If you were a high-achieving teenager in the Eighties or early Nineties, there was only one way for you to get through feeling overwhelmed by all the pressure: amphetamines.
Or at least it seemed that way on television.
Over the course of this episode, I look at four episodes where teenagers turn to speed (okay, sometimes it’s caffeine pills) to help them get through midterms, finals, a geometry test, or a crazy workload, all from the 1980s and 1990s. It begins with Degrassi High, and then moves on to three classic NBC sitcoms: Family Ties, Saved By the Bell, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Are their messages effective? Are they as lame as they seemed back then? Or are they sending another message altogether?
Be a good citizen! Don’t do drugs! Understand the dangers of unprotected sex and fight the stigma of AIDS. These are all part of various DC Comics public service announcements over the company’s 80-year history. In this episode, I tackle citizenship by looking at a classic one-page Superboy PSA; fight the war on drugs by looking at not one, but all three New Teen Titans Drug Awareness giveaways; and I contribute to AIDS awareness by looking at one-page PSAs featuring the DCU’s best and brightest as well as the mini-comic Death Talks About Life.
This episode is dedicated with heartfelt condolences to Mr. Shawn Engel, whom the TTF family recently lost. My thoughts go out to his family and friends in this difficult time.