By: Mary Kate Dorr – Asst. A&E Editor
Transitions are awkward. The clumsiness of new beginnings and the sadness lingering from the latest ending leave us in an uncomfortable limbo of uncertainty.
As college students, this is a familiar feeling. We’ve all recently gone through the transitional process of leaving home and entering a new place, virtually alone, for the first time. We know how weird and scary it can be.
Now imagine an entire camera crew following you throughout this process, broadcasting your ever-changing thoughts and feelings to the entire Dayton, Ohio area. This is exactly what six local teenagers are experiencing as they transition from the comfort of high school to the “real world.”
Step back, “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills,” and make way for Dayton’s own, “The Valley.” The locally based reality show premiered on the CW Sunday, Sept. 14.
The cast includes Ally of Springboro, a rising musician preparing to take her talents to Belmont University; Chris of Centerville, a ladies’ man headed to the University of Cincinnati; Stephanie of Dayton, an aspiring broadcast journalist who will attend Wright State University; Donald of Huber Heights, who isn’t quite sure where he is headed, but he’s excited to get there; Alexys of Centerville, a beauty queen who plans to study international business and pre-law at Xavier University; and finally, Nathan of DeGraff, who decided to study at the University of Cincinnati without ever visiting the campus.
Each cast member was a stranger prior to filming of the show. Throughout the series, the teenagers will go out and experience their final summer before college at nearby Dayton and Cincinnati locations such as Kings Island amusement park and The Beach waterpark. Between pool days and prank wars, the cast seems to become fast friends. As the episodes progress, the relationships between the cast members become stronger and deeper as “real life” begins to set in.
And as is usually the case in reality TV, plenty of drama ensues.
Nathan, one of the cast members, struggles to come out with his sexuality to these virtual strangers before starting his college life. Donald moves out of his childhood home and away from his immediate family as a way to begin his transition into a new life of adulthood. The cast members visit their new schools on campus tours and express their excitements and concerns for the years to come. Between budding relationships, personality clashes and flirtatious behavior, “The Valley” spins a Dayton twist into the world of reality shows.
To follow the ups and downs of the summer before college for these new friends, tune in to Dayton’s CW Sundays at 8 p.m. Episodes one through four are available for free streaming on daytonscw.com.