Teenagers
GenreTeen drama
Created by
Written byM. H. Murray
Directed byM. H. Murray
Starring
ComposerSpencer Creaghan
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes22
Production
Executive producers
  • T.J. Scott (season 2–3)
  • Emmanuel Kabongo (season 1)
Producers
  • M. H. Murray (season 1–3)
  • Sara Tamosauskas (season 1–3)
  • Martine Brouillet (season 1–3)
  • Dmitry Lopatin (season 1–3)
CinematographyDmitry Lopatin
EditorM. H. Murray
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time10-20 minutes
Production companyBlack Elephant Productions
Release
Original releaseJanuary 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) –
November 26, 2017 (2017-11-26)
External links
Official Twitter

Teenagers (often stylized as teenagers) is a Canadian web series created by M. H. Murray and Sara Tamosauskas. With an ensemble cast that includes former Degrassi stars Chloe Rose and Raymond Ablack, Teenagers presents various storylines in the form of vignettes and focuses on social issues such as teen angst, racism, violence, slut-shaming, and sexuality.

The first season premiered on YouTube in early 2014. The second season premiered online July 26, 2015; the first episode of the second season subsequently went viral on YouTube. A third and final season premiered online November 5, 2017.

Since its release, Teenagers has amassed more than 10 million combined views online and has received numerous accolades, including an Indie Series Award, several IAWTV Award nominations, and a Canadian Screen Award nomination.

Background

M. H. Murray began working on the series when he was 19 years old.
M. H. Murray began working on the series when he was 19 years old.

Teenagers initially attracted media attention because its cast included former Degrassi stars Chloe Rose and Raymond Ablack.[1] Louis Chunovic of Playback published a piece on the series, writing that "the young creators of Teenagers had to have plenty of luck, pluck, talent, and grit to get this far. And that portends a Hollywood ending".[1]

M. H. Murray—who wrote, directed, and edited the series—began working on the concept in 2013 when he was 19 years old and in film school.[2] When interviewed about his inspirations for Teenagers, Murray said:

I think John Hughes wrote teenage characters so honestly and authentically, but something has gotten lost in translation since then. Today, it feels like a lot of teenage characters are written very clean or flashy and that just wasn’t my reality growing up in the new millennium. Growing up is messy.[3]

Speaking to IndieWire, Murray claimed that he created the series as a response to "white-washed" teen-driven television that he watched while growing up, such as One Tree Hill; he also criticized what he perceived as a lack of people of color and LGBT characters on television that weren't "evil, damaged, or hyper-sexualized".[2]

Murray has cited Issa Rae's web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and Larry Clark's 1995 film Kids as inspirations for the series.[4]

All three seasons of the series were filmed in and around Mississauga on a shoe-string budget.[5] The first two seasons of the series were funded "out of pocket".[6] Murray approached actor Emmanuel Kabongo with the scripts and asked him to help produce the series, and they subsequently cast the rest of the characters together using actors from Toronto.[6] Sara Tamosauskas co-wrote the first season alongside Murray.[1] Kabongo ultimately served as executive producer for the first season, in addition to acting in all three seasons of the series.[7]

For the second and third seasons of the series, Orphan Black director T.J. Scott served as executive producer.[8] Garrett Hnatiuk, who portrays Porky in the series, co-wrote the second season with Murray.[3][9] Murray wrote the third season by himself.[6]

Plot

The series presents various storylines and characters in the form of vignettes. The central storylines of the first season revolve around Bree (Chloe Rose), who loses her virginity to someone with chlamydia, and T (Emmanuel Kabongo), who struggles with racism and bullying.[10] The first season also focuses on a love triangle between T, Olive (Dana Jeffrey), and Jeremy (Nick Stojanovic), while the second and third seasons focus more on the female characters in the series, most notably a lesbian relationship between Olive and Sara (Allyson Pratt).[11]

Cast and characters

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3
Chloe Rose Bree Main
Emmanuel Kabongo T Main
Dana Jeffrey Olive Main
Allyson Pratt Sara Main
Raymond Ablack Gabriel Recurring Main
Garrett Hnatiuk Porky Recurring
Matilda Davidson Molly Recurring
Shailene Garnett Adele Recurring
Nykeem Provo Ash Main Recurring
Nick Stojanovic Jeremy Main Recurring
Ron Dias Jackson Recurring
Daniel Kelly Roman Recurring
Matt Murray Marcus Recurring

Release

Since its release, Teenagers has amassed more than 10 million combined views on YouTube over the course of three seasons.[12]

