'My Generation' premiere: Now that's what I call the first decade of the new millennium!

My-GenerationImage Credit: Vivian Zink/ABCI’m sure that, if you’re over 30 or under 22, My Generation looks like a shambling idiot parade of “Things That Jon Stewart Stopped Making Fun Of Five Years Ago.” But you guys just don’t get it. My Generation is about my generation. I’m in the same arbitrarily defined age demographic as the characters. I am them. They are me. I was a total nerd/punk/jock/rich kid/rock star/generic-John-Hughes-stereotype when I attended my suburban high school in Suburban America, USA. Like the faceless people-bots who star in My Generation, I had a total plan for my life… but history had different ideas, y’know? I started out in college studying pre-med/pre-law/pre-Computer/pre-Heartless Banker, but I changed my major because of Iraq/Katrina/Enron/Britney. I wanted to do something important, which is why I’m currently working on financial-reform legislation and raising my best friend’s illegitimate child. While teaching English. To starving children. In Afghanistan.

None of that is true, but I still kind of liked My Generation, even though it’s a total mess. The actors are all fine – Jaime King, who once starred in a film actually titled Bulletproof Monk, could be having a Jaime Pressley moment (which is when a former Maxim cover girl gets just old enough to use her hotness to portray hilarious onscreen vanity. See also, Christina Applegate.) But everyone is playing a cliché. The show literally labels them: the jock, the nerd, the beauty queen, the wallflower. No one in my generation has ever used the word “wallflower,” except when we’re talking about how awful Jakob Dylan is.

Really, that’s the main problem with My Generation: It doesn’t feel remotely like anything from the decade it’s supposedly about. You can sprinkle in references to YouTube, reality shows, and Obama all you want, but My Generation is really just a craven attempt to turn the ’00s into the ’60s. Just look at the title: 35 years ago, The Who’s “My Generation” meant something. In 2009, it was a Pepsi commercial.

Still, the first episode was fitfully enjoyable. The soundtrack – Fatboy Slim, early Eminem, Filter – was a total nostalgia trip. Occasionally, the show will stop taking itself seriously and approach something like satire. I’m tempted to say that I admire My Generation just because it wants to be about something. But I’m not sure how patient I can be with a cast of 28-year-old infertile virgins, illegitimate prom-night children, and people with names like Falcon.

Did you watch My Generation? Did you like it? Did you like the ’00s? Can we all agree that trying to make a serious, non-comedy mockumentary is the worst idea ever? Especially when the characters keep on insisting on not being filmed?

@EWDarrenFranich

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Mandy

    Yeah, I didn’t think it was great, but since I graduated in 2001 it brought back a lot of high school memories. And also, you think Jakob Dylan is awful? The Wallflowers was the first CD I ever bought and I can still sing every word from memory.

    • Rachel

      Thank You!!! I love the Wallflowers. They and Counting Crows were my soundtrack in high school. On cassette tapes.

  • Josie

    While I disagree with a number of points in this article, the one that I felt the need to comment on was your wallflower comment…”Perks of Being a Wallflower”anyone? One of the defining novels of the generation being depicted.

    And while I’m here, even though they label the characters outright, they are making a point of how these characters relied on big defining moments to guide the direction they took: the soldier, the politician, the surfer — all of their paths were dictated by a major event in their lives (9/11, Bush election, Enron scandal) which led to them changing the course of their life and removing the high school label.

    While I found this interesting, I don’t know if they can keep it up.

  • Tall Dark Roast

    My Generation was good, not great. People expect really good material, and hopefully this show will get better after a few episodes. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to outgrow that ‘brand newness’

  • tracy bluth

    My room mate watched it but didn’t like it. Apparently the married couple hate each other and the interviewer is bitchy?

  • Shamus N.

    I haven’t seen it, but if it does get cancelled, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take Private Practice with you!

    • Sophie

      WORD.

  • reason

    My pick for the first cancellation of the season, terrible, it barely held my attention

  • Jessica

    I watched it last night, and the only thing that really irritated me was the fact that they said the loner kid’s dad died when he was 19 but the headstone said 2004, which should have made him 22.

    • Wills

      I noticed that too!

    • Kate

      I didn’t hear them say that. They said that he took his own life after the Enron scandal because he lost all of his money, and that was in 2004. That is also why the other guy didn’t finish college because his father was involved in the scandal and and they couldn’t afford to pay his tuition. His father ended up in prison.

      • Alissa

        He said it when he was at the clinic, and they asked him if his parents were alive. He said his mom was still alive, but his dad died when he was 19. Then the woman asked “from what?” etc…

  • nodnarb

    My knowledge of this show begins and ends with bus ads plastered all over my city that feature retarded phrase like “You know this ring comes off, right?” Skank!
    There’s no way I’d watch it, but wow, this review was inspiring… every EW post should be written like that!

  • JD

    When the black guy said “george bush is going to be the best president” i turned it off. I made it a whole 2 minutes

    • Kanye West

      George Bush doesn’t care about black people.

    • Anne

      You turned it off because a character, from Texas, in *2000* though George W. was going to be the greatest president? Really? Crap, we can’t be hopeful anymore? W. hadn’t screwed it up yet.

  • JU

    I enjoyed it!!!

  • Taylor

    Let’s just be honest here. The show is terrible. The mockumentary format is stale. Weak writing and acting. Really shocked that this show was greenlit.

  • Victoria

    Watched it and agree with you. I get that they were trying to Hammer! Home! References! But come on. Who actually says, “I saw the video you sent me on YouTube” instead of “I saw the YouTube you sent me”? Little things like that just felt off. Hopefully once they stop forcing the establishment of the stereotypes, it’ll settle into its groove. I hope so – I want my generation well represented.

    • Kevin

      I am 26 and I have never heard anyone say “I saw the YouTube you sent me”. I have heard “I saw it on Youtube” or “It was on YouTube” and even “I saw the video you sent me on YouTube”.

    • Will

      I’m 16. I have never heard anyone say “i saw the YouTube you sent. There is nothing wrong on with how “I saw the video you sent me on Youtube” was said.

    • Kate

      “Who actually says,’I saw the video you sent me on YouTube’?” ME! I have never heard someone say “I saw the YouTube you sent me” That doesn’t even make sense!

  • Michelle

    I was very disappointed, and I’ll agree with some comments above that this will be one of the first cancellations of the season.
    The most annoying part was that they all didn’t know what was going on with each other for the past 10 years. They didn’t have Facebook?!?! Seriously?
    But as soon as I said it, that one character was checking her Facebook. Did she just sign up, or was she one of the people that is signed up but never checks her page? Either way, if they are touting the show as a documentary, they need to be PRESENT.

    • Christy

      Michelle, I totally agree with you about the FB thing. I just find that with this generation, it is pretty far fetched to not have a clue what people from high school are up to unless you aren’t part of a social networking site. They at least could have thrown in a comment like, “Yea, I’m never on Facebook”, to make it a little more realistic.

  • Christy

    Wow…I must be way off because I actually liked it! Yes, it is cliched, but I find myself liking the characters and that is always a plus with shows these days.

  • Vicks

    I graduated in 2001 so I am pretty much these characters and I was really looking forward to the show. My biggest issue with it was that every female character except for one, was married, had a kid, or pregnant. And the one who wasn’t was too career focused to have time for dating? I don’t think that is a realistic portrayal of the women of my generation at all!

    • Kate

      I hadn’t thought about that, but you are very right! I would have preferred they had another single girl on the show. Maybe the did that to help tie everyone together? I dont know…but that is a very good point!

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