Do Teen Dramas Cause Problems?


Nya Cash

In the past few years there have been growing concerns from different adults as more explicit teen targeted shows are released. These shows contain things such as drugs, love, death and more and have grown more and more inappropriate of the things that they convey. So the real question is, is this all make believe or are the things we as teenagers are watching actually having an effect on the things we think and do. Junior Kyle Luff explains “These shows give a source to look into about things teens are dealing with at that moment. It broadcasts certain things the majority of teenagers go through. 

Many teens like to enjoy these types of mature television shows because we relate to the things that are shown in them. In this day and age us as teens are exposed to so many more things in our daily lives like drugs, peer pressure, and erotic pressures. “It relates to my daily life because as a teenager we go through puberty and hormones so sex, feeling emotions, dating, bullying, etc. all relates to our lifeKyle adds.  These tv shows portray the different stresses and pressures we face as teenagers in high school. So maybe since we deal with them on a daily basis what’s wrong with us watching them conveyed. One of the biggest issues older people have with these shows being advertised is that it is reaching a much younger demographic. On this subject “kids will be kids and I have always believed that the more taboo you make something, the more desirable it will seem. So rather than restrictions, I think there should be more age advisements and more detailed/specific ones at that” Junior Caroline Lehman states. It is known that the younger you are the more vulnerable and susceptible to different things you are which is why mature themes and topics may be too much for them to handle.

Teenagers are affected more by everyday life than adults like to admit. Although  there has been  evidence of teens’ feelings changing  after watching these shows. When “13 reasons why” directed by Tom McCarthy which is about teen suicide came out, cases of teen suicide spiked. And the way that these teenagers were committing were identical to those of the main character in the show. The show was very graphic and showed everything which triggered many teens and sparked many debates about the show’s appropriateness and urging Netflix to take it down. Kyle Luff continues “I will never forget when I was in 7th grade 13 Reasons Why came out a week before …The show was very influential and was a defining moment in pop culture with the storyline”. Same with the show Euphoria starring Zendaya directed by Sam Levinson. This show conveyed a teenage drug addict and other teenagers partaking in drugs, alcohol and sexual activity. Some may say in a few ways that these things are portrayed in a positive light. Many teenagers posted online about how they felt after season 1 airing and that they now felt tempted to partake in drugs and wear sparkly makeup. So maybe the parents have a point.

But you also have to consider the possibility that these shows can teach teens viable lessons. “The more advanced subject matter can in some ways be educational. You can learn about some real life topics that aren’t taught in school or that your parents or peers might not know about” Caroline explains. Maybe when we see things on television and the aftermath it will prompt us to not want to try them ourselves. In the show 13 Reasons Why, the main character dealing with her battles with depression and anxiety after many traumas is depicted. It shows the result of her taking her life and the affects the tapes she made about why she did it had on the people around her. Many teens came out about how the show made them want to get help with their depression and bullying rates dropped. And Euphoria shows the dangers of doing drugs, especially as a teenager and what it could lead to. The main character in the show battles with addiction and has to go to rehab. It shows the nasty side of drugs and what they do to a person’s mind. So these dramas aren’t all bad. They don’t just show all the good sides of these tough topics. They often teach lessons and since teens relate to them they are more likely to open up and listen.