Over the years, and most recently with Awkward., MTV has tried its darndest to prove to the world that they "get" their teenage audience. It's no easy feat to capture the high school experience, but it shouldn't be rocket science, either. Let's take a look and see which of MTV's attempts at representing the four best years of our lives made the grade, and which were total failures.
Beavis and Butt-head (original series: 1993 - 1997)
Premise: An animated series about two idiotic, crude best friends whose lives revolve around TV, metal, fart jokes, nachos and trying to "score" with chicks.
Execution: Revolutionary, to say the least.
Grade: A-. Mike Judge will be speaking at Comic-Con about the new series, so stay tuned to be excited/disappointed about that.
Daria (1997 - 2001)
Premise: A spin-off of Beavis and Butt-head about a smart, cynical outsider who lives in a world of idiotic classmates and condescending adults.
Execution: Delightful, subversive, and addicting. Not to mention authentic and hilarious.
Undressed (1999 - 2002)
Premise: A soap opera dedicated to teen sex.
Execution: Impressive and before its time. It was nominated for two -- and won one -- GLAAD award.
Grade: A-, especially if you include those sexy promos with suggestive fruit.
Clone High (2002 - 2003)
Premise: A group of hormone-ridden high schoolers (who all happen to be clones of famous historical figures) try to hook up while fighting evil things like peer pressure and their legitimately insane principal.
Execution: Brilliant, but cancelled.
Grade: We say A, but then-audiences gave it something way closer to a C.
My Life As Liz (2010 - present)
Premise: In this quasi-reality series, Liz is proud geeky girl trying to survive life in a small town.
Execution: I'll just leave this here.
Grade: D, because a determined group of teens do seem to love this show and find a type of hero in Liz.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger (2010 - present)
Premise: A nerd with an enormous penis tries to have sex with hot girls. Or something.
Execution: It's hard for a series to prevail when the writers hate all of their characters. The word "grotesque" comes to mind.
Grade: F. And no, that's not an innuendo.
Premise: The US version of the wildly popular UK series about how teens actually live.
Execution: They say "controversial," we say "crappy". As realistic as this show might have been (and it was better than your average teen show in that regard), the writing just wasn't there.
Grade: D, since some episodes in the beginning were tolerable.
Teen Wolf (2011 - present)
Premise: A teen guy's life is changed forever when he is bitten by a werewolf and is forced to balance his supernatural problems with books and the ladies.
Execution: After watching the pilot, Teen Wolf could have gone really poorly, but the show has managed to be a perfectly watchable summer series.
Grade: B -- and that's a compliment!
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