Talking about My Generation (on ABC)

Hello, fellow TV Watchers!  Welcome to Fall!  It’s a time for Back-to-School Sales, cooler temperatures, and multi-colored leaves that crunch beneath your feet while you walk.  But, more importantly, it’s time for the networks to bring back all the Good Ole’ Television Shows you became obsessed with last year  — thereby, preventing you from doing anything remotely productive between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m. (at least, until winter hiatus).

Fall is also a time when networks try to sneak new shows into their preexisting program lineups, in hopes that you will stick around, and watch them too.  More often than not, this “little scheme” fails miserably, resulting in a sizeable percentage of shows not making it past the Pilot stage, and a significantly larger percentage of new programs not surviving the first season.

Having been burned a few times by shows that were canceled, just as I was starting to warm up to them, I’ve become a bit more picky about which new Fall shows, if any, merit a coveted spot on my television viewing roster.  Yet, as luck would have it, the ONE new show I deemed worthy of an “audition,” just so happens to air opposite my absolute FAVORITE show, The Vampire Diaries.

Faces (and bodies) this beautiful simply MUST be viewed in “REAL TIME.”

Of course, I am “talking about My Generation,” the new hour-long mockumentary-style drama, which is set to air Thursday nights, at 8 p.m. on ABC.  (Just in case, you neglected to read the title of this post.)   The show is actually based on a successful Swedish television program, entitled God’s Highway, which had a similar format and premise.  For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you can catch the latest promotional trailer for the show here:

As you might have noticed from watching the trailer, My Generation focuses on nine fictional characters, all of whom graduated from the same high school in Austin, Texas, during the year 2000.

Not surprisingly, all obligatory high school stereotypes will be showcased, in their two-dimensional glory.  Prepare to make snap judgments about the following archetypes:  the Brain, the Beauty Queen, the Jock, the Nerd, the Rich Kid, the Overachiever, and the Wallflower (Ummm . . . Wallflower?  Did anyone actually use this word in the year 2000?  Has anybody actually used this word since 1952?  Let’s just call her “Shy” and be done with it, OK?) 

In short, it is a cast of characters that would be at home in any John Hughes movie.

(R.I.P. Mr. Hughes.)

Using a compilation of interviews, photographs, and live-action shots, the show then chronicles the characters’ lives in present day.  Ten years after their high school graduation, these native Texans, now facing down their late 20’s, are forced to grapple with war, worldwide recession, and other unique challenges that characterize the 2010 American Experience.

In terms of the show’s cast, you will find a lot of suitably attractive, and vaguely familiar — if not immediately recognizable — actors and actresses.  Quite a few times, while I was watching the trailer, I found myself squinting at an actor I thought I recognized, only to look him up later and learn that he played “Guy at the Bar” in a movie I watched on HBO the week prior.  

However, in the actors I DEFINITELY recognized column, I would include Michael Stahl David . . .

. . .  who starred in J.J. Abrams Shaky Cam Extravaganza, Cloverfield.

Michael plays Steven Foster on the show.  Steven starts high school as “The Overachiever,” the kind of guy who, even at 17, wore a suit to school everyday, carried a briefcase, and owned a Blackberry LONG before everybody else did.

10 years later, he’s become Sam Merlotte from True Blood . . .

Oh, how the mighty hath fallen . . .

Learn more about Steven Foster here:

I also recognized Mehcad Brooks . . .

. . . he of the INSANE abdominal muscles.   You might remember Mehcad as the tragic Eggs Benedict (Yes, that was actually the character’s name.) from Season 2 of  True Blood.

Mehcad plays Rolly Marks, a high school jock, who enlists in the Army post 9/11, and ends up fighting on the front lines in Iraq.  You can learn more about Mehcad’s character here:

Additionally, I WAS VERY happy to see Julian Morris’ name on the cast list!

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Julian played the adorable (and WAY  TOO SOON departed) cradle-robbing, sister-swapping British med student, on ABC Family’s summer smash hit, Pretty Little Liars.

That’s him with the magic fingers on the left.  As for the girl on the right?  Well, I like to pretend that’s me!

