Diaries Magazine

Generation WTF.

Posted on the 17 January 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine

Generation WTF.
Illustration by Valfre.
Being an expat here in France, sometimes I feel a bit out of touch with what's abuzz in the States, especially with television shows. Although we're fully equipped with internet, we're definitely not the first "in the know". We usually find out what shows are good a drop later, and then it takes another few weeks for it to be available on the internet. Well at least for me anyway. Carving out January and most likely February to hibernate and catch up on what I have been missing, I queued up a handful of shows that I've been told by close friends that I would just love.
I'm lucky to have friends who have a good grasp on my tastes, and who in the past have been spot on with their suggestions. When they recommended to me The New Girl, I immediately fell in love with the writing and the entire cast (seriously, how could you not?). The same was with The Mindy Project and especially the uber-quirky, and completely ridiculous sketch comedy Portlandia. But to be fair on that one, I'm a little biased. I went to the same liberal college as Carrie Brownstein, so there's a smidge of Evergreen pride influencing that decision. I expected the same success when they encouraged me to check out HBO's newest envelope pusher, Girls.

After all the positive attention the show was receiving, I went in wanting to love it and ready to laugh. But I didn't. It just made me feel really sad, especially for the younger generation. The show's pilot immediately rubbed me the wrong way when the lead character, who has recently been labeled the voice of a generation (thankfully not mine, I'm too old), was appalled and almost aghast that at the age of 24 her parents would no longer support her living in New York City. 
I had suspicions about some of the younger generation feeling entitled and "over qualified" to work odd jobs to make ends meet, and this somewhat confirmed it (I know, it's tv, but still). I even see it in some of the younger members of my own family who would sooner close their Instagram accounts, than tie up their free Facebook time working as someone's assistant. Am I wrong to think this is nuts? Isn't that what your early 20s are about? Paying your dues and gaining life experience, even if it isn't ideal? I came from the school of thinking that no one forces us to live in glamorous cities, and if we want to stay then we'd have to make it work. Blaming the rough post 9/11 economy was simply never an option.
While the few episodes of Girls have been a walk down memory lane of my days commuting into the city from Brooklyn, living in a dingy apartment building that smelled like cat piss and pot, and dating non-committal trust fund "writers" and "directors" who treated me like the trash collected every Tuesday on Driggs, it also reminds me of the reasons why I left.

Paris has certainly not been a cake walk, and the struggles here trumped anything I had ever faced in Brooklyn and LA combined, but it was all part of the experience. I can't help but chuckle over the response I would get from my mother had I ever asked her to support me while I "figured things out". What do you think?
Are my observations of the younger generation a bit harsh? Or is there a definite shift in work ethic?

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics