Melissa is a 15-year old from Rochester, NY. She enjoys volunteering and singing. Her favorite subject is English language arts because she wants to be a journalist. Melissa is one of our teen writers and also has her own fabulous advice site for teen girls at: http://girlslife143.webs.com, see more advice for girls at her site!
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Channel: Teenick Friday at 8:00 EST.
Already into its 9th season, this drama is based on the lives of teenagers that go to the high school Degrassi (thus the name). The show which is filmed in Canada, covers teen issues such as drug abuse, discrimination, physical abuse, bullying, the dangers of the online world, you name it they’ve covered it. All the different characters have their own story to tell, and the show gives you a good realistic glimpse of the lives of troubled teens.
In each episode there’s always a character that makes a bad choice, and then the one that stays on the right path. There is Emma, a reliable friend, whose opinionated attitude gets her involved in a lot of, well drama. On more recent episodes Claire begins to take role as the “good girl”, and she is just the type of friend that Ali needs as they get introduced into the scary life of teens. The producer did a great job of making a show specifically for teens of any ages.
What is great about this show is it provides parents with a variety of topics to open discussion with their child. For example, when Peter decides to take Meth to “solve his problems.” He ends up in a scary situation, and it shows you what Meth can do to your body. At the end of the episode, there is a clip, and the actor who plays Peter talks about the dangers of Meth, and how to get help if you or someone else is addicted. Ask your teen what he/she thinks about the choices they make in each episode. Why do you think they made the choices they did, and what would you do instead?
Degrassi clearly has the ability to attract viewers since it’s been around since the 90’s! They never seem to run out of great ideas to base the show on. Overall, Degrassi is probably, and always will be one of the greatest teen shows out there, and I’d give it a thumbs up!
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Channel: ABC Family, Mondays at 8:00 EST.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a show based on a pregnant girl Amy Jerkins (played by Shailene Woodley) and her family. The show has actually surprised me with how it has developed over its first season as sort of a teen soap opera. It follows the story of a Christian girl dealing with the death of her dad, Ricky who was abused and is trying to overcome what his past has given him, Ben the boyfriend of Amy and even more. What happens in this high school surrounded by peer pressure, and constant stress and how does it start to take a toll on these teens?
The Secret Life of the American Teenager is great for those entering high school and the drama and pressures that come along with it. And not only that, but of course it shows the consequences of getting pregnant at a young age. Amy (with the baby) finds herself in extremely stressful situations throughout the show and she starts to accept the fact that she just can’t live a normal teen life.
The producer wanted to create a show that provided teens with the realities of raising a child as a teen, and he definitely did a good job portraying this. Though some of the scenes can be unrealistic or poorly acted, it never ceases to draw me in to the next week’s episode.
Each show automatically draws you into a discussion. So talk to your child about it! Ask them about her why they think the people on the show made the choices that they did. What brought them to give in to certain pressures and how can your teen prevent these situations? This show is going into its second season and I find myself not wanting to miss a single episode!
10 Things I Hate About You
Channel: ABC Family, Tuesdays at 8:00 EST.
10 Things I Hate About You is a new TV series based on the 1999 movie. Bianca (played by Meaghan Jette Martin) is the new girl in school. She’s a preppy blonde, and she’d do just about anything to fit in with the popular crowd and befriend Chastity the head cheerleader. But then there’s her sister, Kat (Lindsey Shaw). She completely despises what Bianca worships, and couldn’t be bothered with the daily lives of the popular crowd.
This show appeals to teens and shows how sometimes it’s not easy being a teen at all. 10 Things provides a way for teens to see an example of how desperate certain people are to fit in and if it is all worth it. The fact that Kat is the complete opposite of Bianca just gives the show a humorous twist, especially with Kat’s constant protesting and stubbornness. Bianca’s attempts to be on top are set back because of her sister and her secret relationship with Chastity’s boyfriend. The only flaw thought might be that high school is not nearly as scary as it is portrayed to be, and it might send off the wrong vibe to high school newcomers.
Even though some of the situations can be unlikely, it still gives a sort of exaggerated introduction to high school. It opens up a great way to talk to your teen about what goes on in school. Ask questions like, do you have cliques like that in your school? Are people more independent? And you can then ask your child what she thinks about all of the uproar over fitting in, and if it’s really necessary. These are great topics to bring up since at some point if not already your teen will have to face high school. 10 Things I hate About You gives your teen a great opportunity to know how to better prepare for the pressure of it all.