutes to hang out with your friends, but I don’t remember ever waking up more than 30 minutes before I had to run out the door.
So why does this happen constantly on TV shows? This past Thursday, The Secret Circle‘s Diana opened the door to her grandmother Kate, helped her bring her bags inside, had a short chat with her, and then said “Well, I gotta get ready for school.”
What?! First of all: Who the hell goes to someone’s house at 7 in the morning!? Grandma Kate… you’re being ridiculous. And second: who has enough time to just be up doing nothing before they get ready for school? Also, I know nothing about fashion but I do know a thing or two about what girls wear to bed… aaaalll riiiighhht…
Okay, I know because of my mom and sister. Thing one and thing two, respectively. Happy? But regardless, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be this:
She’s wearing a shirt, jeans, a necklace, and she’s all made up. Is that what teenagers are wearing to go to sleep nowadays? Because back in my days it was basically a onesie. I mean, they’ve even made it easier for 2012:
Well, regardless, I never knew anyone personally who was hanging out, waiting for their bus (or in my case train and public bus) with so much time to spare. And as a person who drives to class currently, I still don’t have enough time. There’s never enough time.
4. Teenagers have relationships with their teachers
Okay, so this one can actually be a detriment to storytelling since all shows like to do this. But still.
Look, teachers are hot. Correction: some are hot. Yes, this is true. But the amount of students that have a full-fledged relationship with them are… uh, less than ideal for how many storylines there are about them on TV. And more so, unless “relationship” now means “we just f##kin’,” I’m betting it’s even less.
How many students love their teachers? I mean, really? Life Unexpected did this, Gossip Girl did this, I just watched my first Pretty Little Liars episode that did this, Ringer seems to be heading in that direction… so basically anything with a CW connection of some sort.
Now I had the same teacher in my high school for all four years and he became like a father to me (and I’m sure to plenty of people that had him for four years, too) but that’s about the extent of his relationship went with the students. Maybe if he was a 20something model cast by The CW, he would have had more luck. Oh, well.
3. Teenagers never set times for appointments
Okay, so this isn’t exclusive to teenagers, but I’m assuming that adults think teenagers aren’t coordinated enough to set times for stuff. Have you ever realized that whenever someone sets up an appointment to meet someone else, it’s just relative.
“Oh, you havin’ that party? What time?”
“Yeah! Come through tomorrow night.”
“Okay, I’ll be there!”
Uh. Last I checked that wasn’t a time increment.
Teenagers — everyone! — set times for meetings, appointments, dates, and so on. So if you could please just think about adding time for dates when you’re writing, that would be great, writers. No one just shows up at an appointment setting at any time and hopes the other person will perchance show up at the same time.
2. Teenagers are, like, so embarrassed by their mothers
“Oh. Mah. Gaahd. Maahm. Maahm I hate you, maahm. You can’t drive me to school, that’s completely embarrassing maaaaaaaahm.”
—Every teenage girl on television
Undoubtedly parents are embarrassing, but not to the point where teenagers don’t want to be seen with them… or act like they don’t exist. We all have mothers in some shape or form. That’s how we, you know, like, exist or whatever. Thank God there isn’t an entire show revolved around this idiotic idea that teenagers absolutely hate their mothers, right?
You know how every, single show with a teenager has had them ask their parents if they could drop them off a block away because they didn’t want to be seen with their parent? Yeah that doesn’t happen. Like, ever.
First off, no one in high school cares if you’re dropped off by your parents. No, I’m serious. No one, adult writers. Listen to me: NO ONE. In fact, they’re probably a bit envious that your parent can take you to school and I have to take the train and a public bus and wake up much earlier and run when I hear the train coming and stand up on the freakin’ bus because there’s never a seat on that damn thing!
Ahem. So the point is that no one cares — and there are dozens upon … hundreds of kids that get dropped off and picked up by their parents. That’s a thing. In fact, most schools have a bus pickup and a parent pickup location.
Second, there’s no clique standing in front of the school that’s dictating whether or not you’ll be popular because of how you arrived to school. Popular kids are way too cool for that, okay? I should know because I’m so cool I have a television blog. So.
That’s part of the reason I had to stop watching 10 Things I Hate About You. That and because there were about one storylines on that show — and none of them were good.
1. Teenagers call marijuana “pot”
“Wanna smoke some pot?”
“You mean boil water in a pot?”
That’s the response a teenager would give you if you asked them about “pot.” Also, if they were relatively witty and not high at the time. Pot, reefer, ganja, et al exit to the right: you are no longer welcome in this era. Yet, you seem to come up way too often on my TV screen.
The last time I remember hearing this was during The Killing (ugh… that show…) and it’s not like the setting for that show is in some Middle America suburbia. I’m actually starting to think “weed” is banned by the FCC. There’s no other explanation.
That’s what kids are calling it, by the way, adult writers who are apparently too scared to ask their own kids what they call marijuana in fear of finding out that they are actually smoking it. I will also accept: grass, toke, chronic, kif, dutch, blunt, Mary Jane, “that good s#!+,” hell even freakin’ Marijuana! Just not pot. Never.
Also, if you’re worried about whether your child is smoking weed, writers, don’t be. Rest assured: they most definitely are.
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