If You Only Watch One Melodrama About High-School Journalism, Make It 'The Paper' : Monkey See An excellent documentary series about a high-school newspaper finds a new online home.
NPR logo If You Only Watch One Melodrama About High-School Journalism, Make It 'The Paper'

If You Only Watch One Melodrama About High-School Journalism, Make It 'The Paper'

MTV's The Paper ran for a total of eight episodes last year, and in that time, it demonstrated more about what makes high school so difficult and often painful than any documentary I can remember. It's not an exaggeration to say it wound up being an extraordinary story about being resilient, being a friend, being an individual, being a coward, and wearing purple leggings to school. (It's also hilarious, entertaining, and amazing conversation-bait between friends.)

It's too easy to populate documentaries or reality shows about teenagers with the ones who are vapid, who have nothing in their heads, or who are specifically dedicated to being evil all the time. It's a little harder to talk about how painful things can be even for smart, serious kids — say, kids who are fully devoted to the operation of an award-winning high-school newspaper.

Happily for all of us, Sling.com now has all the episodes of The Paper available (the first is at the top of the post), and they're conducting a coordinated Rewatch, in which you can follow along with one quick (about 22-minute) episode per weekday and talk about it in the comments.

Honestly, experiencing Amanda Lorber for yourself — controversial, annoying, heartbreaking, clueless, inspiring, wildly enjoyable Amanda Lorber — is worth every second you'll spend.