There are a few concerns I have when it comes to age and television (and movies). In particular, I hate it when it is clear that an actor is too old for a role, because sometimes, it is far too obvious that a twenty-something is playing a 15-year-old. It just looks bad when some 28-year-old in heavy makeup is playing the most popular boy in school or a woman who is obviously over 25 is playing a high-achieving class president.
It might not have been as obvious [to younger viewers] when Beverly Hills 90210 first aired but it was shocking to first find out some of the actors’ ages. (I’ll let you decide what you think about Gabrielle Carteris’ role as “Andrea,” since she was the oldest to play a high-schooler on the show starting at age 29.)
However, it became clear that young adults would be cast in these roles. There would be many shows aimed at teens, including Dawson’s Creek, and most of the cast would be played by actors already in their twenties. Why? Many of these actors have more range than most teens do and are better prepared to deal with heavier material. Does it still bother me? Of course it does.
Here are a few glaring examples: