What Hollywood gets Right and Wrong about Teen Life


Campbell Cheers, Online News Director

A huge prom, pranks, an intimate graduation ceremony, crazy parties–many teen movies and TV shows present an unrealistic or exaggerated take on teenage life. They don’t show the full experience and most of the time skip the relatable parts.

“I think Hollywood can sometimes portray an idealistic version of what it feels like to be a teenager,” said social studies teacher Lisa Chinn. “I think one of the reasons why they do that is because they are remembering their youth, and they are remembering the good parts and not the bad parts,”

Producers and writers have had different experiences than teens today. Therefore teens will have different views on how things happen and movies today can get it wrong. When younger kids watch these teen movies, they create assumptions about how their teen years will be in the future.

Many shows and movies show an abundance of substance abuse, sex, and wild clothing choices. While risk-taking is part of being a teenager, the depictions on-screen are beyond what almost all adolescents experience.

“Whenever we watch Euphoria, they have all this glitter, and they’re all dancing and in a different zone, but it’s not like that here,” said sophomore Grace Watson. “On drugs […] it’s embarrassing. You’re all sweaty and gross and it’s not a good look. I think the best way to live out your teen life is to do what makes you happy and think about your future.”

Some movies may get it right even though they exaggerate the idea of teen life. If you are a rational thinker, movies that give the wrong idea don’t affect how you think because you know the harsh reality of how teens act and the lives they live.

“I believe that the high school spirit is the same as portrayed in Hollywood, but the actions may be a little overdramatic,” said senior Miles Tierney.