“High school is just one big buzz saw that grinds people up into little bite-sized pieces. Some people just do a better job at avoiding the teeth.” That was the line opener for the YouTube Red original series “Youth & Consequences”. Morbid stuff, right? Why even watch a web-series when we already have legacy project “Mean Girls” plus a million other teen dramas?
Well, I personally am a sucker for a strong female lead, and Anna Akana delivers flawlessly. I’ve watched Anna on YouTube for years. She. Has. Got. Drive. She can literally do it all. Music, acting, directing, comedy, stand-up, writing, dance and the list is endless. She also plays my online virtual therapist with her introspective videos on self-improvement (not that she knows about that). Anna refers to ‘Youth & Consequences’ as her dream project, and with good reason, it is a masterpiece.
The show premiered on March 7th, 2018 and had a positive response in general. It was rated at 7.5/10 on IMDb and a 3/5 on Common Sense Media.
Youth & Consequences takes place at Central Rochester high school. There is a school blog, dubbed the ‘Crotch’, that is controlled by an anonymous student which is gossip central. Anything and everything is news and is talked about, including the supposed suicide of a teacher and even a student’s nose job.
Youth & Consequences is centered around the classic high school queen, ‘Farrah Cutney’ (played by Anna). Farrah however, is one of the most complex characters I have ever seen. She’s cold, manipulative, loves control and power. But on the other end of the spectrum she has a set of deep-seated morals, her own system of justice. Farrah wants a private restroom for the disabled and as we reach the end of the second episode we see why. Then again as the series progresses, she starts to lose control of the web that she’s so intricately woven. She seems to turn into an intense ball of aggressive fury at times and a vulnerable child at others. “Not entirely good and not entirely bad” says Anna when describing her character. Farrah seems to be in a class of her own, trying to be an all-powerful adult, but with a very limited spectrum of the world.
Youth & Consequences is created by Jason Ubaldi and co-starring Katie Sarife, Sean Grandillo, Sophie Reynolds, Kara Royster and Piper Curda as some of the main characters, the Youth & Consequences is a piece-de resistance among other tween dramas that are usually flaky and shallow at best. While the show is great, it really isn’t suitable for a younger audience. Nudity is at a minimum, but language is crass at times and there are topics discussed that are quite inappropriate for children. Perhaps watch it before letting your child see it.
Youth & Consequences brings to light all sorts of issues. It tackles transgender bathroom laws, social media affecting privacy, gender fluidity, and so on. Youth & Consequences deftly navigates the teenage thought process and informs the audience, but also leaves them room to understand, and come to their own conclusions. It’s different from other teen-centered ones because of its ability to show teens as labyrinthine individuals and not depict them as the dumb, narrow-minded, impulsive beings that the media usually feeds us.
Whatever group you might belong to, Youth & Consequences is a show that will for sure resonate with some part of you.