11 alternative TV and film icons who shaped a generation of emos – Alternative Press | Episode Movies

Have you ever watched a movie or TV series and walked away with a vision for a whole new aesthetic and attitude? We often talk about the musicians who changed our sense of style and culture, like Hayley Williams and Gerard Way, but we also forget to mention the fictional characters that shaped us.

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We’ve looked back at some of the most impactful alternative Characters from film and TV over the last two decades that have taken Gen Z (and some Millennials too) by storm. We may have made some unfortunate hair, makeup, and clothing decisions because of them, but boy are we glad they exist.

Maeve Wiley (sex education)

sex educationone of the biggest shows on Netflix is doing a great job of advocating for inclusion and diversity right now. Not only did it sensitively address a wealth of complex subjects, but it also brought some beautifully whimsical characters into our lives. Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) is still keeping everyone talking after three seasons. Her tough exterior will always be admired by the alternative community, and many of us can relate to the fact that she’s really just one big softie. Her stance on feminism and her love of the riot grrrl movement means she’s not stuffed into the “not like the other girls” cliché either. She hand-delivered fringed jackets back and assured us that it’s okay to choose a night with a book over a house party.

Effy Stonem (skins)

Effy (Kaya Scodelario) was the crazy college it girl on the British teen series skins, which explored the complex lives of teenagers as they navigated their various traumas, relationships and friendships. She had us all create that perfect smoky eye with eye-catching blue liner, and we probably looked ridiculous trying to replicate her romanticized, enigmatic ways. Although many of her coping mechanisms for dealing with her brother’s life-altering injury and her parents’ fragile marriage were beyond unhealthy, there was something about the way Effy managed to charm those around her and the way she was daringly brave. She had both her friends and us completely under her spell.

Rodrick Heffley (Greg’s diary)

Although the first Greg’s diary The film was released in 2010 and the hashtag #rodrickheffley has over 861 million views on TikTok alone. In fact, the app is teeming with fan edits of the protagonist Greg’s (Zachary Gordon) mischievous, edgy older brother. Rodrick (Devon Bostick) stole the hearts of many an emo when he made his big screen debut, playing drums for Löded Diper and rocking a solid smoky eyeliner. He was every teacher’s nightmare, but every emo teen’s dream: you either wanted to be him or date him—there was no in-between.

Stella Yamada (lemonade mouth)

The scared lemonade spitting Stella Yamada from Disney’s lemonade mouth let us cut one side of our hair shorter than the other and made sure all our friends and family could see that one dangling peacock feather earring so they could see how quirky we were. She played guitar and wore t-shirts that said “Ask Authority,” which got us all ready to rebel against our boring school politics. Nowadays the actor who played Stella Hayley KiyokoShe no longer writes emo ballads, but is known as “Lesbian Jesus” and makes pop music that empowers LGBTQ+ people.

Mary Elizabeth (The perks of Being a Wallflower)

Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman) was the moody and headstrong girlfriend of Charlie Kelmeckis (Logan Lerman). The perks of Being a Wallflower. similar to lemonade mouth‘s Stella, she also sported a funky crooked hairstyle and a unique flamboyant earring. She caused a stir in her circle of friends by becoming a Buddhist and was always very strong in her opinions. She explained that “school dances suck torture” and Charlie described her as “a really nice person under the part of her that hates everybody” — quite a compliment for any alternative kid. And let’s not forget how this film helped many of us discover Smiths and David Bowie classics. Long live the tunnel song!

Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)

It seems pretty reasonable that we could blame it Ramona flowers for a generation of emos who turn to hair dye at the slightest inconvenience in their lives. This quiet and captivating tea-obsessed girl had the main character Scott Pilgrim (Michael Kera) so bad that he agreed to take down her seven evil ex-boyfriends so he could date her. Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) loved dating both boys and girls in bands, as did many of us growing up, and her impact on the alternative community was so colossal that every dyed-haired girl in a dating App today is often confronted with the classic line of “You remind me of Ramona Flowers.” We are so sorry. You deserve a veteran discount if you are.

Janis Ian (mean girls)

what would mean girls be without Janis Ian? This animated outcast (played by Lizzy Caplan) felt relatable to many of us — she was bullied for her style, found solace in art, and befriended other outcasts like queer kids like Damian and other “art geeks.” Her classic lines like “Your mom’s chest hair!” and “I guess I have a lesbian crush on you so suck that!” remain just as memorable and hilarious to this day. It’s safe to say we all carry a little bit of Janis’ fiery comebacks, and we may have fantasized about sabotaging the popular gang in high school, too.

Robbie Jennings (Angus, thongs and perfect snogging)

“Libby, stop licking Robbie!” Georgia Nicolson (Georgia Groome) called out to her weird little sister Angus thongs and perfect smooch. But let’s face it: you were a bit jealous, weren’t you? Robbie (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) was part of the dreamy boy band Stiff Dylans in this coming-of-age film that left an indelible mark on pop culture. The band had some absolute smashes like “Ultraviolet,” which still hits hard today, and it’s the greatest tragedy of all that they’re not still making such incredible emo-bops in 2022.

Jade West and Beck Oliver (victorious)

OK, so we’re kind of cheating with a duo here, but they’re so iconic we couldn’t leave them out. Jade (Liz Gillies) and Beck (Avan Jogia) were Nickelodeon’s feuding alternate couple victorious which pretty much sent us all into a bi-panic. How was it possible that two people were together the attractive? Jade’s love of goth culture (and scissors) coupled with Beck’s soft indie-boy aesthetic made the duo the epitome of ultimate couple goals for Gen Z emos.

Eddie Munson (stranger things)

We could never forget Eddie Munson. stranger things‘ Favorite Metalhead (Joseph Quinn) joined the show in Season 4 and, to be honest, sent the alternative community absolutely wild. Eddie won the hearts of millions with his endearing quirks like calling Steve a “big boy” and his candid, heartfelt lines to his younger companion Dustin (“Never change, Dustin Henderson!”). Plus, his whopping guitar showcase from Metallica‘s “Master Of Puppets” in The Upside Down has to be one of the most talked about moments of any TV series in 2022. Spoiler alert: if he doesn’t come back from the dead in Season 5, we’ll be rampaging in our Hellfire Club t-shirts.

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