I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for sitcoms. Growing up, I loved Full House. I recently watched Fuller House, and enjoyed that, too. It was so cheesy and perfect. I'm glad it was a short season, and I hope the next season is short, too. We don't need a reboot: we needed a few minutes to visit our characters as we remembered them.
I've recently also watched every episode of Friends, How I Met Your Mother, M*A*S*H, and Melissa and Joey. Melissa and Joey is sort of a reboot as it takes two characters we used to know and makes them grow up. Others from their old shows visit, too, to make it more fun.
I'm a sucker for cheesy storylines that can be wrapped up in one tiny episode. I love that the plot generally follows the same arc, deception is always part of the conflict, and the story is easy to follow. I enjoy that characters grow and change over seasons, but I don't need to see last week's show to understand what is happening this week. That's the beauty of a sitcom. It's also wrapped up in 21-25 minutes, making binge watching possible. And, the lack of plot I need to follow also means I can watch it while I'm doing something else, like paying bills or making food or surfing the web.
So, I've recently discovered a new sitcom called Young and Hungry. The main character, Gabi, is played by Emily Osment, who I've loved since since she played Lily on Hannah Montana. Emily plays characters that are spunky, a little lost, and hilarious. Even as a child-actress she was very talented at delivering one-liners. I'll be honest, I was a bit old for Hannah Montana when it came out, but I watched it pretty regularly anyway because Lily's character always made me laugh.
Anyway, I caught up binge watching Young and Hungry this weekend and was intrigued by a particular episode titled "Young & the First Time." In this episode Gabi, Cooper, and Josh all have STD testing done. Say what you will about the amount of young people having sex on TV is these days (in this show most of the characters are between 23 and 30), this is the first time I've ever heard of characters grappling with the reality of STD testing before being with a new partner. While this was essential to the plot for another reason (cue relationship deception & conflict), it was awesome that the characters went to be tested, the doctor complimented them on it, and they all spoke about the importance of being tested. In a culture that views sex with the laissez-faire attitude that ours does, it's nice to see in a show that airs on a channel meant for teens (ABC's Freeform) also discuss the importance of health, honesty, and the negative sides of having sex when discussing relationships.
Another point expressed in the show was the idea that STD testing is important because, to quote Gabi, "Every time you're with someone new you're also sleeping with with everyone else they've slept with." This is a peril of all intimate contact that young people often fail to understand. This show tackled it in a light-hearted way, but the message still got across.
Thanks, Freeform, for having your shows tackle this issue. I hope every TV show that shows or alludes to young people engaging in sexual behavior chooses to follow this path.