Teenage Kicks: The Search for Sophistication is a Documentary programme.


Teenage Kicks: The Search for Sophistication

In "Drinking Girls" Binge drinking, underage sex, too much money - today's teenagers are living lives that older generations find hard to comprehend. Teenage Kicks unlocks the secret world of today's pleasure-seeking teens and they reveal what they get up to. However, the series also highlights how their lifestyles can mean danger for them and trouble for their families.

Teenage girls are drinking more than ever before, with alcohol use and abuse crossing class and background. Drinking Girls looks at what drives girls to drink and where it can lead - from unplanned pregnancy and A&E to long-term health problems.

"Hospitals around the country expect to see scores of drunken young girls admitted every month," says producer, Kathy O'Neill. "Meanwhile health experts are warning that underage binge drinkers are risking serious consequences, even death. We wanted to find out what led these girls to drink the way they do and why they take such risks with their lives."

The young people featured in the film include Lindsey, who became pregnant at the age of 15 after drinking heavily with a boy she met on holiday. "Lindsey and her mum were very keen to take part in the film," says Kathy. "They want other girls and their families to know the possible consequences of drinking at that young age."

The film highlights young girls who are regularly binge-drinking, affecting relationships with their families and trouble at school - from discipline problems to truancy.

"Parents often have no idea of the scale of the problem," says director Heather Nash. "Often girls are drinking because they feel there is nothing else to do. Many areas have no cinemas or local amenities to keep them busy. But equally important is that parents know what their kids get up to when they are not around."

In "Young and Loaded" we see that teenagers today have more disposable wealth the ever before. But what is life like for teenagers with unimaginable wealth? Young and Loaded talks to rich teenagers more likely to shop in Harrods than the local high street.

Miki, daughter of Formula One boss Eddie Jordan, splits her time between shopping in London and revising for her A-Levels on the family's luxury yacht in Barcelona, complete with three-man crew.

Dominic made a million importing micro-scooters before he was fifteen, and he now nestles comfortably between Craig David and Kate Winslett in the Under 30 Rich List. Despite his wealth, Dominic remains a remarkably normal teenager, who goes out clubbing with his friends, but still lives with his mum and dad and gets £25 a week pocket money.

Fifteen-year-old Faye is the daughter of a chartered surveyor and a model. Her favourite past time is shopping with friends on the exclusive King's Road with her parents' money. But weekends at the family's country house aren't such fun, despite the tennis court and swimming pool. She just wants to be back in London shopping.

For executive producer, Edmund Coulthard, the film reflects the culture of teenagers across the country. "These kids are in a position to exploit their consumerist impulses more than others. They are still teenagers, and they behave like that - the impulse to rebel is still there."

The programme reveals rich kids' attitudes to money and how it effects their lives, friendships and pastimes. Despite their extra wealth, these teenagers have the same interests as any teenagers - hanging out with friends, shopping and the opposite sex. At the same time, they show that money is not necessarily the root of happiness, revealing the jealousy and awkwardness it can also provoke.

In "Skin Deep" Jo doesn't go out with white blokes. Her mate Tina, goes out with Ray. Tina is white and Ray is black. Tina's housemate Fallon prefers black men: "They just have so much confidence." Skin Deep is a tale of those white girls who desperately want a black boyfriend, and those black guys who find they're only dating white girls. (50% of black males have a white partner). It's a story interracial love in North London where there is plenty of racial harmony but lots of relationship hell. Its summertime, it's hot and the girls are looking for some "beef."

Tina, a 19 year old night-club bouncer, and Ray have been together for five years on and off and they are about to hit a bad patch. Ray may believe white girls are more laid back but he seems to be doing the running around. "I want to calm down the bickering. But we know we won't leave other, we've got so much love for each other," he says. However Tina is in not so sure. She's met another black guy who is gorgeous, but attached. She knows he's bad news, but can't help liking him.

Tina's mother lays the cards down. She likes Ray, although she admits "I wasn't pleased when I first found out he was black." But now she knows him she really likes him and he seems a safer option than the new guy. "The other one is a player. That's how you met him and that's how you've got to take him," she tells her daughter.

Tina's torn, especially as the new guy's not shaping up: "The new guy's no good at all. I told him, if it's just sex you want then just tell me. I'll put your number in my book and if I want a piece I'll just bell you. Ray wants to know why I won't make love to him, but I can't tell him I'm always thinking about the new guy."

It all comes to a head when Ray receives a text message from another girl whilst he's out with Tina. They have a screaming row in the middle of the street, and Tina finally reaches her decision. On a girls' night out she meets another bouncer and dumps Ray.

Tina and the girls are planning to check out the beef at the Notting Hill Carnival. There's plenty of music, drink and dancing but they are most impressed by the vast array of black men on display. Jo finds someone she likes and goes home with his 'digits', ie phone number. Tina is on a high, having met someone else she fancies the night before. "It's opened my eyes to show me how someone else can make me feel a bit different".

Meanwhile her friends finally reveal to Ray what's been going on behind his back. She tries to get him back, but he doesn't want to know. And she doesn't hear back from either the gorgeous black guy or the bouncer either. Now, for the first time in five years she is alone. "If I could say anything to Ray from the heart, I would say that I do love him. My problem is that I'm confused". But with five years history behind them, you never know what could happen...

Genre: Documentary