Your Guide to Writing A Netflix Teen Drama
When watching Netflix teen movies and shows, sometimes it becomes apparent that the writing didn't get much attention in the thought process department.
Confused? Why not try doing it yourself?
Choose your male protagonist
You have two options if you want your lead character to be a guy.
Option 1: The popular kid who's into team sports, is a star athlete and also likes mildly bullying people outside his social circle. That's it. Those are the only personality traits. Oh, and make sure to label his emotional immaturity and arrogance as boyish charm.
Option 2: The sweet, quiet kid who doesn't do much other than be somewhat attentive in school and moon over a classmate they have a crush on. Don't make him one of the stereotypical nerd kids, though. Princess Diary-style transformations take time, and we're too lazy to modify the already linear plotline for that.
Choose your female protagonist
Two options here, too.
Option 1: The polar opposite of the first male lead option, but make her quirky, funny, and chirpy. You may make her hate everything the male lead stands for. In that way, she can totally mark herself as safe from being like all the other girls, since she won't fall for his "charm".
Option 2: The artsy, mysterious one. Doesn't quite fit in, supposedly reads underrated classics or watches art films or listens to underground bands that totally sets her apart. You may make her act mean with everyone except the male lead she takes an interest in. More on that later.
A common thread between these two is that they MUST act as prop for the male lead's character development, regardless of being in the limelight themselves.
Choose your side characters
Option 1: The childhood best friend who's either a pushover or an actual sensible person.
Option 2: The disaster manager friend who cleans up after all the mess created by the protagonist.
Option 3: The friend that the audience starts rooting for instead as they show more main character energy than the leads themselves.
Option 4: The friendzoned character that we all feel equally bad for.
Now, your work here, after you choose your characters, is about done since teen movies are character driven for the most part. However, here's an example of a plotline using the characters we just discussed.
Pair up the polar opposite leads so that they clash frequently and, consequently, cause a lot of mindless drama that prolongs the drama and gives the audience an illusion of a plot. Throw one of the side characters into a problem concerning both the protagonists halfway through the movie, or show where they break off their friendship with the related lead character. Tons of emotional sequences involving the said lead character's newly surfaced loneliness later, introduce a prom or graduation scene. Solve the aforementioned main plot (?) twist in the very premise and arrange a bittersweet reunion among everyone.
There you have it. Your very first DIY Netflix Teen Drama that most people will watch just for the sake of making playdate edits with the cast members they find cute.
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