So MTV's The Paper, about a Florida high school newspaper, may be my new favorite reality show. Airing right after The Hills on Monday night, it's a silly and pleasant and embarrassingly relatable antidote to the daftness of Lauren and Co. The kids' anxieties, passions, and intensities are exactly what I remember of those days (particularly of my time spent doing theatre). Things were so fucking important back then. It's a specific sense of urgency that feels lacking in the ever-cluttered and complicated adult world.
Also, the "characters" are just wonderful. The obvious star is Amanda, the neurotic, bossy, intelligent, and ambitious Editor-in-Chief, who desperately wants her staff to like her, but is entirely clueless as to how to do that. Also enjoyable: flamingly gay business editor and professional shouter Adam (he also performs in school plays, heh), nerdy managing editor (and possible Amanda love interest) Alex, and Trevor and Giana, a dreamy couple that seems particularly hostile toward Amanda. Despite some inevitable teenage cruelty, the show is warm and funny, and captures that Sturm und Drang of high school that in hindsight seems, well, kinda fun. Above is a clip from the staff ice cream social (sadly cobbled together by Amanda), and below is a snippet from last week. If you want to read more, Jezebel covered last week's premiere episode nicely.