There are a lot of dramas on British TV, and a lot of them are good, but when it comes to teenagers talking, most of them completely miss. This is bad for three main reasons. Firstly, it makes these shows unrealistic and unbelievable. Secondly, it reenforces negative media representations of young people. Thirdly, it patronises young people.
Some programmes can write for young characters. Channel 4's Shameless comes to mind. In fact one of the (many) brilliant things about Shameless is that it doesn't patronise anyone. But in so many dramas I've watched, teenage characters come out with unrealistic, clichéd lines. It's the fucking annoying result of lazy writing.
I'll give you three examples. If I think about this more I can come up with better ones, but these are the three that come to mind. Firstly, there's the BBC drama Dive which was on last year. Dive got practically everything wrong, including casting Gina McKee as (DUM DUM DUUUUMMMMM) the anxious mother. God she was anxious. But the second worst thing about Dive was the dialogue between the teenage couple, with one line so awful that I still remember it word for word:
"I don't really do girlfriends and shit, I'm just a bit wank at them."
Presumably the writer ( thought "teenagers, they swear a lot don't they! Those teenagers with their swearing." Before falling asleep on the keyboard and submitting the result as a final draft. If only there was some way of knowing what Dominic Savage wanted to do when he wrote Dive... Oh wait, there is!