When it comes to television, there have been teen dramas that have defined a big part of my adolescence. The first one that pops up in my mind definitely has to be the iconic show Gossip Girl, or the unnecessarily long Pretty Little Liars, or cringy but yet lovable Glee. There are honestly still so many teen shows that many adolescents and teenagers can enjoy. However, what about the college student demographic? Look I’m not saying you can’t enjoy Riverdale just because you are 19 years old, I’m just curious as to why television shows lack a college setting or characters whose arc of their journey surrounds it.
There’s no denying that there is a strong teen demographic among cable television and digital streaming, and honestly, our demographic of 18-21-year-olds could get away enjoying teen dramas. However, those who are entering adulthood and who might be in a different mindset are probably far more interested in things beyond high school drama/issues. Personally, the only college-set shows that I could think of are literally Grown-ish and A Different World. I’m not sure as to why Hollywood thinks coming-of-age stories stop at being a high schooler but I feel like screenwriters should challenge themselves in this area.
Time in college serves as a perfect function that allows a character to discover themselves or engage in scenarios that an audience can find relatable. Additionally, this time in your life is where you don’t know exactly who you are and yet external pressures expect you to know what career you want to go into or other external challenges. I think this gives a lot of creative freedom in regards to writing a great series. Not only that but 4 years gives the perfect amount of seasons.
There is honestly so much Hollywood could play within a setting like this, and I feel they’re being neglectful in terms of creativity. I see so much of teen reboot series like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars and yet there are barely any shows set in college or postgraduate life. Post-graduate life is literally another great way to story-tell in terms of transitioning into college into being a full-time adult.
Hopefully, things will change in the future, and TV production companies will invest in genres other than teen shows for our demographic. Who knows, maybe Hollywood should hire me at this point. If there is anyone out there who is a screenwriter I beg, please make undergraduate and postgraduate shows because I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who feels this way.