The Best (and Worst) Pop Culture High Schools

caitlin1214

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With ''Gossip Girl'' back, we look at the high schools we're glad we didn't attend (hello, Sunnydale) and the ones we wish we did (Hogwarts, here we come!)

(EW.com)



The high schools we're glad we didn't attend... SUNNYDALE HIGH
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
No one ever said high school was easy. But at Sunnydale High, students have to battle actual demons on a weekly basis. Gangs of vampires, boyfriends who turn evil after sex, vicious hellhounds trained to kill prom-goers...man, whatever happened to good old fashioned bullies? As much as I wanted to be a part of the Scooby Gang, I don't think I would have lived long enough to make it to graduation...which, of course, would have been marred by gangs of demons and a giant principal-eating snake. Just another day in Sunnydale.





WORST
THE CONSTANCE BILLARD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
THE ST. JUDE SCHOOL FOR BOYS
Gossip Girl
These aren't so much centers of academia as they are glamorous pit stops on the gold plated road to an Ivy League college. Sure, the students wear uniforms (the length of those skirts and the untucked shirts would never fly at a real private school) and occasionally mention homework. But do these kids go to class? Or, more likely, do they sit in desks updating their Blackberrys for the latest gossip from their favorite blogger? Still, the strict new headmistress, Queen Bee Blair, and the threat of internet slander make school for these kids a high-tuition hell.





CHILTON ACADEMY
Gilmore Girls
Hartford, Connecticut's most prestigious, fictional prep school is for overachievers only. The kind of student who is eternally asking, ''Will this look good on my college application?'' The type of kid who runs for student council while organizing a bake sale and writing a newspaper editorial, in between studying for a midterm, filling out applications to Harvard and Yale, and attending school-sponsored Shakespeare festivals. It's a miracle that Rory Gilmore manages to maintain her sanity and snag the title of class valedictorian. I wouldn't last very long if my classmates were only interested in comparing grade point averages.




WORST
McKINLEY HIGH
Freaks and Geeks
You would think that going to school with James Franco and Seth Rogen would be a blast, but McKinley High was rough for the burned out or good at biology. Alas, even Judd Apatow couldn't make us want to be back in high school.




WORST
VINCE LOMBARDI HIGH
Rock 'N' Roll High School
Everything is freakin' great at Vince Lombardi High until the arrival of uptight commandant Miss Togar, the latest in a succession of principals driven nuts by the students' love of rock & roll (they play music and dance every chance they get). She rules with an iron fist, confiscating all the tickets to the Ramones show (which really teed off Riff Randell, the mop-topped punkers biggest fan) and planning a record burning bonfire. The only choice left is to rebel, with the Ramones leading the charge. Hey ho, let's go!
 

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caitlin1214

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WORST
LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL
My So-Called Life
Freedom doesn't abound at this angst-ridden school in fictional Three Rivers, Penn. The principal is a strict disciplinarian, the entrances are protected by metal detectors (ever since someone brought a gun to school and Brian may/may not have been a witness), and the sophomore class bestows titles like ''Best Hooters'' and ''Most Slut Potential'' on fellow classmates. And the coolest place to hangout for sensitive teen Angela Chase and her troubled pals Rayanne and Rickie? The Girls' bathroom.




WORST
PRESTON HIGH SCHOOL
Napoleon Dynamite
What reputable place of learning would require students running for class president to perform a skit in addition to giving a speech? Thank goodness nerdtastic Napoleon Dynamite thinks quickly enough to save the day and the election for his friend Pedro. (And we're not referring to the real Preston High School in Preston, Idaho, which provided the setting for parts of the film and is surely quite nice.)




WORST
UNNAMED HIGH SCHOOL
Brick
It might look like a regular high school, but the unnamed school at the center of Brick has a seedy underbelly that involves drugs and murder. The scariest part of the film is that its portrayal of the teenage social caste system is highly realistic, only the teens speak like they just stepped out of a pulpy noir novel, and the stakes are a lot higher than who's going with who to homecoming.




WORST
WESTERBERG HIGH
Heathers
Dear Diary,
God, I HATE attending Westerberg High. You see, there is this trio of girls, all named Heather (barf), who think they rule the school. Then one of them, Heather Chandler killed herself. Suddenly everyone is doing it! The day before last, it was these football doofuses Ram and Kurt — turns out they were gay lovers!!! WTF? Has my school gone mad? I can only imagine what is going to happen next. I think I do want to transfer to Washington or Jefferson. HELP ME!





