Netflix’s Heartbreak High revival does it with attitude and swagger

In an age obsessed with nostalgia and the search for something new in the past, there’s an irony in relaunching a teen show.

If there is one aspect of culture that is rapidly evolving, it is youth culture. While you cling to the memories of your first gig or still recommend vice president at the next dinner party, the kids went through seven eras of coolness.

So, how do you recreate the spirit of the 1990s youth series? In particular, how do you restore the spirit Broken heartthe iconic Australian teen soap opera known for being grittier and rougher than its glossy counterparts?

You agree that the new version Broken heart will be a completely, almost unrecognizable beast. But you hope it stays true to the ethos of a groundbreaking series that lived on being a true and authentic Australian experience.

The Netflix revival is doing just that, but for a new generation of kids — so new that it’s been about three generations since Drazik strutted around the playground with his eyebrow ring.

Sparkling with personality and inspiration, Broken heart is a fresh, distinctly Australian 2022 series that doesn’t nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake.

This is a series made for today’s kids, not adults who have fond memories of the original series. This isn’t a snub of both versions, more of a comment that this iteration knows what it is, in much the same way that its ensemble of sassy, ​​unapologetic and generous characters know who they are.

It doesn’t have much to do with reverence for what came before, because – let’s face it – so are the Zoomers that the series serves.

The edgy jargon, flamboyant fashion, cheeky looks, and just the general ambience are all there in themselves, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely off-putting to anyone who remembers the 2000 hype.

Some teenage experiences are universal, no matter the era – it’s the all-consuming friendship that’s deeper than any romance, the feeling of vulnerability when you put yourself in danger, the thrill of discovering something new when almost everything is new.

This resonates with everyone, even if there is a certain generational gap at times.

The revival – it does exist in the same universe as the original series, because at least one old-school actor appears as an old 1990s version of his character – returns to Hartley High.

The classroom is full of kids from all walks of life, from weird and non-binary kids to culturally diverse and autistic kids, from adorable sweethearts to ice queens. But instead of being some sort of symbolic exercise with check marks, the variety of characters and events is organic.

Like any Australian school, it’s a plethora of personalities and personalities that only make the drama more interesting.

A mysterious rift occurs between best friends Ameri (Ayesha Madon) and Harper (Asher Yasbinchek), so mysterious that even Ameri doesn’t know what happened. There’s a brand new Malachi (Thomas Weatherall) who is thrown into a near-punitive sex education class on his first day of school.

There are budding romances between Queenie (Chloe Hayden) and Sasha (Gemma Chua-Tran) and between Darren (James Majus) and Cash (Will Macdonald).

And there is an “incest map” that details the sexual relationship between children. There’s nothing shocking here, unless you’re shocked to find teenagers – gasping for breath – having sex. And take drugs. And get up on the stupid shit.

These are disinfected versions of adolescence in which no one does this – this is not true.

The characters are well developed, the acting is solid, especially for many very photogenic newcomers, and the sense of humor bites.

There are cliques and rivalries, misunderstandings and intrigues, resentments and dizzying, stolen glances. It’s all pretty learned teen drama, but Broken heart does it in a big way. This is a real atmosphere.

Heartbreak High is streaming on Netflix now

Read related topics:Netflix

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