Teen TV Shows Handle Death With Care, Grace, & Nuance


This expectation would already be tough enough to handle for anyone, but coupled with the often unwavering need to not want to feel like the odd one out, it can be a difficult terrain to navigate. “Teens want to be accepted, and their friendships are incredibly important to them, and often they don’t want to appear different, meaning that they suppress how they truly feel as they fear being rejected,” Kenny says. To those on the outside, it might seem like these characters are “getting over” their grief by resuming their normal lives, like going back to school the day after a death. As we’ve seen in shows like Degrassi and movies like 2022’s The Fallout, this can have detrimental effects. In The Fallout, Vada  uses drugs as a way to cope after a school shooting, before ultimately seeking help for her PTSD. When her boyfriend Campbell dies by suicide in Degrassi, Maya Matlin returns to school and her cello practices. She pretends that nothing happened, fearful of being associated with — or blamed — for his death.



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