Once upon a time, I tried watching Riverdale, and failed. It started so-so, then went and become weird, and quality went way down. I tried watching Euphoria and it was a torture from beginning to the end. I am fully aware I don't like to watch anything that is about high school and teenagers and children. As soon as I see the words "teenagers" or "high school" in movie or series description, I totally lose interest in it. I am fully grown up person, middle aged woman and nothing about schools or teenagers or children isn't in any way relatable or interesting to me anymore. To me, those are just children and I can't relate to them anymore, I don't find them attractive or particularly interesting, which is, I guess, normal for an adult. While I like horror genre, which also likes to "use" teenagers as characters, I am not fond of that part of genre either. I am much more comfortable watching horror or any other genre with full grown adults. Why would I enjoy watching fictional kids being fictionally slaughtered?
Recently, I started watching "One of us is lying" as it was on cable, and it looked like a decent thriller and... surprise, surprise! It's about high school kids! All main characters are 16 or 17, I have no idea, because they are clearly played by adults. That's supposed to calm down viewers during sex or murder scenes, and make them not to feel like total pervert when those "kids" are dressed and made up like grown up super models. Same problem as with Euphoria or Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale and many other series which happen in high school is the same pattern. High school children are played by very good looking adults, ages 20 or 25 and even over 30! Problem with that is that those characters, which are supposed to be children, are clearly sexualized over the top, not only in their looks, but also in numerous sex scenes and other scenes of clearly very adult behavior. In Euphoria, most "teen" girls wear heavy make up, dress in super tight super short revealing clothes which would make porn stars blush, and sex scenes are quite revealing, steamy, and ironically, often R rated! One of us is lying is also presenting child characters as attractive full grown people who look, think and behave like adults. Since, in all those series, "kids" are played by clearly adult actors (children of that age NEVER look like that), I guess that is supposed to make viewers more comfortable with hyper-sexualization.
But question is: why does it always have to be a high school? Why any of these series couldn't happen in college? Or, I don't know, anywhere between adults? Why is Hollywood so obsessed with high school and teenagers? I went to high school once long time ago, I see teenagers in the streets or in buses all the time and they don't look anything like that. They look and behave like kids. Boys don't have large muscular bodies and chiseled face of 30 year old man, girls don't really look like women, well.. most of them don't. There are always those who wear too much make up and dress like adults, but I think, hope, that's minority. Children should be just children. There is nothing sexy in teenagers. Those two words should not be even i same sentence! Kids should never ever be even fictionally, played by adults, in sex scenes! Ever! Why not put "One of us is lying" in college? What would change? Would the story suffer so much? I don't get it. Why encourage constantly sexualization of children? That's so sick. Not even the fact that they are played by adults can make that acceptable. That is just the way to make all feel "better" creating or watching such abominations. To makes us feel less as pervs.
Is it so hard to make high school series where children are not over sexualized? Like try it with '90s Heartbreak high. Yes, there are some dark themes in this series, and some really tough explorations of difficult situations that can happen to teenagers. But they are not sexualized. Not even when they are played by people who are over 18. It's much easier to watch. I used to watch that when I was young, and there was always valuable lesson in each episode, and troubles, struggles and problems were tough and real, and we got to identify with these adolescents. I don't know if I were teenager today, how the hell would I identify with some 28 year old woman, dressed in super tight glittery dress, which shows her ample cleavage, legs, tight flat stomach and pretty much everything else, all perfect with no single pimple or greasy hair, wears tone of make up and has super professionally done hair, who walks in 5 inch heals into school and has sex with 10 boys before dinner, while having huge hunk of boyfriend, also played by some 30 year old man who is constantly forgetting to put a shirt on? And yes, they all drive expensive cars and have adult problems.
For which audience are those shows made? For teenagers? Hardly. So many R rated scenes, not for kids. For adults? To watch "underage" adolescents problems about sex, relationships, drugs, crime, and to watch uncomfortable sex scenes between two who are supposed to be kids (but luckily are not)?
Why is Hollywood so obsessed with high school?