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School in America is different to say the least. Bomb threats, school shooting threats, rumors and bullying are not uncommon, which is sad to say. However, most TV shows only show American high schools as a dream come true for students. That is not always the case.
On Oct. 16, Netflix released the show “Grand Army,” yet another show about teens’ life in American high schools. The show takes place in New York, and over the course of nine episodes, it follows the various lives of students who attend the competitive Grand Army High School. Many topics are addressed from bombings to sexual assault, making the show an important demonstration of growing up in society today.
The writers managed to create many smaller stories within the overall plot. For example, Laila (Amalia Yoo) struggles with trying to fit in as a freshman, maintain her only friendship and develop popularity with boys. She becomes one of the most hated characters during the season as every time it feels like she is taking a step forward, she is really taking two steps back.
Another brilliant aspect of the show is that the show depicts the realities of high school and growing up in a pretty realistic way, something that so many TV shows and movies try yet fail to do. In each episode, the audience learns something new about a character or watches them face a realistic challenge that some high schoolers genuinely have to go through.
Rotten Tomatoes gave the show a 71 percent rating, which is well deserved. The show has an interesting plot line and covers extremely important topics that must be addressed. There is focus on racism, sexual assault, struggling with sexual identity and so much more that is often overlooked in generic teen shows. Each actor plays their character so perfectly, and while the audience might not like each one, there is an appreciation for the talent the cast has.
While the show is definitely worth watching, there are still some flaws. Some of the acting and lines can get extremely cringeworthy and cliche. There is also a lot to keep up with each episode, making the show a little hard to follow. It is difficult to know if drama still exists between two characters or when a certain event is happening, or may have even happened, like the fact that half of the cast is part of the swim team and it is only mentioned once or twice.
“Grand Army” is definitely worth watching, but be prepared to have some frustrations as each episode goes on. The realistic teenage depiction keeps the viewer interested throughout the whole season, and the show broke Netflix’s top 10 after four days. While it is still unclear if there will be a season two, many fans hope to see more soon.