Superbad and the Depiction of Youth in Mass Media

[Originally written for a Mass Media Critique class September 2013].

Superbad, in my opinion, fits among the John Hughes pantheon of films, in that it has iconic imagery of teen sex and alcohol use for a young viewing audience, while also being able to deliver a surprisingly meaningful message. Throughout the film, we see the two main characters, Seth and Evan, pursue obtaining alcohol for the girls that they both genuinely like, in the hopes that they can get these girls drunk and have sex with them. They are mistakenly convinced this will work because they believe that everyone else is doing this and they feel a societal pressure to play along.

Along their journey, the boys are fraught with humorous peril, such as ending up at a cocaine party where they steal the homeowner’s alcohol. When they later arrive at the party, the boys are held up as heroes for the surrounding teenagers, implying that the events leading up to the party can be justified. The film shows a variety of stereotypes projected on these teenagers, such as their reckless abandon and narcissism, but chief among these stereotypes is their constant desire for alcohol as a delivery means for sex. Continue reading Superbad and the Depiction of Youth in Mass Media

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