Netflix’s Grand Army

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Grand Army Netflix cover (Photo courtesy of IMDbPro).

Grand Army is a show that came out in October of 2016. Written by Randy McKinnon, The show features a high school in Brooklyn, New York. The first episode depicts a suicide bombing in the city while school is in session. Five students navigate through high school and attempt to find themselves amid all the chaos. 

One thing to appreciate about the show is how raw it is. Rather than overly romanticizing  high school, the show is realistic  and does not give the viewer an expectation of happily ever after. However, this does not mean the show leaves its viewers discontent. The drama shows its viewers how people can be happy without having  perfect life. Often in movies or shows, we are left with the expectation that life is perfect, and to be happy, all of our problems must be resolved. These false realities have a negative affect on people, because seeing these perfect lives where everything always works out can make us feel incomplete. Grand Army shows us that we can have issues and still be happy and content. 

Another aspect of the show that I enjoyed was depicting real-life struggles without the stigmatization of communities. For example, Siddhartha Pakum (Amir Bageria) is a character who struggles with his sexuality. The core struggle comes from being from a traditional Indian family while also being gay. The show’s writers balanced the two factors entirely and were able to communicate Sids struggle without perpetuating anti Indian beliefs. A lot of times in shows, while creating characters that are minorities, often times, they end up showing the families or the characters themselves in a negative light.

Overall this show gets a 10/10. It depicts a lot of struggles that not many people consider when they think about high school. The show is raw, and the characters are complex. Many heavy topics are touched and it shows both the positive and negative realities of our world. A lot can be learned from Grand Army and espescially as a high schooler, I learned a lot. I was engaged throughout the show ad I would recommend it.