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Tag: Teen Drama (1-8 of 8)

'Faking It': Are you on board with MTV's faux lesbians?

What does it take for a gimmick-based show to rise above its gimmick?

The same things it takes for any series to succeed, I suppose: writing that avoids cliche, strong plotting, assured performances from actors playing fully formed characters. Still, a show like Faking It — one that’s designed around a purposefully shocking premise (“pretend lesbians!!!”) — might necessarily find it more difficult to grow past its pilot than, say, a show that’s about six pals just hanging out, or one that focuses on the minutiae of office life.

That said: There’s definite potential in Faking It, which takes the basic DNA of Awkward. (girl’s social status changes after everyone starts believing a lie about her) and gives it an even edgier twist. READ FULL STORY

Apple's 'Misunderstood' commercial: Have yourself a merry little cry -- VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 10.18.29 PM

Uh oh. You better sack up and secretly edit poignant home movies on your iPhones, pouty teens!

Apple’s new 90-second Christmas commercial just had me sobbing into my own iPhone as I went about my usual antisocial business of splaying out on the couch, ignoring this great big wondrous world around me, and playing with filters on Instagram. Here’s how good Apple commercials are: I didn’t even need to see this one to know I was already obsessed with it — much like your sulky teen won’t ever need to make real eye contact with his relatives to know and eventually show that he loves them (if you’re lucky) (and if you’ve purchased him an iPhone 5S).

Obviously, I did look up at one point… then replayed this commercial again and again. You wanna cry? READ FULL STORY

'The Spectacular Now' and three other coming-of-age movies worth watching


What is it about the coming-of-age movie? Is there any other kind of film that can hit so many sweet and bittersweet spots, or transport you back to a time when all that mattered was that secret crush and who was taking you to the senior prom? Personally, I wish there was a different name for this genre, as it always feels slightly like it’s describing movies about puberty or someone’s Bar Mitzvah. But that aside, these movies for me — and I’m sure for a lot of you — are the ones I tend to be attracted to when it comes to cinematic comfort food.

This weekend brings The Spectacular Now. I’d argue that this movie is the closest thing we’ve come — yes, even counting last year’s amazing and wonderful The Perks of Being a Wallflower — to hitting the same zone as those movies in the Golden Era of the Coming-of-Age Movie, also known as the time when John Hughes was making films. EW’s Owen Gleiberman, who awarded Now an A– rating this week in the magazine, says: “It’s one of the rare truly soulful and authentic teen movies. It’s about the experience of being caught on the cusp and not knowing which way you’ll land.”


This Week's Cover: The Surprising Power of 'Pretty Little Liars'


Television isn’t just about ratings anymore. Now networks are fighting to earn the “most social” title for their hit shows, and one of the savviest series in the social media universe is the over-the-top teen mystery Pretty Little Liars. The ABC Family phenomenon and its digitally-inclined stars — Lucy Hale, 23; Ashley Benson, 23; Shay Mitchell, 25; and Troian Bellisario, 27 — are changing how networks measure success, one photobomb, tweet, status update, and Keek video at a time.

Some of the of their posts may be related to the ABC Family drama, where the girls play an atypically glamorous high school foursome tormented by anonymous and cunning cyberbullies out to punish the friends of a dead queen bee. But the cast’s real gift is for unleashing more personal-flavored details — a video of Benson slinking around to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” with person-of-interest James Franco; photos of Hale in the studio recording her country album — that serve as a dose of gossip-crack for viewers and fans, which keeps them clicking and tuning in. Pretty Little Liars draws 3.8 million viewers each week, while also maintaining a colossal digital footprint of more than 10 million likes on Facebook, a Twitter handle (@ABCFpll) with a million-plus followers, and four stars who collectively reach more than 5.5 million with a tweet or retweet. (Hale alone boasts 2.2 million Twitter followers.)

'Pretty Little Liars' Halloween episode react: 6 burning questions

Last night’s Halloween episode of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was — as has come to be the norm with this dark-and-twisty show — rather explosive. Well, not literally explosive — although that wouldn’t be out of the realm for this drama. But so much happened when our Pretty Little Liars foursome — Aria, Spencer, Hannah, and Emily — jumped on that Halloween night Ghost Train with (most of) the rest of Rosewood. And Adam Lambert. Yes, Adam Lambert was there, too! He performed two songs, which were actually pretty fun to watch.

And despite the photo attached here where Hannah looks like she’s smiling, that’s not the reaction I think most people would have from watching the episode. No smiles after the deadly episode! My major response was: Huh? So many questions! (Again, not shocking with this show.)

Questions like: Who killed Garrett? Who is the Queen of Hearts? Was that Alison’s body in the ice chest? Was that creepy little girl the same one from last year’s Halloween episode? Whose hand popped out of the ground? And, rather importantly: Could Ezra be on the “A” team? All those questions are why I thought it best to react to the hour by dissecting (or trying to dissect!) some of the biggest burning questions from last night’s episode:


Rachael Leigh Cook and Chad Michael Murray lock lips for Funny or Die

Hey, remember that great early ’00s movie where Rachael Leigh Cook and Chad Michael Murray basically just make out for two hours? No? That’s because it didn’t exist — until now.

Funny or Die’s latest saliva-soaked masterpiece features the stars of She’s All That and One Tree Hill engaging in a tonsil hockey game that just… won’t… end. The soft focus! The reign of destruction, reminiscent of Cook’s amazing anti-drug PSA! The disgusting part with the sandwich! The reminder that both of these actors are, in fact, still people! Bravo, Funny or Die — you win major Millennial nostalgia points today. Watch and be amazed:


Back to school with 'Boy Meets World': What's your favorite moment?

Why was Boy Meets World trending on Twitter this morning? Maybe it’s because tons of teens and college students begin classes today; maybe it’s because ABC Family shows reruns of that beloved sitcom weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Either way, I’m not complaining. Fall is in the air, and the season always brings a hefty dose of nostalgia with it. (Find me a so-called grown-up who doesn’t secretly want to go school supply shopping, and I’ll find you a liar.)

And while it’s been 12(!) years since Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and their pals left the TGIF lineup, the show still looms large in Millennial memories. Thanks to reruns, YouTube (full episodes via ABC TV On Demand!), and obsessive Tumblrs like Boy Meets World Gifs, we never have to forget the gang from Philly or their rough road to adulthood, maturity, and fake Pennbrook University’s married student dorms. BMW‘s signature mixture of goofy comedy and gooey melodrama helped separate it from the slew of sitcoms cluttering schedules in the mid- to late ’90s, and even today, its jokes and characters still resonate — though Shawn’s boy band hair hasn’t aged quite as well as Rider Strong himself.

In honor of the symbolic first day of school, let’s take a minute to remember our favorite Boy Meets World moments.  READ FULL STORY

'Secret Life of The American Teenager' react: Those parents are crazy

The Secret Life of The American Teenager returned last night after a lengthy absence from the TV schedule, delivering all the angsty glory we’ve been missing. Ben’s new girl, Dylan, introduced him to marijuana, Grace drove another guy away by sucking face with Jack, and Adrian didn’t break up anyone’s relationship. Just kidding about the latter. We all know the spicy teen bride couldn’t resist throwing her sexual energy around, but at least she felt bad about it this time. Baby steps, ladies and gents, baby steps. READ FULL STORY

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