If you're all caught up on Scandal and still desperately miss Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, boy do we have the show for you. The entire first season of Youth & Consequences went live on YouTube Red on March 7, and stars Anna Akana and Kara Royster gave Life & Style the exclusive scoop about the show's amazing characters, awesome diversity, and woke storylines.
"It's high school but it's really sophisticated and adult," insisted Anna, who plays the lead character of Farrah on the show. "I look really young so I go out for a lot of high school material, but my complaint is that it doesn't feel real, it feels like adults trying to pander to kids, but Jason [Ubaldi]'s s script was beautifully done. It was just smart and always kept you guessing and the characters were like really vivid and sophisticated so I just fell in love."
Though the show may be set in high school, it has some very real drama. "We called it like a mix between House of Cards and Scandal but like set in high school with really sophisticated characters," said Anna. Co-star Kara compared it to "like a Gossip Girl but it’s pretty funny. There are lots of jokes, it is a dramedy still. It’s like Mean Girls as well, I think that’s the closest that we’ve come to."
What Youth & Consequences is doing differently from the network shows is bringing attention to real-world issues in a very real way. "We cover a trans storyline with someone who’s outed against their will," explained Anna, who also serves as an executive producer on the show. "Even though I'm not part of that community it was important for me to be inclusive in that way and discuss that because teen suicide is the third leading cause of death, with LGBTQ being 50% more liable to commit suicide. I'm a big suicide prevention advocate. I really wanted to target this demographic who could benefit from seeing their struggle represented in a very real way on screen."
Kara related to a different episode centered around sports equality. "It tackles how there isn't equal pay or equal attention [to women's' sports] and there’s a powerful moment at the end that shows that we are stepping in the right direction. It's nice to see people becoming more inclusive. The best thing about the show is that even though it's the topics people have talked about so many times before, Jason did an amazing job of turning it on its head, making it very present and not just the same recycled episode that you’ve seen before."
The cast itself is making a big dent when it comes to representation, which is something very near and dear to Anna. "In media, when I see myself represented it’s always a stereotype," she said, talking about the invisibility of Asian-Americans in media. "One of the things I loved most about the show is that me and Piper Curda (who plays Grace Ho) are the two main Asian leads. I build her up and she basically takes me down during the whole first season, but the fact that we’re both Asian doesn't matter to the story, it's such a diverse cast and I loved the opportunity to see us both in the position of power and justice and being fully complex and dimensional." The exciting new series also features Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross, plus Sean Grandillo, and Sophie Reynolds.
If you can't wait to see how all the drama unfolds, you can binge the whole first season right now on YouTube Red!