Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boozing Teens

As Amanda says, it's weird that mostly responsible drinking behavior by British teens is more disturbing to some than the blowout party binge drinking scenes one generally sees in US teen comedies. Even though the binge parties are portrayed as "fun" in some sense, there's also the underlying message that somehow drinking is irresponsible behavior. When the adults show up the party's over! Portray 16-18 year olds drinking without adults freaking out and suddenly it's an issue.

I think things would be a lot better if we acknowledged that whatever valid risks and concerns exist, people drink and party and kiss and have sex because they want to and because it's fun. People generally start doing these things long before society officially approves (sex) and before it's legal (drinking), and only portraying these behaviors as irresponsible might make the official tut-tutters feel better about themselves, but it doesn't actually encourage healthy behavior in these areas.

...and as for this:

I’d suggest another thing that’s changed dramatically since the 80s, and that’s how TV approaches the subject of drinking. I remember when characters that weren’t supposed to be derelicts on TV rarely, if ever, drank. But now, we see TV characters drink and often we even see them drunk, but that’s also followed up by something that you didn’t see in the 80s and early 90s---their friends arranging for drunk people to get home safely.

Yes, it was weird how for a long time no one actually had a drink on your typical sitcom/drama. There was a certain unreality about TV when I was growing up, it didn't reflect the reality of existence in any way.