Season 1

The first season consists of eight episodes. The first two episodes premiered on a dedicated YouTube channel on January 19, 2014. The premiere was covered by online blogs as well as traditional media outlets in Toronto.[13][14] Upon release, it was voted number one in the 'Indie Series Of The Week' poll by WeLoveSoaps.com users for the week of January 19 to 25, 2014.[15]

Season 2

The second season consists of nine episodes. The first episode of the second season premiered online July 26, 2015, and subsequently went viral; it has since been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube.[16] The remaining episodes were released on a weekly basis throughout the summer.[17]

Season 3

On November 16, 2016, a prologue episode was released on YouTube, alongside an Indiegogo campaign, seeking funds to complete the third season.[18] The campaign ultimately raised over $22,000.[19] A trailer was released on October 25, 2017.[20] The third season, which consists of four episodes, excluding the prologue, premiered at the Carlton Cinema on November 1, 2017.[21] The first episode was released online November 5, 2017.[22]

Reception

Critical response

Emmanuel Kabongo (left) received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for his performance, while Raymond Ablack (right) won an Indie Series Award.

Teenagers has received positive reviews from critics and has frequently been compared to the Degrassi franchise and the UK television series Skins.[23][24] In an interview with CBC's q radio show, Murray refuted Degrassi comparisons, saying that while he "respects" the show, he believes that Teenagers is "a fresh take on that experience".[18] Further, CBC wrote: "Murray ... is telling gritty and authentic stories about teens because he believes we gloss over youth and under represent the realities of young people living on the margins of mainstream society".[18]

NOW Magazine called the series "sexy" and "provocative", concluding that "because it’s not held hostage by the same rules as big network television shows, it pushes the boundaries".[16] Patrick Dennis Jr. of Urbanology Magazine dubbed it "Degrassi meets HBO".[10] Susie Stone of culturestarved.com wrote: "I saw humans. Shattering and trembling, but at times so quiet and beautifully real. I saw short spurts of what is really happening in the teen world. This series is evocative, sweet, daring, and scary".[25] Kyrie Scarce of TalkNerdyWithUs.com wrote: "If the story elements of sex, drugs, and wild parties sound too familiar, don’t worry—the joy of Teenagers lies in its execution, where psychological honesty is the name of the game".[26] Jen McNeely of shedoesthecity.com described the cinematography and post-production as "slick and impressive".[23]

Accolades

Since its release, Teenagers has won several accolades. In 2016, Murray and Hnatiuk won the award for Best Screenplay at the Vancouver Web Series Festival and Ablack won the Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actor – Drama.[9][27] Kabongo was nominated for Best Performance in a Series Produced for Digital Media by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for his work in the second season.[28] In 2017, the series received six IAWTV Award nominations.[29]

In 2018, the series received three nominations at the 9th annual Indie Series Awards, including Best Drama Series.[30] Also that year, at the 5th annual Vancouver Web Series Festival, Teenagers won the award for Best Canadian Series, which came with a $5,000 prize.[31]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2014 Los Angeles Web Series Festival Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series M. H. Murray

Sara Tamosauskas

Won [32]
Outstanding Drama Series Teenagers Won [32]
2015 International Academy of Web Television Best Female Performance – Drama Chloe Rose Nominated [33]
Los Angeles Web Series Festival Outstanding Drama Series Teenagers Nominated [34]
Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series M. H. Murray Nominated [34]
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Chloe Rose Nominated [34]
2016 Indie Series Awards[35] Best Ensemble – Drama Main cast Nominated [36]
Best Lead Actress – Drama Chloe Rose Nominated [36]
Best Supporting Actor – Drama Raymond Ablack Won [36]
Best Supporting Actress – Drama Allyson Pratt Nominated [36]
Vancouver Web Series Festival Best Drama Series Teenagers Nominated [37]
Best Screenplay M. H. Murray

Garrett Hnatiuk

Won [37]
Best Actress Chloe Rose Nominated [37]
Canadian Screen Awards Best Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media Emmanuel Kabongo Nominated [38]
2017 Vancouver Web Series Festival Best Drama Series Teenagers Nominated [39]
International Academy of Web Television[29] Best Director – Drama M. H. Murray Nominated [29]
Best Female Performance – Drama Chloe Rose Nominated [29]
Best Female Performance – Drama Dana Jeffrey Nominated [29]
Best Male Performance – Drama Emmanuel Kabongo Nominated [29]
Best Male Performance – Drama Raymond Ablack Nominated [29]
Best Ensemble – Drama Main cast Nominated [29]
2018 Indie Series Awards Best Drama Series Teenagers Nominated [40]
Best Ensemble – Drama Main cast Nominated [40]
Best Supporting Actor – Drama Raymond Ablack Nominated [40]
HollyWeb Festival Best Ensemble Cast Teenagers Won [41]
Vancouver Web Series Festival Best Drama Series Teenagers Nominated [42]
Best Screenplay M. H. Murray Nominated [42]
Best Actress Chloe Rose Nominated [42]
Best Canadian Series M. H. Murray

