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Series / The Best Years

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The Best Years is a Canadian teen drama series set in Boston, Massachusetts. The show revolves around Samantha Best, who receives a scholarship to attend the fictional Ivy League college, Charles University, despite bouncing between foster homes for ten years. The series lasted from May 2007 to May 2009, for a total of 21 episodes across two seasons.

The series was created by Aaron Martin (one of the producers and writers of Degrassi: The Next Generation). It aired on Global Television Network in Canada and on Noggin's teen block, The N, in the United States.

Outdoor scenes from the show were filmed on the campus of the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, as well as the University of Toronto, and interior scenes of the campus were re-created at the Toronto Film Studios.

Samantha Best grew up in foster care after her parents passed away ten years earlier. Her strong, outgoing personality makes it easy for her to make friends. Samantha almost immediately befriends the rest of the show's cast. Her newfound friendships and her enrollment in the university become rocky after a drunken accident that causes another student's death, but with luck, honesty, loyalty, and determination, her status at the school was saved, yet her friendships remained rocky.

The subsequent episodes create strong character development, showing that each character has their own negative side as well as positive, while sticking to very realistic storylines.

This TV show provides examples of:

  • Character Development
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Poppi, the nerdy/quirky R.A.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Samantha
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: As a part of the second season retool, Kat becomes much sweeter, completely dropping the jerkass aspects of her character, and Alicia is still a Rich Bitch but her personality is now played for comedic effect.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The O'Sullivans
  • Lighter and Softer: The second season dropped the darker content (cocaine addiction, child molestation, etc) and focused more on romance.
  • Nice Guy: Noah
  • Put on a Bus: Dawn, Devon, and Trent were dropped for the second season. It was explained that Dawn went back to Hollywood, Devon was signed to a soccer team in Europe, and Trent opened a coffee bar in San Francisco.
  • The Reveal: Samantha learning that she is the niece of Dorothy O'Sullivan toward the end of the first season
  • Retool: The second season replaced half the cast and became more of a rom-com than a "serious issues" soap.
  • Time Skip: Season two takes place eight months after the end of season one with Sam having missed most of the school year.