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In this pioneering and entertaining book, Roz Kaveney examines the crucial films and television shows in the teen-driven genre and reveals the inner workings of their consistent themes. From John Hughes' early films, to the cheerleaders of Bring It On, the films and their characters deal with sex and gender relations, presenting a picture of the hidden life of teenagers. Hit teen films can also promote products, launch bestselling soundtrack albums, and be career-makers for young actors. Kaveney also shows how the teen genre has absorbed classic material in the case of Clueless, has made up gender etiquette manuals like American Pie, and how teen films and TV series deal with the tragic and comic undersides of the American dream.