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Kids Today: Post #666...Coincidence?

This week I saw two new summer series that are sweeping the nation--or at least filling in until good shows start again this fall. I've caught two episodes of Bravo's NYC Prep and the series premiere of ABC Family's 10 Things I Hate About You, and so far...this blogger is unimpressed.

NYC Prep
Why does everything have to turn into a reality show? We loved the OC, so MTV gave us Laguna Beach, which led to The Hills, which led to Bromance, and to The City...and in many ways Lauren Conrad will outlive the recognition of Marissa Cooper, and certainly Spencer and Heidi Pratt stir up more media attention than Seth Cohan and Ryan Atwood. After the success of Desperate Housewives, we got the Real Housewives of...anywhere you can think of. Atlanta? NYC? New Jersey? Who cares? Why would a satire or a melodrama, entertaining because the characters are so over the top, spawn reality TV?

Well, now, Gossip Girl has brought us NYC Prep. The characters are duller, more childish, their situations are only 1/3 as entertaining. And yet...will it continue in the tradition of Laguna Beach and surpass its fictional model?

One thing that has always made teen drama appealing, to me, is the fact that the teens are played by attractive 20-somethings. In reality show world? They're real teens. at least in The Hills (which I always preferred to Laguna Beach) the stars are a bit more grown up. When you see Blair and Chuck hook up, it's hot, cause...they're adults. When you see some 15 year old on a reality show talking about hooking up, it's more creepy than anything else. They look like babies! But they act like adults! And they aren't nearly as good looking as the actors on GG. They aren't even as good looking as the "characters" on The Hills.

Of course, even shockingly adult 15 year olds are not interesting. They just aren't. They're immature and whiny, though. If this were a scripted show, it would be terrible. Why would I watch it as a non-scripted show? Not only is the show pretty boring, it's also causing outrage amongst schools and parents, who are denying that this show accurately depicts their prep school children.

What is happening to the world of drama? I watch dramatic shows (call them soap operas if you will) to have a sort of escape from reality. In fact, when I watch things like The Hills, I forget that it's actually a 'reality' show. And I often watch it with the sound turned down, while I'm doing something else, mostly looking at what clothes and hairstyles the characters are sporting.

10 Things I Hate About You

Moving on to scripted television, all I can say so far is...Boo. Not good at all. Not even worth DVR-ing, in my opinion. Sorry ABC Family, you failed to live up to your name in quality entertainment. It was a weird, half hour format, and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to laugh at the characters or feel for them...it didn't maintain any of the complexities that the movie had. And that really says something.

The premise is kind of the same as the movie: two sisters, one popular, one bad-ass. The dorky boy falls in love with Bianca, and his dorkier friend advises him on how to win her over. The bad-ass sister finds an equally bad-ass boy, falls in love, and is essentially "tamed." However, the series threw in some cartoonish female antagonist, and there is no sign of a male antagonist. Bianca and Kat are new to school, so they don't yet have reputations. Bianca is less the popular pretty sister and more the desperate, social climbing sister who has to settle for being the school's mascot rather than cheerleader. The popular boy is just a goofy pawn in the evil, popular girl's plan...he isn't trying to seduce anyone. And Bianca already knows that Kat is not a virgin...so there's no big moment when the sisters finally share past secrets and grow closer to each other. I just don't see how this could work as a series. And the characters are so not as good looking as the original cast (although the actor who plays the father in the movie plays the father in the series...which makes me feel sad). I don't think I'll be revisiting this one.

Sadly, of the two shows reviewed this week, I will more likely follow NYC Prep than 10 Things. I'll have to chalk this up to being a product of my generation; I'd rather watch crappy reality that depicts a lifestyle I can both judge and envy at the same time than watch mediocre, hackneyed dramedy.

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  1. Blogger Lady Amy | 10:49 AM |  

    One good thing about NYC Prep, though, is that it makes me feel a whole lot better about my dorky teenage years to know that even money can't make you a less awkward tweenager.

  2. Anonymous OHD | 1:58 PM |  

    Yeah, NYC Prep is sort of worthless. I'm very meh about the whole thing, and it just makes me miss Gossip Girl.

    I'm not even going to talk about 10 Things lest my heart explode all over my ribcage stain the tattered remains of my adolescence.

    Pretend that made sense.

  3. Anonymous OHD | 1:59 PM |  

    *I meant "and stain the tattered remains..."

    Typos make melodramatic comments so much less interesting.

  4. Blogger qualler | 2:02 PM |  

    Your heart exploding over the tattered remains of your adolescence is hereby the best visual of the day.

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 3:09 PM |  

    10 things was so terrible. Anna's right...we probably shouldn't talk about it, ever again.

    i also really miss gossip girl. :(

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