The Hilarious Downfall Of Teen Dramas

How Bad Writing Ruined Teen Dramas

McGlauthon (Mac) Fleming IV

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Drama television and movies set around teenagers have been a cornerstone of entertainment for decades. But, these days, teen dramas have met a sharp decline in quality and a sharp increase in unwatchability. From the unknown depths of stupidity found in the likes of Riverdale to the sheer mediocrity found in the newest version of Gossip Girl, it is all terrible, and it continues to get worse. There are a couple of main reasons that these recorded atrocities, figuratively speaking, keep popping up on our screens.

It has become clear that television marketed toward teenagers or any television featuring teenagers as the main characters is horrid. The genre is now a shell of its former self, even if it was not entirely that great in the first place. For example, the beloved Gilmore Girls stopped being good in the fifth season after waning in actually good writing for years. The writing in a television show, especially the writing of the characters in drama television is very important. And the later seasons of Gilmore Girls would end up being a showcase of how not to develop characters well, which teen dramas would run with for the next decade and a half. What makes it worse is that the network responsible for Gilmore Girls getting worse would still be around to this day.

The network in question, The CW, is a black hole full of exciting ideas and concepts almost always ruined by the barely passable execution. Even though it was founded a year after the show’s sharp reduction in caliber, it haunts television more than 14 years later. It consistently produces some of the biggest misses in television history. Yet, while everyone laughs at the showrunners of the network for doing so, The CW still turns enough of a profit to keep airing. That fact seems incredibly perplexing based on the sheer amount of terrible writing the CW has pushed out over the years. And now it’s affecting the rest of television.

HBO has a nearly spotless record when it comes to the quality of their shows. The ending of both The Sopranos and Game of Thrones may have been disappointing and Westworld season two may have been frightfully boring, but HBO was the king of television. Then they decided to reboot Gossip Girl and it was the worst thing they have ever done. The character assassination of Daenerys was easier to watch than the first season of Gossip Girl 2021. The characters were boring, the story was bland and again, the writing was bad. Now this would just be another recent failure on HBO’s part, but one that people could quickly work past.

Then everything changed when the film grain attacked. Euphoria season one was pretty great across all metrics and while it wasn’t perfect, it was some of the best that the teen drama genre had shown in years. Then the team delivered two pretty great special bottle episodes that showcased some great and down-to-earth writing combined with spectacular acting. Season two was in development for years and it was highly anticipated and the first episode was pretty great when it landed. The very next step made in the next episode led to the show falling on its face. The reason this is important is because Euphoria season two showcases the entire problem with teen drama shows with how quickly the writing fails its audience. It was like the writing dived off a building after a long hike to reign at the top and it serves as a reminded of the CW problem. The CW had infected one of the greatest television producers of the century with its mediocrity and every year, the industry standard for quality teenage writing grows lower and lower.