It's been a while since I have posted on Spanengrish Ramblings, that is an understatement. I have been binge-watching a couple of Teen shows and decided to compare them. Some have been reviewed to death and one has not been. The three shows I am comparing are Genera+ion, Elite, and High School Musical the Musical the Series. One series is much more serious than the others. Two are more of comedies. I am also concerning on how LGBT characters and issues are handled in all three series. Also, Genera+ion and Elite both deal with sexuality more openly, and many of the characters are fluid and switch partners, not depending on gender.
Genera+ion streams on HBO Max. It has not been praised enough. It follows teenagers at a school and many are LGBT and or experimenting with their sexuality. The show unapologetically explores the characters and relationships. It has a cavalcade of characters.
Elite streams on Netflix. It is from Spain, it gets dubbed in English and created by Elite. Elite premiered 4 years prior. It follows rich kids at a prestigious high school with murder, drugs, lies, and the usual teen drama. The series started with 2 gay characters and 1 bisexual character. Soon it blossomed into 3 more bisexual characters and one more gay character.
High School Musical the Musical the Series streams on Disney Plus. It takes place in the school where High School Musical was shot and about the drama club and they performed High School The Musical. It is a comedy. The first season introduced two gay characters and then their relationship is being explored more in season two.
Genera+ion is LGBT all over, that it even has a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)---which the characters explain is old school. There are about 12 main characters they balance around. Instead of saying how many LGBT characters there are, it is better to just saw which ones have mainly been in heterosexual relationships and there are 4 characters (Naomi, Deliah, J, and Arianna). On top of it that Deliah (Lukita Maxwell) is non-binary and J probably is too but they have mostly been in heterosexual relationships. Genera+ion has been compared to Euphoria but it is much more positive and leans towards comedy than Euphoria does.
The breakout main character Chester (Justice Smith) is openly gay and flamboyant. Smith does a great job as him, he completely understands this character and embodies it. His storyline is he falls for his school counselor who is also out Sam (Nathan Stewart-Jarret) and later meet-cute D&D geek Bo (Marwan Salama). My favorite characters have to be Riley (Chase Sui Wonders) and Greta (Haley Sanchez), their characters are so sweet and real. Greta is Mexican-American, she is a sweet, quiet, and polite girl whose mother is overwhelming and strict. She has a crush on Riley, a cool girl whose mother has a very uncommon strange story. You have to just watch it to understand it. What is strange is that I didn't even know Greta's aunt was actually a transgender actress Nava Mau (Ana), it is not even referenced until episode 14. Another standout is Martha Plimpton playing Megan, another mother she plays having issues with her son's sexual orientation. But Plimpton is a pro and even if her dialogue can make someone angry, she delivers such passion and legitimacy to her role.
Elite starts out with the sweet story of Omar (Omar Ayuso) and Ander (Aron Piper). Omar, the child of Muslim immigrants, he has a conflict with his dad but not because of his sexuality but of his strict upbringing. Polo (Alvaro Rico) is later revealed to be bisexual and has a threesome with his girlfriend and a guy. Actually, there are a lot of threesomes in Elite and there is a lot of guys. Polo is in actually in two of the three threesomes. Then we have seemingly bisexual Valerio (Jorge Lopez) who mixes in with Polo and his new girlfriend. I don't say many names because of spoilers. Then in Season 4, a character was straight, then gets in a relationship with another girl, both never been with a girl before. Also in season 4, Patrick (Manu Rios) mixes in with Omar and Ander.
High School Musical the Musical the Series only has so far two gay characters. Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) and Seb (Joe Serafini) go out on a date in season 1. This is a big deal because there not many LGBT characters on Disney +. Love, Victor was supposed to be on Disney + and then moved over to Hulu, so it is clear they were hesitant to have any LGBT characters in Disney +. Frankie and Joe are even in a relationship in real life. In Season 2, Seb throws a birthday party for Carlos in his farmhouse and they call it a Quinceanero instead of the quinceanera. They only kiss once and in that same episode.
I definitely recommend watching Genera+ion, it is a great show. Elite on the other hand is a cup of tea, it depends if you can stomach teenagers being irresponsible and death. If you want to see hot boys and don't care for plot, then watch Elite. HSMTMTS is sweet and everything is okay--kind of series. So if you can put up with cute saccharine stuff, then watch HSMTMTS.