There's been a lot of debate recently about whether MTV's Skins actually represents "real" teenage life and what sort of supposedly terrible example it's setting, but judging by the rest of the television landscape, there could be a lot worse places to send your fictional children to school. Here's our ranking of TV's least educational institutions of learning:
10. Degrassi: The Next Generation
Compared to the rest of this list, the hallowed halls of Degrassi might be the best place for teens to matriculate. Sure, there've been a rash of teen pregnancies, young girls sometimes become hookers in order to stay popular, there've been occasional school shootings, topless pictures frequently get disseminated and students have to wear hideous uniforms color-coded by grade. But there is some value to becoming class president (and not just so you and your lingerie-clad girlfriend can hook up in inappropriate places) and valedictorian. And the kids at this school actually go to class, though often it seems like they are just learning about the internet and the ergonomic value of sitting on balance balls. There's even a whole subset of gifted and talented students who focus on math and science. Then again, the principal is nicknamed Snake.
9. Friday Night Lights
We're not sure there's a place more depressing than East Dillon High. While the school across town gets the best of everything, this place is falling down, has second-rate teachers and is still entirely focused on the football team. On the other hand, though if students don't keep their grades up, they can't play, so at least there's some lip service being paid to education.
8. Modern Family
While we rarely see any of the kids at their suburban L.A. schools, they do occasionally mention it and Alex is always studying for tests and doing projects (while Haley spends the majority of her time hanging with friends). At least the school Manny attends appears to offer soccer and fencing, so they've got P.E. covered, if nothing else. And we can't fault the school for Luke's moronic behavior. Some kids are just unteachable.
7. Gossip Girl
In the real world, people clamber to get into Columbia and NYU. But on this show, the schools don't seem all that great. At Columbia, students don't actually have to attend classes, can have their minions do their work by proxy and can make out with teachers as long as the wishy-washy and easily-distracted-by-celebrity dean can be convinced it is all just a misunderstanding. Lateness and absenteeism are completely tolerated, and skipping school to attend social climbing parties or focus on an internship is encouraged. You can even drop out via text message. Likewise, NYU also has no qualms about students disappearing to Haiti for months at a time, spending all of their time watching movies, having threesomes and handing in creative writing that's basically just a thinly disguised diary. How much do these schools cost again?
Community colleges don't often get a lot respect, and if Greendale Community College is representative, we can certainly understand why. There really is a problem with the accreditation process when the Spanish teacher doesn't even have a degree. And while this school offers a wide variety of subjects -- from pottery to anthropology -- and encourages the formation of study groups, there's not a lot of actually studying getting done. Oh, and sometimes the students become zombies.
5. No Ordinary Family
Let's see, a struggling student like J.J. Powell suddenly starts understanding math at a Good Will Hunting genius sort of level, and instead of being impressed, his teacher Mr. Litchfield repeatedly tells his parents, the principal and anyone else who will listen that J.J. is a cheater - based on no evidence whatsoever. It isn't until Mr. Litchfield starts freelancing for the evil Dr. King that he even attempts to use J.J.'s intelligence for something positive, like an academic decathlon, and even then he resorts to blackmail. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the faculty at Pacific Bay High School.
Oh, Lancer University, a place where an idiotic girl who doesn't believe in shirts that cover her midriffs can actually major in pre-law. It's a place where dreams come true, though academic excellence can only be achieved if the corrupt athletic department stays intact. And heaven forbid that the precious football team suffer any setbacks or endure a scandal involving their star quarterback since the epic shockwaves would get everyone on scholarship immediately booted from campus. And even though Marti barely goes to her one class and never studies unless it involves getting a criminal out of jail (an extracurricular activity, we'd think), she's still the sole member of the Hellcats cheer squad that actually makes an attempt to do anything resembling cracking a book.
We haven't seen much of Dalton Academy, home of the Warblers, but we've got to imagine that little studying can get done with everyone wearing those distractingly ugly jackets. And all they seem to do there is drink coffee and sing. Still, highly caffeinated, badly dressed students who can afford private school tuition are still probably better off than the poor schlubs over at McKinley High. That's a school where the cheerleading coach can take over as principal and make dictatorial rules about anything she wants. Where teachers throw shoes at already ridiculed outcasts. Where bullying goes largely unchecked, the guidance counselor only knows how to hand out pamphlets on issues, students are nearly launched out of cannons, the Spanish teacher focuses all his efforts on Glee club and an untrained, pill-dealing woman is allowed to be a nurse. We're frankly surprised that no one has died yet. Though the season isn't over.
Classes? What classes? West Beverly is practically a prep school for the East Coast colleges seen on Gossip Girl. There is one English teacher, who seems to be the only person to actually teach anything in school. And while occasionally Naomi takes science to flirt with a nerd, school is mostly a place for the kids to model their fashions, create an online version of The Blaze and lounge around discussing their difficult lives. Students are encouraged to ditch school to run their own startup businesses, drop out to become a pop/reality star, miss classes for an internship or just go surfing. Not to mention the time that Naomi got one of the only studious kids to skip out class to chase an owl for her own personal gain. Yes, an owl.
1. Pretty Little Liars
Hail, hail, Rosewood High, home of the perfectly pleasant statutory rapist. Mr. Fitz actually does teach English to the Liars, but the books conveniently tend to be in sync with the themes of each episode. And although it's possible that he's transferring his knowledge of literature to Aria via his tongue down her throat, we're guessing that's not his main goal. Spencer is actually quite studious, to a competitive level, and even occasionally tutors French, though mostly that involves wearing a cute French beret. Did we mention the inappropriate relations between teachers and students? Or the fact that this place just lets police officers roam the halls and question students whenever they want to? Or that there's a potential murderer wandering around? Or that the field hockey coach is creepy and definitely hooked up with a former student? Or that a kid was actually living in the school and no one figured it out? Or that every student spends all their time checking text messages?
MOST RECENT POSTS
Warning: file(http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?app=core&module=global§ion=rss&type=forums&id=101) [function.file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2011/02/twop-10-worst-schools-on-telev.php on line 426
Warning: implode() [function.implode]: Invalid arguments passed in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2011/02/twop-10-worst-schools-on-telev.php on line 426
Warning: DOMDocument::loadXML() [function.DOMDocument-loadXML]: Empty string supplied as input in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2011/02/twop-10-worst-schools-on-telev.php on line 428