Grand Army aired on Netflix October 16th, 2020. It covers the many obstacles that teenagers face in the real world and how they deal with differences. Grand Army has many ups and downs that five teenagers are trying to deal with: racial injustice, misogyny, high expectations from parents, struggles of fitting in a group, sexual assault, sexuality and most importantly trying to find themselves in a world where they are not understood or accepted. The show focuses on the many topics that teens struggle with and they should be talked about in many places throughout the world.
These five teens are Sid, a senior who struggles with his sexuality and is trying to meet his brown parents' expectations. Dom, who struggles with keeping her grades up and taking care of her family financially, staying in a small house trying to cooperate with everything all together. Joey, who throughout the show is being shamed because of the way she feels comfortable in her own skin; her story in the show is a traumatic experience that is overlooked because of the way she shows her body.
Jay, a saxophone player who he and his friend Owen got in trouble for messing around, only to have Owen be suspended for 60 days because they were playing around in a lockdown. The principal barely shows empathy towards the situation. Lastly, Leila who is a Chinese adoptee wondering what is her place and where does she fit in society; she is a teenager completely oblivious to her own toxic traits and manipulative ways.
The show goes on and focuses on the main topics of what many people in society overlook, like Joey’s performative activism, where she shows her devotion but in reality she is looking for validation to prove people that they support her. Joey sees that Dom and her friends are kneeling during the “Star Spangled Banner”, so she does it too because she thinks it will prove that she is with them, but she never holds her friends accountable when they were racist or homophobic.
The principal suspending Owen for 60 days because of playing around during a serious event was excessive but he allows the two white boys who had a sexual assault allegation come back to school. It goes to show that the principal does not care for the black students in the school and pushes away the fact that black kids are more likely to get targeted and pay the consequences. This also happens in real life where black students are stereotyped and targeted for their skin color.
The show Grand Army goes on with the struggles of identifying sexuality and how terrifying it is to come out to parents who probably are not accepting towards that topic. The struggles of keeping up with grades and helping your family and trying to see where you fit in this world and see who you really are.
I would recommend this show to anyone, especially teenagers who know the daily struggles of being a teenager in this society and having to deal with so many things that are thrown at them. Grand Army is a show that allows people to get a better understanding of many things and helps relate to the main topics that are not talked about. It is not a cheesy teenage series but an understandable and educational one.