Grand Army: The Goldilocks of High School Dramas
Grand Army became the Goldilocks of modern soaps, depicting the high school experience in a new light rather than a utopian fantasy or adult playground. With many near highschool-aged actors--Amalia Yoo being eighteen and most others being twenty--the younger audience doesn’t feel the same strain on connectivity with the actors as they do with other Vampire Diaries-esque series. Most notably, the show weaves in between narratives of a diverse cast, depicting various economic statuses, family lives, and emotional health. The behind-the-scenes feeling the viewer witnesses allows for a level of intimacy that turns into empathy as you realize everyone is trying to tear each other apart. The setting of a prestigious Brooklyn high school adds a constant tension that the characters exhibit, subtly feeling pitted against one another with every move. As the show gains depth, the multiple layers unfold into a chaotic strata of narratives all interdependent on one another.
The relatability factor with Grand Army is unique and pragmatic, highlighting issues very present within the current social sphere: rape, economic hardship, drugs, racism, etc. For audiences not used to such “grim” depictions, the show is a slap in the face, but a very necessary one. It’s the show high schoolers were waiting for, one without the sub-par acting or unusually attractive thirty-year-old actors. Although the morals vary based on character, the audience generally extracts that everyone has their own story, their own hardships. In the most cliche of terms: never judge a book by its cover. However, this lesson doesn’t solely apply intrinsically. The characters of Grand Army may be young, but only a few months in this show has taken the world of television by storm. Indeed, this show serves the best of both worlds: fantastic acting and adrenaline-inducing plots. Being the porridge in the old tale, Grand Army is “just right.”