George Heymont: Here Comes Trouble!

Teenage angst can be an explosive energy which caroms off parents, teachers, and friends like one of the shiny, round metal objects in a pinball machine. As it ricochets from one bumper to another, lurching around on unexpected trajectories, it sets off buzzers, lights, and other warning signs of impending trouble.

With hormones ranging through their newly fertile systems, more nervous energy than they know how to handle, and a bitter resentment of authority figures, conflicted teenagers seem ripe for dramatization. Until reality sets in and throws a writer or filmmaker way off balance.

Asking a viewer/audience to suspend disbelief can be harder to accomplish when an onlooker loses patience with the narrative (not every teen is as inspiring as Ferris Bueller, Clark Kent, or Tracy Turnblad). Nor is every story about a teenager sufficiently gripping, genuinely riveting, or worth waiting for its dramatic payoff. Some struggle for years to find a following.

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George Heymont: Here Comes Trouble!

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