Teenagers are usually represented as dumb, ignorant and self-obsessed. While this is true for some teenagers (just like it’s true for some adults), it’s a deeply disconnected representation. For a long time we had no one to relate to, no one to represent us and not make fun of us.
And then along came Daria. Daria is a TV show about a 17 year old girl who is disconnected from the peers that surround her. She hates their superficiality, obsession for social groups and shallow-ness. She’s probably one of the most quotable teenagers to have ever come out from this world. Here are some for your inner angsty-ness and general distaste for the world:
If you want to know more cool facts and analysis that I am not educated enough to give yet, then watch the video of NostalgiaChick below — it’s like watching Daria give a review of her life:
After Daria, there wasn’t really a TV show that respected teenagers and their hormones and vulnerability mixed with that odd feeling of being aware of your mortality yet having random bursts of “I AM IMMORTAL!!” for no particular reason. This generated a collection of think pieces and articles reminiscing over The Show That Knew Teenz, and also a generation of new teenagers (me being one of them) that magically stumbled upon this show that no one had ever told you about before, making it feel special and close to your heart because you discovered this and no one else in the whole wide world knew about it…kind of. My generation of people (holy crap I sound so egotistical) has been left with next to no mainstream films/TV shows/novels that encompass the feeling of being a teenager, or showed a teenager in an actual fucking realistic light rather than shoving in our faces how unhappy and blind sighted we should be because we’re not all rich, privileged and pretty. We’re not allowed to watch shows to look for ourselves anymore, at least not in the ‘teen genre’, instead we’re only allowed to watch to escape because our lives and what we have to say is so obviously unimportant it doesn’t deserve any attention.
However, thanks to some god-like figure there is some hope left. Once in a while the men that control what everyone in Hollywood thinks, feels and talks about decide to not act like total capitalist assholes and actually take a risk and let us have something with depth. Of course, most of the time it isn’t due to these men, but rather the people behind the shows and films that have worked so hard for them to be commissioned/sold/shown, and for some odd reason teenagers like it when they can relate to characters and have voices representing us that we like? Like, why would we ever want that? So, the men in suits with lots of excess money in their hands see they’re going to make money out of this and HOORAH! A TV show/film that doesn’t make you lose hope with the world is born. What a beautiful life.
Below are the fictional Queens of Youth from TV shows and films that I believe every girl should watch before she reaches 18 (I recommend playing godly, angelic music for this section of the post) (also these are limited only to the films and shows I’ve watched, so if you have any other recommendations/personal favourites the please comment them below!!) (enough parenthesis let’s go):
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. Tina is my personal hero and queen and she just encapsulated everything I am, want to be and probably will be. From her love of butts to her ability to literally not care what people think (she doesn’t even think what people think — she just does it) Tina Belcher will always have my <3.
Oh, Veronica. The amount of times I have watched Heathers. The amount of times I have dreamt of having a relationship like your’s and J.D.’s (before the killing/suicide part). I love Veronica Sawyer because she is gutsy, admits to her flaws and her general message is to just be nice. Michael Lehmann and Daniel Waters have my wholehearted respect for making this film, as it was such a big move, and, despite the dark comedy and themes, focus is still placed on the angst of being a teenager, and taking seriously. “Dear diary, my teen angst bullshit now has a body count” will forever be my favourite quote.
Winona Ryder appreciation part 2. Tim Burton never presents Lydia Deetz’s angst and sadness as being overemotional or stupid. Instead, like the others on this list, importance is placed on these feelings and this film captures perfectly the sadness felt in youth.
I feel liked Lisa is often overlooked since she’s on the longest running American sit-com and animation, but she is such a good character. She is multi-faceted, cares about boys, but also her education, and often exposes gender-roles, misogyny and prejudice.
The point with this is that it’s important for us teenz to have characters we can relate and look up to, and often the biggest mistake with producers and the Men With Money isn’t them making clichéd characters (in fact that’s perfectly fine, since most characters are clichés, but are played and written well so it doesn’t mock them — see The Mindy Project), but rather them not taking a teenager’s emotions and angst and hormones seriously. We need these characters in our lives, because at times, youth does feel unbearable — and who are we going to run to when it feels as though we have no one else?