High School Confidential David Denby Analysis

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The most hated plot in America is the underdog’s demise- the empathetic pain of scrutiny, and the failure we all miss to escape. The scrawny, glasses-wearing outsider is often the underdog, the hero we all cheer for. The one who makes all the refinements in a society that is stagnant to change. And his most successful storytelling, or retelling, is that in the setting of high school. He walks awkwardly down the hall with his shoulders slightly hunched inward and mouth slightly ajar. He adjusts his glasses as giggles of blonde chicks pass him and he encounters the brawny jocks at the corner. We all see what is bound to occur, and yet we sit there yelling at the television for something to happen; for the summer that will change it all, for his transformation, for our win. …show more content…

This emotional satisfaction stems from the “remembered hurts which then get recast into symbols” (Denby 11) and are eventually eliminated or fixed when “the outsider who joins the system also modifies it” (Denby 13). The system he mentions is the social constructs American teens create for themselves as they view the world is constantly judging them and they constantly judge the world. The high school teen movie genre in a whole is an inaccurate representation of reality, according to Denby. They are “merely a set of conventions that refer to other films” (Denby 4) and simply reaffirm for the yearning viewers that “the outsiders can be validated only by the people who ostracized them” (Denby 13) creating yet another unrealistic

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