Sara Tamosauskas

Won [43]

References

  1. ^ a b c Chunovic, Louis (January 15, 2014). "New web series Teenagers attracts Degrassi alum". Playback. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Greene, Steve. "Indiewire's Project of the Day: 'teenagers' | IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview with Teenagers Creator Mathew Murray". TalkNerdyWithUs. April 29, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Teenagers Creator Mathew Murray". TalkNerdyWithUs. April 29, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Clay, Chris (May 11, 2018). "Mississauga-based web series 'Teenagers' earns pair of awards, racks up views". Mississauga.com. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "'teenagers' Enters its Final Season All Grown Up – Stareable". Stareable. November 29, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Teenagers Web Series | Watch News Videos Online". Global News. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Mississauga director's web series a raw take on teenage life". www.mississauga.com. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Cummins, Julianna Cummins (March 23, 2016). "Riftworld, Sudden Master win at Vancouver Web Fest". Playback. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "New webseries shines spotlight on real-life teen experience - Urbanology Magazine". Urbanology Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  11. ^ "Web Series Review: Teenagers S3". TalkNerdyWithUs. December 20, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "black elephant productions". YouTube. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "Chloe Rose & Ray Ablack Team Up For "Teenagers" Web Series". Kary's Degrassi Blog. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  14. ^ "Teenagers Web Series | Watch News Videos Online". Global News. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Indie Series of the Week Poll Results (January 19-25, 2014)". www.welovesoaps.net. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Binge-worthy Toronto web series". NOW Magazine. August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  17. ^ "Teenagers - Season 2". YouTube. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "M. H. Murray doesn't gloss over the gritty details of being a teenager in his web series". CBC Radio. December 20, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Teenagers Season 3, and more". Indiegogo. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  20. ^ "Trailer Tuesday | October 31, 2017". netTVnow. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  21. ^ "blogTO - Teenagers - Season 3 Premiere Screening". November 1, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  22. ^ "Award-Winning Web Series 'Teenagers' Announces Final Season". netTVnow. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Sex, drugs & violence: Toronto's provocative Web Series "Teenagers" returns for Season Two". www.shedoesthecity. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  24. ^ "Teenagers - The Canadian Skins - The Daily Spectacle". www.dailyspectacle.co.uk. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  25. ^ "AS IF BEING A TEENAGER WAS EVER EASY : Teenagers Webseries | Starved Magazine". www.culturestarved.com. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Webseries Review: Teenagers". TalkNerdyWithUs. May 9, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Serial Scoop: WINNERS: 7th Annual Indie Series Awards". www.serialscoop.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "7 reasons you should care about the Canadian Screen Awards this year". CBC Arts. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h "2017 Nominees". International Academy of Web Television. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "9th Annual Indie Series Awards Nominations". www.indieseriesawards.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  31. ^ Clay, Chris (May 11, 2018). "Mississauga-based web series 'Teenagers' earns pair of awards, racks up views". www.mississauga.com. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "RomaWebFest.it". www.romawebfest.it. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  33. ^ "2015 IAWTV Award Winners". International Academy of Web Television. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c "Teenagers - Awards". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  35. ^ http://www.indieseriesawards.com/2016/02/nominations-announced-for-7th-annual.html
  36. ^ a b c d "Nominations Announced For 7th Annual ISAs". www.indieseriesawards.com. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  37. ^ a b c "2016 Winners". www.vancouverwebfest.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  38. ^ "Digital Media - Academy.ca". Academy.ca. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  39. ^ "2017 Winners". www.vancouverwebfest.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  40. ^ a b c "NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR THE 9TH ANNUAL INDIE SERIES AWARDS". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  41. ^ "HollyWeb Festival - Past Winners". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  42. ^ a b c "2018 Vancouver Web Fest Nominations". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  43. ^ "12 CANADIAN SERIES WIN BIG AT VANCOUVER WEB FEST". www.604now.com. April 29, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.

See also