Julian plays Anders Holt, a “Rich Kid” who, from the looks of it, becomes a “Rich Adult.”  Listen to what Julian has to say about his character here:

Rounding out the rest of the main cast are:

Daniella Alonso,

Kelli Garner,

Jaime King,

Keir O’Donnell,

Anne Son,

and Sebastian Sozzi.

Refreshingly enough, age wise, all the show’s cast members are actually within three or four years, of the characters they are playing.  (Unlike we’ve seen in similar shows about 20-somethings, Grandmas and Teenagers  needed not apply for this casting call.)  As a twenty-something myself,  it is particularly nice to see a show — which is supposed to be about people I could have gone to high school with — where the characters are played by actors that I could have actually gone to high school with.  You see that so rarely nowadays!

Though early reviews of the show have been mixed,  for me, My Generation stands out, as one of the most promising new programs of the fall season.  The show has the potential to be a daring portrait of the trials and tribulations that face Generation Y (which is, after all, MY GENERATION).  And while I may not necessarily be watching it LIVE (see The Vampire Diaries comment above), I will still most certainly be watching it.

My Generation premieres Thursday, September 23rd on ABC.  Will YOU be watching?

[www.juliekushner.com]

5 Comments

Filed under My Generation, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

5 responses to “Talking about My Generation (on ABC)

  1. they’re advertising for this show on the side of every bus here in LA. at first, was intrigued…but after watching the trailer well, i’m not so sure about it.
    i mean, talk about been there, done that. i remember most of the past decade (though i was still in middle school in 2000 so my memories are less about becoming a bar tender and getting pregnant than they are about watching Spongebob and learning long division).
    i think it still could be interesting; the stories look engaging and i am a sucker for mock-umentaries, but something about the trailer turned me off…to me the 9/11 footage was a little much…

    • Shots of you doing long division and watching Sponge Bob might have actually been a welcome addition to the trailer. 🙂 At least it would have been original. So many shows nowadays talk about the “High School experience.” But the only ones that tackle the Middle School experience, which, lets face it could be pretty traumatic in its own right, are on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. It’s high time someone fixed that!

      Yeah, I’m with you on the 9/11 shots being overkill. I almost feel like using that stock footage of the burning WTC tower is manipulative, because it doesn’t allow viewers to objectively evaluate what they are seeing. It’s as if, once a show talks about 9/11, it MUST be “serious and poignant.” So, if you disagree with that premise, you can’t help but feel like an insensitive jerk for doing it.

      Hopefully, the show won’t dwell too much on the stock footage reel, and instead just uses the news of the past decade to further develop where the characters are in their lives at the time those events are occurring. Otherwise, I’m with you, Lola — the show would lose my interest pretty quickly.

  2. imaginarymen

    I would probably watch this too – if it wasn’t on at the same time as TVD, Community, 30Rock, AND The Big Bang Theory!

    Hey TV Programmers! STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING GOOD ON AT THE SAME TIME!!

    Hey Julie! GET A DVR!!!

    ;->

    • Thursday night is probably the most competitive television night of the week! Now, certainly ABC has every right to try to be competitive with its sister stations, by putting new promising programs on that night. However, if I were the makers of THIS program, I’d be a little pissed and VERY AFRAID, indeed!

      I mean, I absolutely plan to watch this show on Hulu (at least the pilot episode). But people like me aren’t going to help its ratings any. Why couldn’t ABC have put this show on Wednesday night, when I (and I suspect many others) have absolutely NOTHING to watch?

      But I’m not going to discount the show yet. Perhaps, it will gain better ratings over time, through word of mouth, and eventually migrate to a more appropriate time slot. It’s always tough to tell with these sorts of programs . . .

      Four shows in one time slot? Amy, I am seriously impressed! And despite all that tube watching and blogging, YOU still manage to have an enviably stellar social life. Part of me fears that if I had DVR, I would NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE . . . 😉

  3. Pingback: Step Inside The Secret Circle – A Look at one of the CW’s Most Promising New Fall Series | TV Recappers Anonymous

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