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, Charles University, despite bouncing between foster homes for ten years. The series lasted from May, 2007 to May, 2009. A total of 21 episodes in two seasons.
The series was created by producer and writer of Degrassi: The Next Generation, Aaron Martin. It is produced by Global Television Network, and can be seen on Global in Canada and 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 new found 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 story lines.
This TV show provides examples of:
- Bi the Way: One of Noah's girlfriends falls for the same girl Noah is harboring a secret crush on.
- California Doubling: The show takes place in Boston but is filmed in Canada.
- Character Development
- Dark and Troubled Past (Samantha)
- 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 (Many recurring characters in the first season, but most notably Dawn, Devon and Trent)
- 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.
- Triang Relations (See Entry)