The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: The Good Side of Bad Media

adapted from IconsX

The endless stream of commonly agreed upon bad films and shows continues to flow on Netflix. They serve as a great type of entertainment (that is, if you are watching ironically). But beyond the many flaws in plot structure and character development, not all is bad about bad media. 

It’s worth taking a look at what two of these movies and shows do right.


The Kissing Booth 

Ever since the Kissing Booth trilogy’s first film released in 2018 on Netflix, it has been regarded as a hilariously bad film. The movie follows a high school girl named Elle, who decides to start a kissing booth for fundraising purposes with her best friend Lee. Along the way, she falls in love with Lee’s brother–something he is not fond of–which is the main conflict. Ultimately, it is not different from any other bad romance film targeted at teenagers.  From the date of its release to now, it’s best known for having bad acting, generic characters, and cliches that many found hard to sit through. 

I watched The Kissing Booth with my friends as a fun activity – we knew what we were expecting and watched it ironically. But there was a particular aspect of the movie that I thought was good, something I feel should be represented more in media. 

One of the main dynamics in the movie is Elle and Lee’s friendship. Their friendship is actually shown to be quite genuine, and considering the cliches of the genre, a common expectation is that there will be some romantic subplot between the two. Instead, the movie avoids this overly played-out scenario. I liked that there was a genuine platonic relationship between the two, and it subverted the idea of another generic male-female romance. 

Male-female friendships are not often portrayed in a positive light in many scenarios. Many movies suggest that perhaps these types of friendships don’t genuinely exist. I have seen many on social media make the claim that men and women cannot truly be friends. Many also don’t regard platonic love as highly as romantic love. 

The Kissing Booth, for all its flaws, holds platonic love to the same level as romantic, with both parts being shown as important in Elle’s life. To combat the harmful assumptions and thoughts people hold about these topics, more media, especially genres that target teenagers, should strive to reflect this idea.


Xo, Kitty

Xo, Kitty is a show on Netflix that was released fairly recently. It is a spin-off based off of another rom-com trilogy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The show follows the sister of the protagonist, Katherine “Kitty” Covey, from the original trilogy as she attends a boarding school in Korea to learn more about her mother and be closer to her partner of four years.

Despite the hype of the trailer, many viewers were in for an unpleasant surprise. The acting is simply bad, and the excessively dragged-out plotlines are tough to bear. The show is all over the place. 

Xo, Kitty frames a large part of the show’s focus on Kitty’s attempt to find herself as she explores Korea and tries to reconnect with her Korean heritage. As it is also intended for teenagers, the show contains multiple romantic subplots.

A particular subplot that is refreshing is the show’s decision to give Kitty a female love interest. I liked seeing more of this representation but was actually surprised it occurred on Netflix. Clearly, the streaming platform is aiming to include more diversity, but they have canceled shows in the past — such as First Kill — where there are two female main characters are involved in a romantic relationship. 

Xo, Kitty is one of the first shows that I have seen on Netflix that openly presents an LGBTQ main character and that has been renewed for further seasons. Though the plotline is a bit hasty and fans were left divided, it is nice to see the unique twist with Kitty’s second love interest not being a man.

Additionally, the love interest mentioned, Yuri, is also given a fully fleshed-out storyline – she is made out to be a character that viewers can sympathize with. All too often, LGBTQ characters make a brief appearance and are spared an important storyline. Representation in media is taking a turn for the better, and Xo, Kitty is proof that viewers appreciate the change.


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About the Contributor
Teju Annamaraju
Teju Annamaraju, Staff Writer
Teju is a senior at NASH. Outside of school, she dances and, when she has free time, likes to write and code websites. She is always sleepy and tries hard to pay attention in period 1 Physics.

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