High School Confidential



10 p.m. Monday, March 10
WE tv

Lauren and Cappie were fresh-faced teens in 2002. Their braces lurked behind shy smiles as they began their freshman year at Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. The girls were part of a group of 12 that remained in close contact with first-time documentary maker Sharon Liese, a single mother whose own daughter attended Northwest at the same time.

During the course of eight episodes of WE tv's "High School Confidential," Liese, employing a sort of time-lapse photography, shows each girl maturing during four years of high school. By interviewing the girls and their parents, she presents a microcosm of changes among teens. More than that, she shows how decisions they make at one point affect outcomes later.

The premiere episode revolves around Lauren and Cappie. Lauren, the apple of her parents' eyes, is diagnosed with a brain tumor during her sophomore year. Cappie, the rebellious product of a broken family, veers off into a life of partying but has a change of heart.

The series, from Liese's Herizon Prods. and New Line Television, is remarkable for the way it compresses time and hones in on pivotal moments. Even so, it might have been even stronger if Liese could have delved more deeply into these young lives so that we not only see the changes but also better understand, particularly in Cappie's case, how they came about.