TV’s Teen Queens Who’ve Made Notoriously Bad Decisions
By Annie Cooper
I’d bet my sweet red vintage roller skates that almost anyone who was once a teenage girl would never, if given the chance, want to be a teenage girl again, no matter how much teenier and more perky our what-have-yous would be. It’s just not worth it. All the heartbreak and the uncertainty and the agonizing emotional growing pains…yeah, pass. I’ll take my expanding sit-cushion over that noise any day.
But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to vicariously re-live those times, if only to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have come out alive and relatively intact. In Koldcast TV’s award-wining teen soap Miss Behave, privileged Tori Archer is juggling the secrets she’s withholding from her best friends, the bad boys she’s getting frisky with, and the struggle to make high school more meaningful than a daycare center for 16-year-olds.
Her glamorous west coast life is a bit more lavish than we’re used to – have you seen her couture-packed closet, or the view from her parents’ Malibu estate? Yet her hormone driven, drama-inducing angst is still relatable to everyone in the teen dream caste system, and everyone who’s visited there before. Tori has been making one bad decision after the next, alienating friends, worrying adults, and becoming a bona fide bad girl. At heart, though, she’s probably just confused.
Watch Part 1 of the Series Finale of teen drama series Miss Behave
At least she’s not alone. Behold some of the awful choices made by Tori Archer’s television peers – a virtual Sisterhood of Poor Judgment.
Bad Decision: BEING A MEAN GIRL
Worst Offender: Alison DiLaurentis, Pretty Little Liars
Being a mean girl – starting rumors, freezing out rivals, manipulating hapless geeks- is standard operating procedure if you’re shooting for “Queen Bee” status. But it can have repercussions. Other kids may band together and use your own tactics against you, which can get you shunned, or ostracized, or, like Pretty Little Liars’ Alison, it can get you murdered. And I’m sure you know, “dead” is the hardest social faux pas from which to recover.
Bad Decision: CHOOSING THE BAD BOY
Worst Offender: Lana Lang, Smallville
They’re so difficult to resist, those bad boys, what with their swagger and their greased-back hair and their relentless drag racing around Dead Man’s Curve (all of the bad boys in my head live in 1956). But if the bad boy you’re crushing on is a prematurely bald, future maniacal super-villian along the lines of, oh, say…. Lex Luthor, it’s probably best that you take a shower and go sit this one out.
Watch Part 2 of the Series Finale of teen drama series Miss Behave
Bad Decision: SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Worst Offender: Marissa Cooper, The OC
Whether she’s passed out on a doorstep or passed out in an alley in Mexico, Marissa’s just one sloppy mess after another. I’d posit that her on-again-off-again relationship with drugs and drinks was ultimately more compelling than her relationship with Ryan or D.J. or Alex.
Bad Decision: FAILURE TO INITIATE GAYDAR
Worst Offender: Mercedes Jones, Glee
Dear Tweens: It’s fairly certain that at some point in your life, you’re going to get the hots for a gay friend. And that’s okay, honey; it happens to the best of us. It’s a rite of passage, really. But you – and Mercedes – will save yourselves a lot of heartache and awkward slow dances if you start fine-tuning that Gaydar right now. Remember, you ain’t gonna change him, girl, not unless you can quite literally grow a pair.
Extra free tip, at no extra cost to you: Presence of neckerchief + Liza Minelli poster in locker = Friend of Dorothy. You’re welcome.
Jillian Clare stars as Tori Archer in Miss Behave
Bad Decision: GETTING KNOCKED UP
Worst Offender: Andrea Zuckerman, Beverly Hills, 90210
Being a teenager in the family way really puts a damper on your academic and social lives, but in the case of 90210’s Andrea, parenthood took a toll on both the actor and the character. Gabrielle Carteris requested that Andrea’s pregnancy be written into the show, to accommodate her the real-life baby she was baking. She was 34 at the time. Playing a 19 year old. Sigh. Ultimately, though, alienation from the other 90210 characters caused viewers to lose interest in Andrea’s story line, and Carteris left the show at the end of the fifth season, halfway through its run. Which further proves what I’ve been saying all along, or at least since 21 months ago: babies ruin everything. Well, at the very least, they ruin your ability to go see The Avengers before it leaves theaters.
Bad Decision: ROMANCE ON THE DL
Worst Offender: Joey Potter, Dawson’s Creek
“Clandestine love” sounds so enticing and romantic, but never in the history of ever-ever-ever has clandestine love been a good idea. At best, someone’s feelings get hurt (Sigh, poor Dawson), at worst, you end up married to a lunatic twice your age, eventually divorcing him, and being covertly followed by members of his creepy cult. Okay, maybe I’m getting my stories mixed up, but the message remains: the outcome is never the one you want. Unless hurting Dawson is what you want, and in that case you get what you deserve, you big meanie.
Bad Decision: MUSICAL HOOK-UPS
Worst Offender(s): Blair and Serena, Gossip Girl
It’s extremely important not to perpetuate a double standard when it comes to sexual promiscuity. If we start labeling and shaming girls as “slutty”, but not the boys who are exhibiting the exact same behavior – well, that’s not only unfair, it’s untrue and potentially harmful. That being said, there is a special exhibit being prepared in the Museum of TV Partner-Swapping for the ladies of Gossip Girl. There aren’t just love triangles being formed here, there are love dodecahedrahexapteronadactyldons. Fine, I made that shape up. Or maybe it’s a dinosaur. Whatever. My point is: I hope the restroom attendants in all those schmancy Manhattan restaurants the gals frequent are keeping their condom bowls good and stocked.
Bad Decision: DEMON WORSHIP
Worst Offender: Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s said that opposites attract. That’s all well and spiffy, unless your “opposite” is someone whose basest instinct is to latch onto your pretty jugular and drain your last drop of sangre. Though I suppose it adds an invigorating element of danger to your backseat make-out sessions. “OMG, he could chew through my throat any second” certainly trumps “OMG, I might be late for curfew.”
Michael Bolton as Noah, Eric Martsolf as Marcus, Jillian Clare as Tori
Annie Cooper is a writer, armchair public transportation advocate, and aspiring taco critic. She has written columns and specialized training materials related to children with special needs, parenting issues, and early childhood development. Her writings are geared toward therapists, social workers, and teachers of young children with complex medical and developmental issues. She recently left her job in social services in an effort to become part of the problem, rather than the solution. Annie lives in Los Angeles, but she’s not from there – nobody’s from there.