Codes and conventions of a teen drama film

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Codes and conventions of a teen drama film

  1. 1. CODES AND CONVENTIONS OF A TEEN DRAMA FILM
  2. 2. THEMES- REBELLION Rebellion is another good example of a common theme in teen dramas. In real life, nearly all teenagers go through a period of rejecting all things authoritarian, resulting in conflict with teachers, parents and police, underage drinking, sex and violence. This has therefore become quite a relatable topic for teenagers as they all go through this stage which makes the film relatable and therefore more appealing. A good example of a teen film based on rebellion is The Breakfast Club.
  3. 3. THEMES- SEXUALITY Another common theme in teen dramas is sexuality because for lots of people, they realise the nature of their sexuality when they become teenagers. This has become an issue because of the possibility of discrimination from parents, peers and society in general.As so manystruggle with their sexuality, it could be seen as a good focus for a teen drama. An example of a film based on teen sexuality is Get Real.
  4. 4. THEMES- SEX Underage sex is a common theme in teen dramas, mainly because it is an issue adolescents struggle with when growing up. For example, teenagers are faced with dilemmas such as pregnancy scares, knowing the right age to have sex and with who? Because teenagers can relate to this so well, it acts as a topic that that would prove to be popular in films for teenagers. It also proves to be quite a comedic topic as well, making it even more appealing to teenagers. An example is American Pie, the movie brings up issues such as pressure to lose your virginity, safe sex, the dangers etc
  5. 5. THEMES-DRUGS Drug use plays a big part in growing up as quite a lots of teenagers either use or have been pressured into experimenting with drugs. Teen dramas often feature drugs and portray them in different ways. For example in some moviess, drugs are presented as something exciting and risky which creates an appeal; something that makes the character a ‘loser’ and isolates drug users as ‘stoners’ and sometimes they’re even portrayed as a rite of passage for teenagers. An example is 21 Jump Street, it highlights just how common it is among teenagers and why its so appealing.
  6. 6. THEMES- MENTAL HEALTH Mental health has on recently become a popular theme in teen dramas, mainly because mental health is being taken more seriously and is being recognised as a sickness which genuinely needs treatment. Anxiety, eating disorders and depression etc. are some of the most commons among teens, therefore mental is an ideal topic for a movie as so many teens can relate. An example is The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
  7. 7. MUSIC- DANCE/POP Often in teen movies, dance and party mysuc is used to portray their carefree attitude towards life and responsibilty and rules. This happy music is often linked to dance which is basically a celebration which can make the audience feel equally as euphoric as the characters. An example is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO in 21 Jump Street, during the party scene. The upbeat music makes the audience feel what the characters are feeling.
  8. 8. MUSIC- RAP/TRAP/GRIME Rap is often used in american teen drama films, particularly gang films. They also represent rebellion but are mainly an expression of anger, struggles and hardships. However for british teen dramas such as Kidulthood, trap and grime music is the more popular- probably because its more representative of british culture. An example is Changes by Tupac in Freedom Writers.
  9. 9. MUSIC- INDIE/ACCOUSTIC In teen movies, indie and accoustic music is used to portray emotional or sad scenes as the soft tones can portray the characters pain or melancholy and thus allow us the audience to feel it too. For example, in The Edge of Seventeen, when Nadine feels isolated we hear a soft instrumental which allows the audience to empathise with her. Another example is Wonderwall by Oasis in My Mad Fat Diary
  10. 10. MUSIC- ROCK Rock music is often used in teen dramas to represent rebellion and excitement. For example if a teen character goes to a party and experiments with drugs, rock music would be appropriate. Rock music itself is about rebellion and losing control so is a perfect fit. An example is Bad Reputation in the film Easy A
  11. 11. CHARACTERS- THE LOVE INTEREST Almost every teen drama involves a love interest for the protagonist/antagonist. This is to create a sense of romance- a feature which attracts a lot of the target audience (particularly female members). Sometimes there can even be more that one love interest, causing an issue for the protagonist and a love triangle. An example is the love triangle in The Duff. Bianca is in love with Toby but slowly, her friend Wesley begins to fall in love with her.
  12. 12. CHARACTERS- THE BEST FRIEND This character is in nearly all teen dramas. The best friend acts as a sidekick and and advisor to the main hcaracter. This character isnt usually very interesting so as not to distract from the protagonist’s appeal. They act as as a fill character to make the film seem more realistic and are in a lot of the main scenes. Sometimes, they can become the love interest for the protagonist or even the antagonist. An example is Rhiannon in Easy A. She starts off as Olive’s best friend but eventually ends up turning against her and becomes one of the antagonists.
  13. 13. CHARACTER- THE ANTAGONIST The antagonist is the bad guy in a teen drama. It is usually a rival, teenage or could even be figurative-such as a mental health issue. The antagonist normally causes the issue for the protagonist and sometimes is the main character. The antagonist is one of the most important characters in the film because without them, there would be no issue and therefore no story line. An example of an antagonist is Cancer in the Fault in our stars or Harriet in Wild Child.
  14. 14. CHARACTER- THE WISE ADULT In teen dramas, there always seems to be a specific adult character with a significant role without posing as a threat. The character gives advice or acts as a parent or friend to the protagonist. An example is Ben in The Fundamentals of Caring. He’s the carer to Trevor but acts like a friend, swearing and joking around with Crevor, giving him advice, teaching him lessons etc.

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