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December 01 2006

There's a little high school in many 'grown-up' shows. Discusses Buffy, Veronica Mars, and other series that suffer from the misperception that they're not really meant for grown-ups - and how many "grown-up" series seem to be stuck in a high school mentality.

So true..so true.
I really enjoyed the article.
I remember laughing really loudly at the line "it's like high school with scalpels" during an episode of Grey's. And the character nailed it perfectly -- it really is high school with scalpels. Just like freshman year of college is just like high school, with more work, more books and no babying.
"Buffy" and "Veronica Mars" are more adult shows than "Grey's Anatomy." I watch GA, but I often feel silly for watching it, because the characters and their "problems" are so very adolescent. I would be terrified being treated by a physician who's worrying about whether to sleep with McDreamy or McDoggy, and where he/she left their underwear. (True, our physicians may be like this or worse - but real life doctors are scary, too!)

Buffy, on the other hand, really did have the weight of the world on her shoulders, and had to learn what her priorities were, make painful sacrifices, and give up on many of her own hopes and dreams, because her reality dictated it. Those are the kinds of things most adults have to do on a daily basis.

I'm 49-years-old and find more to identify with in Buffy than in Grey's Anatomy - and I could never stand "Friends" or "Ally McBeal," or even "Seinfeld," because the characters were so trite and shallow.
Yes, very true. I've always regarded "ER" as a melodrama that was set in a hospital. And I've watched it since that Clooney guy was smiling his way through the nursing staff.
I applaud this article greatly. Shows like Ugly Betty and Friends--not to mention Sex and the City, which I was surprised didn't get a mention--are shallow, vain, and often immature whereas high school shows like Buffy and Veronica are far more intelligent and mature.

The only points of disagreement I have with the article are minor: Friday Night Lights is decent but there's no way I would watch it week to week (I've really only seen the first ep and bits of the others), I enjoy Studio 60 despite its disappointing flaws, and the potshot at The Office...isn't immature high schoolers put inside cubicles and given responsibility--and the subsequent horrifyingly hilarious consequences--the point of both the British and American incarnations of the show?
Aw, come on, Friends was a great show. I guess I'm not one to stick my nose up in air and say it was too immature for me, it was funny and I think that was the point of the whole show. If it makes me laugh, it is mature enough for me, and that would include Sponge Bob Squarepants.
While Buffy was on I tried to get a friend at work to watch it. He was a fan of Ally McBeal but refused to give BtVS a go. One was set is a law firm and so was "Adult" and one was set in school and so was a "Kids show" and that was it as far as he was concerned. He could happily watch dancing babies and bizzare asides but watch a show about vampires in high school? No way.
The show was about vampires in high school? Really? Wacky. ;-)
My dad saw about 10 minutes of Veronica Mars and then said...

Dad: So, are they robots?
Me: What?!... No... What?! Why would you think they're robots?
Dad: Well, why do they talk so weird? That's not how people talk.

So Veronica Mars may be adult, but a lot of adults are clueless about modern slang and pop-culture. And it makes their crazy robot talk indecipherable.
...isn't immature high schoolers put inside cubicles and given responsibility--and the subsequent horrifyingly hilarious consequences--the point of both the British and American incarnations of the show?

In this situation, it works, because we've all worked in places with idiot bosses and co-workers. It's a little different when you know characters like Michael, Dwight, and Angela are the butt of the jokes, and there are more normal characters like Pam and Jim who represent the sane "us." In cases like "Friends," the characters were adolescents who never grew up, no matter what stage of life they moved into.

So Veronica Mars may be adult, but a lot of adults are clueless about modern slang and pop-culture. And it makes their crazy robot talk indecipherable.

A lot of younger people are clueless as well - and some of us adults understand every syllable and nuance.
I really enjoyed this article. I have to admit that one of the reasons I didn't watch Buffy when it was on TV was because I didn't want to watch a show about teen angst in high school - and I didn't particularly like vampires! The former was a result of having watched the first season of "Felicity" and it took me back to memories I didn't want to relive. Now, of course, I have watched Buffy all the way through at least three times in the two years since I finally started and will sing its praises to anyone who will listen - and even some who don't want to ;-). And I love "Veronica Mars".

Although I found the characters on "Friends" to be young, and didn't watch the show on any kind of a consistent basis, I did/do remember what my 20s were like and could identify with some of the things they did. What I couldn't take was the characters on "Seinfeld" who were supposed to be in their mid- to late-thirties and still acted like adolescents! IMO, of course.

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