This is High School. No, really. This is high school, from the point of view of the 50 hidden cameras placed all around South Kamloops Secondary School in Kamloops, BC, a school CBC producers of this show chose from over 200 possibilities in Canada. In April and May of 2016, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff agreed to be filmed for this ground-breaking new series.
A short six-episode series like this has something to say that is different from most reality shows – this is the actual unscripted, real life of teenagers and school faculty going about their daily lives. Once the cameras were setup and the buzz surrounding them was forgotten, the captured footage was more illuminating than producers thought possible.
With a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ style better than that of any CCTV or big-brother type of filming, these remote controlled cameras caught all: the insecurities, the bullying, pressures from fellow students, emotional highs and lows, exploring sexuality, cliques, anti-cliques, and the way students really interact with teachers when nobody is looking.
The idea was thought up many years ago at CBC, and they had gotten the idea from a UK show called Educating Essex on Channel 4. That series has been wildly successful, so CBC thought it would be a good idea to create their own version. Each episode was edited by the producers to tell full stories from many angles across a span of two months time.
Episodes feature such storylines as a student who is excelling but finding it stressful to balance studies and elective activities; a student who seriously wants to drop-out despite the faith from a couple of teachers who care and try to help the student realize his potential; a student who gets schooled for his poor behavior; a new kid ridiculed for dressing and acting like the FBI agent he aspires to become; and the experience of a student with autism as he and his teachers try to understand themselves and each other.
The show’s Facebook page has lots of videos and clips from this show, and one video in particular, Austin’s English Paper, earned 1.24 million views. The sixth episode was streamed on Facebook Live on Sunday November 6, 2016, and the final Facebook Live broadcast for the series was on November 10, 2016.
The show’s producers solicited for followers to submit questions ahead of time that could be answered during that final broadcast. Most of the contributors where asking about a second season. There is no official announcement about a second season yet, but the official website says it’s not currently looking for a new high school at the time of this writing.
TiHS premiered on October 2, 2016, and aired every Sunday night at 8pm on CBC for six weeks. Episodes are also available to watch online at CBCs website, but only if you have a Canadian IP address due to the nature of the content being so real. It is not airing in any other countries at this time.
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