The Women’s Entertainment network is taking us to school


The WE channel recently announced a new project set to air in March of next year, and it’s all about high school. Specifically, it’s a documentary called High School Confidential that follows the lives of a group of high school girls from freshman year through graduation. The show will air as an eight-episode series on WE, with web content launching in January. That web content is set to include blogs by the girls highlighted in the show, who are now college sophomores.

What’s interesting about the concept to me is that it claims not to pull any punches — to show high school life as it really is for these teenage girls. Here’s what WE had to say about the show via its recent press release.

“This series features dramatic and intimate storylines that reveal universal themes of today’s adolescent culture: self-image, sexuality, risk and experimentation, complex family dynamics, religion and even death.”

So we’re talking more Degrassi or My So-Called Life

… less High School Musical or Grease.

My memories of high school are a mix of good and bad, as I suspect is the case for most people. I remember devastating lows coupled with euphoric highs. I recall it as a time of extremes when everything was bigger than it needed to be. I wasn’t one of the “popular” kids, but I wasn’t exactly Josie Grossie either. Not that I would be complaining about that, had I grown up to look like Drew.

I got good grades and was active in student government, which put me firmly in geek-land. But, as a softball player, I scored some cool points and got to hang with some of the “in” crowd, during softball season at least. The fact that I was also a swimmer didn’t exactly add to my cool factors, but it did net me some good friends through my high school years. I was a tomboy, which I’m certain will come as a great shock to you all. And I had no idea why I got more butterflies in my belly when hanging out with some of my female friends than I did when my boyfriends and I spent time in the back seat fooling around.

I actually consider myself lucky in some ways, when it comes to figuring out my identity, lesbian and otherwise. In retrospect, I’m glad it took me as long as it did to figure it out. I knew a lot of people, but had few true friends in high school — and while I’m certain the ones that mattered would have stuck around (’cause they have), I also know that I wouldn’t have believed that to be the case at the tender age of 15. I also know how difficult it was for me to accept my sexuality as a twenty-something with a great deal more life experience than I had a decade earlier. Not only that, but I recall the struggle I had with my decision to actually say the word “I’m a lesbian” out loud to someone other than my own reflection in the bathroom mirror. I shudder at the thought of having to go through that and deal with pimples all at the same time.

It’s been more years than I care to share since I wandered the hallowed halls of my high school, but I still remember many things vividly. I’ll be watching High School Confidential just to see what’s different these days and to see which things never really change. I’m also interested to see the blog postings from the girls involved in the project as they watch their struggles broadcast to the world and navigate the life of a college student at the same time. How about you: Will you be watching and reading?

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