'It doesn't feel performative.' Stan Original Series Year Of represents real Australian high schools.

From a formidable brain trust comes new Stan Original Series, Year Of

The series is by the makers of Offspring and is a spin-off to popular Stan series, Bump. The connection between the teen-focused series and Bump is that Year Of will feature the character of Bowie, Ollie's brother, but five years into the future from where Bump left off. 

Set at the same school, Jubilee High School, Year Of focuses on a group of students about to embark on their final two years of high school. However, the new series is "a very different take," telling a different story to Bump, as star Tharanya Tharan told us, who plays Priya.  

Watch the trailer for Year Of below Post continues after video.

Video via Stan.

Tharan is currently 21 years old and looking back at her own high school experience, she saw parallels with Year Of's friendship dynamics. She said that unlike teen TV shows that often portray different high school cliques, like the popular or nerdy group, "this was the realest representation of high school now, at least when I was in high school," she said. 

"There was no clear distinctions between groups — everyone was intertwined. This group of friends in Year Of is such a diverse, un-cliquey, random group of people that have bonded. It doesn't feel performative." 

Year Of features a cast with a wide scope of genders, sexualities, and ethnic backgrounds. The series having a diverse cast is something that was important to Tharanya, who is of Eelam Tamil descent. "I appreciate the diversity so much and I appreciate that it's not shoved in your face — it's just a true reflection of how we are today." 


Image: Supplied/Stan. 

"At first I didn't notice it [the diversity] because at school, my friend group looked exactly the same. I know that's very much a privilege to say that but that was my high school experience: I had a diverse group of friends," she said. 

The actress attended high school in the north-western Melbourne suburb of Sydenham.

Tharan's co-star Samson Alston (who plays Tully in the series) had a different experience at high school. "I was the complete opposite, I didn't have any diversity growing up. I'm from a small beachy town on the Central Coast," he said. 


The 20-year-old noted that once he left his town, he realised how diverse Australia was. "It was a really good experience to see the differences but also understand there's not much difference," he said.

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Along with casting a group of diverse talent, both actors appreciated that the way the teens in the series spoke felt true to life. "I loved the script, it felt real," Alston said. 

"From the first read, it was like 'this is how we talk!' It wasn't saying #YOLO, it wasn't old people trying to write a script — it was people our age writing a script with us. It felt collaborative." 

Tharan agreed. "I didn't feel like I was acting. I didn't feel like there was much work to put into bringing the script to life. Priya is just generally a loveable character." 

Year Of takes place during a traumatic event which affects the lives of the close-knit group of inner-city teens. Unlike other teen shows like Netflix's Never Have I Ever or Ginny & Georgia, this series isn't afraid to tackle darker subjects. 

"You get a lot of teen shows that cover the general experience of being an adolescent," Tharan said. 

"But there are not a lot of shows that cover a specific event like this. Like how adults react to how teens react and how teens react to adults... we haven't seen a show which follows that journey."  

Every episode of the Stan Original Series Year Of is now streaming, only on Stan.

Feature image: Stan + Mamamia.

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