The CW Network
Teen dramas tend to be riddled with clichés: love triangles, happy endings, and the idea that good and evil are black and white, the list goes on. However, The CW’s newest sci-fi series, The 100 — an adaptation of Kass Morgan’s young adult novel of the same name — has begun to break down many of the typical teen drama tropes even though the show is still relatively young. And it all culminated with one specific moment on the series that proved we weren't just watching your average teen drama.
The most important element of Jason Rothenberg's series is in its deconstruction of the love triangle (Writer’s note: I really hate love triangles) in such an interesting way. Instead of portraying two girls fighting over one guy (or even vice versa), The 100 depicts two girls who didn’t know about each other coming to terms with the choices made by that one guy — without blaming each other. Since it isn’t the focal point of the show, this particular love triangle successfully moves past cliché status.
Even beyond the question of cliché, what’s fantastic about the love triangle is that the viewer doesn’t know whose side to take. Each character is both right and wrong, good and bad at the same time. These contrasting characteristics can be found in every single person on the show, which helps the viewers to see these characters as real people.
However, the revelation of the love triangle is not the moment that really helped The 100 become more than a teen drama. Too often, television shows are afraid to kill off characters because they don’t want to anger or alienate fans. Of course, there are exceptions (Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead), but in teen dramas there’s the added insult that most character deaths seem unnecessary or unearned.
The 100 doesn’t fear killing off any number of characters and manages to do it in a way that makes each death impactful. At the end of the third episode, one of the main characters is killed off — murdered by a fellow regular. It’s so sudden, but as it happens, the viewer realizes the show has been leading up to it throughout the whole episode. It also has repercussions for the other characters that change the entire trajectory of the show.
But that's not even the moment where the show surpassed our expectations. The scene we’re talking about comes in Episode 5, when The 100 manages to pull off a particularly massive death scene — that is made even more brutal as half the characters rush to prevent the deaths and completely fail.
Any other series would have allowed the characters to save the day, leaving the viewer with an optimistic feeling. But The 100 takes place in a futuristic dystopia and this moment reminds viewers that an unhappy ending is just as likely as a happy ending. In this moment — as well as all the scenes leading up to and since this moment — viewers are reminded that a CW show can be more than your typical teen drama, which is why we’re completely addicted to The 100.
The CW’s fall 2013 TV lineup just got a whole lot bigger. The network announced on Thursday that it has ordered four new drama series — The Tomorrow People, The 100, Star-Crossed, and Reign — were picked up for series orders.
The Tomorrow People stars Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow’s Stephen Amell) and is based on the U.K. series created by Roger Price. The drama, from Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec, tells the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil.
The 100 stars Eliza Taylor and Lost's Henry Ian Cusick and is set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. A spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. The series is based on the forthcoming The Hundred book series written by Kass Morgan and published by Little, Brown.
Star-Crossed (formerly Oxygen) stars Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegarden and 90210’s Matt Lanter as a human girl and an alien boy who fall in love when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since.
Reign tells the previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots' rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The period drama unveils the secret history of survival at French Court amid fierce foes, dark forces and a world of sexual intrigue and stars Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo.
The network also announced renewals for both Nikita and The Carrie Diaries.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
More:The CW Renews 'Nikita' and 'The Carrie Diaries'Fox 2013-2014 Comedies Include Andy Samberg's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' NBC Cancels 'Whitney,' '1600 Penn,' Guys With Kids'
From Our Partners:Watch Justin Bieber Attacked in Dubai (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
The magical R-rating is both a gift and a curse to Adam Sandler's signature brand of lowbrow humor. In That's My Boy the comedian returns to the dim-witted roots that made him a star in early outings like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore (complete with high-pitched mushmouth accent) but with a ramped up "ew" factor. Unrestrained Sandler piles on as many expletives and gross-out scenarios as a two-hour movie can hold — and it works out quite well. With costar Samberg nailing the disgusted straight man role Sandler's penchant for acting like a fool is enhanced by the sick stylings of director Sean Anders (Sex Drive) and only occasionally teetering into truly offensive territory. Laughs aren't guaranteed but the movie provokes (which is a big step up from Jack and Jill).
Back in the '80s Donny had a secret relationship with his teacher Ms. McGarricle that resulted in a son Han Solo (he's a middle schooler what do you expect?). The torrid affair put McGarricle in jail Donny into celebrity tabloid spotlight and Han Solo in the hands of a tween father. Thirty years later everyone's screwed up: Donny (Adam Sandler) is a drunk on the brink of jail time for tax evasion McGarricle's still in jail and Han Solo (Andy Samberg) now "Todd " is a successful number-cruncher with severe social issues. On the weekend of Todd's wedding Donny reenters his life hoping to bring revive their relationship and reunite him with his mother — that is on camera so Donny can make $50 000 from a gossip TV show and stay out of the slammer. Posing as Todd's long-lost best friend Donny stirs up trouble becoming buddies with Todd's friends and family and acting like a imbecile.
The wedding setup is overdone but always prime for comedy: plenty for a numbskull to screw up logical progression (there's a wedding at the end!) and a bachelor party scene to squeeze in the most disgusting bits and have them make sense. That's My Boy makes the most of its conventions — including what we all know and expect from a Sandler comedy — by continually one-upping itself. After a night of heavy drinking at the local strip club/omelette bar that results in do-it-yourself ear piercing and robbing a convenience store with Vanilla Ice Todd returns home to expel the night's worth of drinking all over his fiancee's wedding dress. Then he makes love to the dress. Then his fiancee (Leighton Meester) wakes up to find the dress. Then it goes even further than one would care to imagine. Grossed out yet? Amazingly lower-than-low brow material is handled with clever timing and great delivery. It's just that the foundation is bodily fluids.
That's My Boy falters when it throws in gags that serve zero purpose to the story. Strange racist humor a mentally retarded bar patron played by Nick Swardson (a Sandler mainstay) random allusions to Todd Bridges' drug habits — barrel-scraping one-offs that have nothing to do with the movie. At two hours the movie needs slimming and the fat is apparent. Thankfully the main ensemble goes to great lengths to make the hard R comedy click with Sandler and Samberg playing well off each other (although Samberg doesn't have the making of a leading man after this movie) and SNL alums like Will Forte Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer driving by to bring the funny. Even Vanilla Ice's extended cameo fits the anything-goes tone playing a version of himself that befriended Donny in his celebrity days. Now he works at an ice skating rink.
After a few lame ducks That's My Boy is a return to form for Sandler. It wavers in quality but it has energy and color. A cash-in this is not and for any Sandler fan with a stomach for hardcore bathroom humor it's a must-see.