Teen TV and the extinction of the Tween

Is the tween demographic shrinking in Hollywood’s representation of their characters?

“Due to network’s Least Offensive Programming agenda, showing teen sex, and subsequent teen pregnancy, continued to be taboo until the late 1990s”

STEFANIA MARGITHUN

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What is Teen TV:


Tween is the middle ground between middle and high schoolers, a time where uncertainty for the future reigns supreme. The awkwardness of holding your partner’s hand, navigating friendships in transitional periods, to hormonal changes affecting your everyday life. These experiences enhance the meanings of teenagehood and bring realism to TV and film.

As a digital media and film enthusiast, having great diversity in the entertainment industry is crucial. We often see TV companies go for shock value rather than compelling story arcs.

Euphoria:

Rue is pictured on the left, Jules is shown on the right

Euphoria Season 2 is a blatant example of this, the writer Sam Levison has an excellent eye for setting up the conflict between the characters. However, he usually skips pivotal arcs, which confuses the audience in receiving a complete picture of the characters’ motivations.

Sam was primarily focused on the visual aesthetic rather than the progressing plot. Nate’s arc exemplifies this with Jules, where there was a deep connection in their texts. However, both characters felt lost didn’t know what they needed to keep them moving forward.

However, because of the off-screen drama between Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, and Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate, their chemistry was never explored in season 2, which defeats the purpose of the setup in season 1 and showcases the chaos of the production of the show.

Gossip Girl:

Gossip Girl is an iconic piece of pop culture that focuses on rich teens who live in the upper east side of New York. The enjoyment of the series came from how out of touch the characters were with reality.

Season one of the original series is viewed as one of the best teen shows of all time. This is because the plot lines not only showed the characters going through ups and downs, but they also explored hierarchy and how the past interferes with the present.

In the 2021 reboot, critics argued how this show was mainly a cash grab to get the attention of new and old viewers of the original Gossip Girl. In trying to adapt progressive ideologies regarding Queer, polyamorous relationships, and more racial diversity.

But the series ultimately received a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes because of the messy plot holes and bland characters, according to critics and reviewers of the show.

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