The high schools we wish we did attend... UNNAMED HIGH SCHOOL
Van Halen's ''Hot for Teacher'' Video
Why? Because...well, look at the teachers! Yes, there seems to be some kind of detention-jail cell thingie, but there are also beauty pageants and wicked guitar solos and sparkly disco balls. And David Lee Roth is the friggin' bus driver. Enroll me. Toot sweet.
 

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caitlin1214

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BEST
HARBOR HIGH
The O.C.
Sure, the rich kids are snots and most of them probably had plastic surgery before they could even drive. And, yes, the water polo team has a tendency to pee in the geeks' shoes. Nevertheless, sign me up for a spot at Harbor High. Hello, how many schools boast a killer view of the Pacific Ocean from their cafeteria? Even bland school lunches become palatable in those lush surroundings. Especially if Seth Cohen's at my table. Or proclaiming his love for me atop a coffee cart.




BEST
RIDGEMONT HIGH
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Despite the clear tyranny of Mr. Hand, Ridgemont is filled with kids who know how to live life, whether it's single-handedly annihilating a rival football team (like Forrest Whitaker), stalling on a first-date dinner when you've forgotten your wallet (like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Brian Backer), masturbating to your sister's friend (like Judge Reinhold), or stoning your way to possible graduation (like Sean Penn). Sure, that whole abortion thing doesn't fall under the ''good time'' heading, but still...




BEST
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Harry Potter series
Hogwarts may not always choose the best faculty (Lockhart, anyone?) but it's still the dream school for any young wizard. Yeah, it's a dangerous place — let's not forget the giant snake that roamed the plumbing, the giant spiders in the forest, and all the creepy crawlies in the lake — but the place teaches magic, which is cool no matter what.




BEST
DEGRASSI HIGH
Degrassi High
Yes, The Next Generation kids are all cool and high-tech and stuff — they've even got a class called ''media immersion'' — but they're all so...glamorous and, you know, sexually active. I prefer to keep it old-school: As far as I remember, high school is all about the awkward — pizza faces, hair experimentation, horrible garage bands, and gut-wrenching crushes that never lead ANYWHERE. Yeah, I coulda fit in there.
 

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caitlin1214

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BEST
WEST BEVERLY HILLS
Beverly Hills, 90210
West Beverly Hills High School, a school for rich kids. A school where teen girls have credit cards and the dudes, Brandon excluded, drive hot red Corvettes. As long as you're in the in-crowd, high school very well may be the best years of your life.




BEST
NEW YORK HIGH SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS
Fame
I used to wish that my family would move to New York City so I could attend the performing arts high school in Fame. Although after watching this movie as an adult, I'm not sure why I wanted to go so badly. Sure, spending all day singing, dancing, and acting was my idea of fun as a kid (yup, I was a theater geek), but the intense pressure to succeed, the egos, and the creeps who look to prey on those desperate for their big break are not enticing at all.




BEST
DILLON HIGH SCHOOL
Friday Night Lights
There's not much to do in the small, sleepy Texas town of Dillon, except hang out at the local drive-in burger joint or eat at Applebee's. But fall Fridays at the high school are electric as students stroll sign-filled hallways, go to pep rallies, and gear up for the evening Panther games. The popular kids (football players and cheerleaders) mix with the outsiders, thanks to Matt Saracen taking over as QB. Coach Taylor is tough but cool, and Mrs. Taylor doesn't let her hotness affect her job as a compassionate counselor.




BEST
RYDELL HIGH
Grease
I'm not sure that I want to go to a school where all the students look as though they were held back several times; it doesn't say much for the educational experience. Okay, the constant singing and dancing does have its charms, but the crazy peer pressure that forces Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta) to change just so they can be together is not cool. Then again, that carnival at the end of the movie seems fun — sign me up!




BEST
SKY HIGH
Sky High
The major appeal and detraction to Sky High is its location, which is, well, in the sky. You need not apply if you have even the slightest fear of heights. Let's just ignore that one must have super powers to enroll, and consider that a flying yellow bus takes you to school, gym class is an opportunity to use your powers, and the faculty are all super heroes (played by Dave Foley, Linda Carter, and Bruce Campbell). Despite the school's pesky habit of separating the kids with useful powers from those who have abilities like glowing and melting, it would be fun to visit Sky High.
 

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May 7, 2007
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I don't know about worst but I would have loved to have gone to St Trinian's or Rydell High (so long as John Travolta was there!!!!!)
 

caitlin1214

tPF Bish
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Jul 7, 2006
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To add to the Best schools:


CULA, California University of Los Angeles in Legally Blonde.


(Especially in the Delta Nu sorority.)



It just looks like so much fun there.




I would also love to have gone to Hogwarts.