Yoof TV

After Charlie Brooker's devastating take down of the current state of Yoof TV, I decided to remind myself of how things were when I was a youth myself. In particular, thanks to the magic of the internet I found a rather grubby copy of "Teenage Health Freak" from Channel Four in the early nineties. I ended up watching the obligatory "Drugs are bad, mmkay?" episode, which was just as cringeworthy as you might imagine it. The basic plot was that the requisite unattainable girl turns out to be regularly getting high on ecstacy tablets, and ends up half-inching some replica guns belonging to the protagonist's cowboy-obsessed father. He confronts her about her misdemeanours, and she takes him to her supplier to retrieve the objects, which ends in about as cheesily a brutal confrontation as you can imagine. The problems with this are principally: (1) there's only so much violence you can show in an early-evening teen themed comedy-drama (2) the sinister pusher and bowling alley manager was played rather unconvincingly by cheery ex-Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, which rather made the entire episode entirely pointless.

The upshot is that after this confusion, the unattainable girl remains unattainable but at least renounces her life of illegal highs with immediate and lasting effect, and the show moves on with startling rapidity to tackle the equally serious topic of teenage eating disorders equally decisively in the next episode.

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