I spend my days coming up with smartass comments and daydreaming.
When I do watch TV, it is something bright and intellectual that I will then talk about for days with my family, who are also all watching this show (looking at you, Broadchurch and Orphan Black).
But I’m also a teenager. And there is a whole world of television aimed directly at my demographic. When I am stressed out and exhausted, it’s a lot easier to watch a show with airbrushed attractive people working out drama that is completely unlike any drama I have, than it is to watch a show with intellectual people speaking quickly and talking about problems that the world is actually facing today.
I won’t defend it. I’m being sucked in for exactly the reasons the market wants me to be. I started watching shows “ironically,” and then realized a couple of seasons later… I was actually interested in how the plot would turn out. Oh, well.
1. Your true friends will be there for you no matter what, and that’s why you shouldn’t ever hurt them.
Friends are the people who stick with you for non-genetic reasons, and if you’re lucky enough to know them practically from birth, they’re the ones who will watch you grow up through the awkward phases and into adulthood. As a result, they’ll witness your temper in full glory, and still be there. But you’d better do the same for them, because that’s what friendship is: a bond that goes both ways.
2. It’s okay to complicate things.
Saying words like “I like you,” or “I’m sorry” can seem daunting. They almost always do. But in the end, everything sorts itself out. The people who run away come back if they’re worth it, or else we can chase them down, and talk it out. Communication matters, and blocking people isn’t worth it. It’s okay to mess life up a little bit, because better to lay things out in the open than it is to bottle up the unpleasantness.
3. Nothing is irreconcilable
(cred: the Skins website)
Remember that horrible, nasty character from season one? Well, now that you’re on season five, that character is probably still a part of the main cast, and is also now a somewhat comedic (and occasionally dark and complicated) part of the main cast, aka the hero team. By the time the show’s finale rolls around, they’ll probably be one of the ones you cry for.
This holds true for real life. You might think you hate someone now, but if you go through enough with them, you might end up being friendly, and if you keep talking, you could end up being friends. It goes back to communication. If you establish common ground, then you can reconcile your differences. Maybe not forget about them, but reconcile them. I have a friend whom I spent years not being able to stand. We spent nearly ten months not speaking to each other at all. Now? We talk. We found common ground and we stand upon it proudly, choosing to look at the present and the future instead of scowling sullenly at our past.
4. Don’t give up on yourself.
Just about every TV show I have ever watched, teen-oriented or not, has a season arc in which a character gives up on themself. It never ends well. Likewise, in life, there are those times when it’s easier to stop and break down rather than pushing forwards. But as the saying goes, “the right thing and the easy thing are never the same.”
5. In the end, it’ll be okay.
After a season full of drama, it might not all go back to normal, but there will be enough of a hopeful note that they’ll come back to watch next season. Conflicts get resolved. During the season itself, everything seems like it is about to fall apart. But we don’t watch the shows for the awful things that happen. Those aren’t the reasons we care about the characters. We care about them because of the happy And by the time the end credits play on the last episode, we know that at least some of the situation is resolved. That’s how TV works, but it’s also the way that life can work too, if we stop worrying about the bad things that happen and start to look at the future as place of opportunity.
(cred: the cw website)
These “lessons” show up in the “good” TV, too. They show up in life, in books, all over the place.
It doesn’t matter where we run into lessons like this. It matters that we pay attention to them when we notice them.