What do you think about this project Maria Elena?

What sort of films or TV shows on girlhood did you grow up watching?

I was born in the early ’80s, so let’s say that I was surrounded by TV Series imported from the United States, and as a child I watched almost all of them: The A-team, Supercar, Baywatch, Happy Days, Super Vicky, Parents in Blue Jeans, Baby Sitter, The Robinsons, Otto under a roof, Bayside Schools and Beverly Hills 90210. Of course, I also watched Italian TV series such as Caro maestro, Kiss me Licia, I ragazzi della 3C, Fantaghirò, College and I ragazzi del muretto. I even watched some French series such as Hélène and her friends, along with Sabrina and Dawson’s Creek which accompanied my adolescence. I remember waiting for Thursday nights to see the latter! When I often stayed to sleep at my grandparents’, I remember that we watched RAI TV programmes such as Il maresciallo Rocca or Un medico in famiglia. As for the films, I alternated between American and Italian. My adolescence was accompanied on the one hand by generational American films such as Save the Last Dance, 10 Things I Hate About You, Drive Me Crazy and Clueless, and on the other by Italian films such as those with Silvio Muccino, for example, Come te nessuno mai and Che ne sarà di noi, or others considered more “impegnate”, such as Ovosodo by Virzì and La guerra degli Antò by Milani.

What are your favourite films or TV shows about girlhood today? 

I find that today’s Italian TV series have changed with regards to the representation of adolescence. At the turn of the 90s and 2000s, adolescents were quite stereotyped and always troubled, with problems related to sex and drugs.  Now, in popular series, adolescents are represented in a more cheerful way, as in Summertime, or more “adult” as in Baby, where characters are capable of solving problems far beyond their age. Noticing this difference, it is difficult for me to be able to say that I have a favourite series today. In any case, I appreciated Summertime as an Italian series because it shows a diverse representation of Italian teenagers that never previously existed in Italian TV, similar to the foreign series Sex Education.  Summertime and Stranger things are both set in the 80s, which reminds me of the Goonies and my childhood. I also liked Ginny & Giorgia because it is a light series even though it deals with several important themes. As for the films, I remain linked to the representations of the 90s/2000s in the American films mentioned above, and I have a particular bond with the Italian films Ovosodo, Ecco fatto, La guerra degli Antò, which represent the so-called Italian “leftist” teenagers, the “zecche”, as they were called in Rome. Among the more recent films, my favourites are Love, Rosie and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

What films or TV shows that you know of now would you recommend to your younger self?

I think I would recommend Sex education and Summertime for the innovative ways to represent Italian teenagers.

What are you most looking forward to about working on this project?

I am very curious to see the regional differences as the project has partner schools all over Italy. From an academic point of view, I am looking forward to starting field research with the Research Team, and I hope to discover new methodologies for the analysis and collection of data in qualitative research.