‘Senior High’ and ‘Fractured’: Youth is not wasted on these young stars

The shows Euphoria, Elite and 13 Reasons Why offer depictions of the so-called Generation Z that baffle, shock and titillate their audiences. The young people in these shows succumb to the call of their sexual urges, wantonly take prohibited drugs and drink themselves to catatonia. Raging hormones fuel their pursuit of YOLO (you only live once) moments and defiance of authority figures.

That same sense of edgy, confused, tension-filled environment of sex and drugs are also in the local shows Senior High and Fractured, which follow the footsteps and narratives of their international counterparts in highlighting the many versions of truths and lies in the lives of their young characters.

Central hook

In Senior High, the stories of teenagers of different economic backgrounds in a private high school, their struggles with authority figures, and a big tragedy-mystery that needs to be resolved are the central anchor and hook.

The made-for-TV campus that is Northford High looks and screams “mahal ang tuition.” Students are all in crispy Ivy League-inspired uniforms, and the typical school cliques are well- represented.

What has been presented so far in the show’s 25 episodes are a tragic death, bullying, mental health, video scandals and online gossip accepted as gospel truth, homoeroticism, drugs, sexual predation and anger issues with parental and other authority figures.

In the acting department, top-tier performances come from Andrea Brillantes, who plays the roles of twin sisters; JK Labajo, who brings a true rich-boy sophistication to his role; Elijah Canlas and Miggy Jimenez, both lending juicy and saucy touches to their juvenile delinquent characters; Kyle Echarri, exuding a becoming softness and knight-to-the rescue vibe; and Daniela Stranner, a delicious alpha mean girl.

Among the authority figures, Angel Aquino, Mon Confiado, Anna Abad Santos and Baron Geisler — in a career-defining performance – are superb.

Senior High scratches the surface of teen troubles. As more episodes come, one hopes the problems of today’s youth get a more thorough dissection an a broader, more compassionate perspective.

The cast of ‘Fractured’


Trapped vloggers

In Fractured, a group of popular, influential vloggers are invited to an is island resort to make content about it. The vloggers get their biggest plot twist when they are all marooned in what seems like a deserted part of the island resort.

Aside from the elements, they have to contend with scarce food and water, the uncertainty of rescue and other looming dangers.

Three episodes on, what makes Fractured an interesting watch is the deft manner by which the personal lives, problems, insecurities and dark sides of the vlogger characters are revealed. Since tensions among them are at an all-time high, catfights between femme vloggers erupt. Two of the macho vloggers assert alpha status, while a different and groovy kind of love blossoms between two male vloggers.

Aside from the writing and glossy look of the show, the acting by Seth Fedelin, Francine Diaz, Kaori Oinuma, Daniela Stranner, Raven Rigor and Sean Tristan are also compelling come-ons.

For all the chaos and darkness in Senior High and Fractured, we also witness real friendships forged by the young characters, love at its most romantic or bittersweet, and realizations and redemptions even.

Youth is not wasted on the younger ones, after all.