Watch Puberty Blues
- 2 Seasons
Puberty Blues is an Australian television drama series that aired on Channel 10 from 2012 to 2014, based on the 1979 novel of the same name written by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. Produced by Endemol, the show follows a group of teenage friends growing up in the 1970s in the beachside suburb of Cronulla, located in the Sutherland Shire region of Sydney. The show explores the social, cultural, and sexual dynamics of adolescence, particularly for females, in a time when the values of the baby boomer generation were being challenged by the emerging counterculture. The main character of the show is 14-year-old Debbie Vickers (played by Brenna Harding), a bright and ambitious girl who, along with her best friend Sue Knight (played by Ashleigh Cummings), aspires to be one of the cool and popular girls at school. The two girls are initially rejected by the popular group, made up of alpha female Cheryl Hayes (played by Isabelle Cornish) and her friends Vicki, Carole, and Debbie H. As the show progresses, Debbie and Sue eventually become accepted by the group, but at a cost: they must conform to the group's norms and values, which often involve sexual promiscuity, drug use, and partying. Through Debbie's eyes, the show explores the complexities of growing up in a patriarchal society that places great importance on appearance, attractiveness, and conformity. Debbie's relationship with her mother, Sandra Vickers (played by Claudia Karvan), is a central theme of the show. Sandra is a stay-at-home mom who is frustrated with her life and marriage, and often takes out her frustrations on Debbie. Debbie, in turn, rebels against her mother's expectations by experimenting with sex, drinking, and drugs. The show portrays their relationship as one of love and conflict, as Sandra struggles to come to terms with her daughter's growing independence and sexual awakening. Puberty Blues also explores the dynamics of male-female relationships in the 1970s, particularly in the context of the sexual revolution. Debbie's love interest is Gary Hennessey (played by Sean Keenan), a charismatic but troubled surfer who also happens to be Cheryl's on-and-off boyfriend. Gary is portrayed as a charming and sensitive guy who genuinely cares for Debbie, but who also struggles with his own insecurities and vulnerabilities. Their relationship is contrasted with that of Cheryl and Bruce, the latter being a good-looking but shallow guy who only uses Cheryl for sex. The show does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of growing up in the 1970s, particularly for girls. In one episode, Debbie is sexually harassed by a group of boys while walking home from school, an incident which shakes her confidence and makes her question her own sexual desirability. In another episode, Debbie and Sue are exposed to the horrors of back-alley abortions, a common occurrence at the time due to Australia's strict abortion laws. Overall, Puberty Blues is a raw and honest portrayal of adolescence in the 1970s, touching on themes of sexuality, identity, and rebellion. The show's script, along with the performances of its young cast, is gripping and realistic, making it a cult classic that has resonated with generations of viewers.