Friday, 26 October 2012

I Think We See Bells Differently

If you were watching TV anytime in the early to mid 90’s, you knew of shows like Saved by the Bell, Breaker High, 90210, Boy Meets World, Hang Time… and the many others you all knew and watched (even if you would try to deny it now). Did anybody ever feel like these shows accurately depicted your real-life high school experience? Like, at all? 

My school can’t be the only one that didn’t have camera crews following around one group of kids. OK, but seriously, when were these kids ever actually in class? I know the shows aren’t supposed to be centred around watching kids be in class and rather are focused on their lives as a whole. You know, all that “coming of age" shit. But really? Do you all really have that much time to be hanging out at the mall, buying meals at The Max, discussing tough personal issues with your principal- who also happens to be your next-door neighbour, or going on day trips in some exotic country in place of actual schooling?  And I don't know about any of you, but I was never saved by any bells!

All of these shows were our dream high school days, not any sort of actual reality. And if they were close to your particular high school days, can you let me know? Cause I’ll send my kids there one day.  

Instead of the glamour and the apparent buttloads of money to be spending on eating out (yet never gaining weight) and buying new clothes every week, my high school life was much more…subtle. I got up and walked to school, attended classes (mostly), ate lunch in a cafeteria where I can assure you everyone did not know everyone else, and food fights did not break out, and lunch wasn’t free! After lunch, it was back to classes (mostly) and then I walked my ass home. Yes, I often went to friends’ homes or they came to mine, maybe we went for a bike ride, or if it was a special day perhaps we had some extra money to go to the movies, go to a party, grab a burger (not a combo).  We didn’t have a special diner we all met at right after school, nor could many of my friends actually afford to buy themselves food.

Aside from homework and chatting with my friends about the cutest boys in our classes, I worked at a farm. Bet you’ve never seen that on a teen TV show? You see, I owned a horse at the age of 12 and had to work my ass off to ensure I could pay her monthly board each month. My mom didn’t buy the horse, so she didn’t pay for the horse. OK, so this is perhaps my own unique situation, and most definitely not everyone’s high school experience. All I’m saying, is where are all the realistic shows at? I suppose they just wouldn’t be interesting and dramatic enough for TV. 

This never happened but was the only female farm worker picture I could find, to which I say- "seriously?!"

                “Shannon walks home from school with her best friend talking about what Brad said in class that day to her.  The friends reach their individual corners to turn to their homes and part ways until tomorrow morning, when they reconvene for the walk back to school. Shannon drops her bag at the front door and gets changed to go to work. But work for her isn’t a uniform, no it’s some old jeans and t-shirt getup that already smells of horses… and a slight scent of poop.”

I guess it just doesn’t have the same interest level, does it?

And nowadays (feeling very old saying that) there are shows like Glee… which possibly depict a bit more of a realistic approach to how high school actually is. Except possibly too far the other way. Let’s start with, no one in my high school (of over 1000 teens) ever threw a slushie in someone’s face because they weren’t cool. It didn’t happen. 
A stabbing? Yes. 
A shooting? Absolutely! 
Slushie throwing? Nope. 

Also, let’s face it Glee kids (or loser group equivalent) you never became cool where people started understanding and embracing your differences. Sure that would be nice in an ideal world, but reality sucks. So don't let Glee gets your hopes up.

So, tell me what was your high school experience more relatable to? Saved by the Bell, Glee… or no where even close to either? Cause I’m going with option c on this one, folks.

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