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Skam: Why Norway does Television the Right Way

High school television shows are extremely popular and are continuing to progress in many ways. Skam, a Norwegian teen drama television series follows a group of Oslo teenagers as they learn lessons about topical issues in today’s high school environments. The show is directed, written and produced by one woman: Julie Andem. The realistic portrayal of a high school environment separates Skam from any other teenage/high school television show ever made. Here’s how.

It addresses bisexuality

Skam is one of the only teenage television shows to bring up and actually discuss bisexuality, through the character of Evan, who is bisexual in the show.

It feels intimate

The effects of filming the show with a low budget make each scene feel more intimate and real. This has created an effect that is hard to find in other teen television shows.

There are no adults

Andem wanted to “have the kids solve the problems on their own.” There is much more realism to the emotional toil each character goes through because it is all seen through social interactions with friends.

Characters were created for the actors

1,200 people auditioned for roles, and once teens were cast, the director created characters around them. This adds to the natural confrontation and dialogue between characters.

It was only promoted through social media and word of mouth

This was the best forum to reach the television show’s target audience, so the director strayed away from televised advertisement. The show is now popular in the United States, France, Norway and Sweden.

It focuses on small moments

There aren’t many major plot twists or events and most scenes are filmed at school or at home, where average teenagers spend their time. This adds to the strength of its authenticity.

I'm Mel, a hockey playing, musical performing, cat lover from Connecticut. An aspiring broadcast journalist, I hope to post content that captures the essence of emerson, while also encouraging others to make differences within their community.
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