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'My Generation' Series Premiere: The Future Is Like a Weird Blind Date (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Sep 24th 2010 8:45AM
'My Generation' Series Premiere: The Future Is Like a Weird Blind DateIf you happen to live in New York City (as this 'TV Squad' writer does), then the ads for 'My Generation' are fairly inescapable. They're plastered on every bus and subway car -- teaser posters featuring attractive twenty-something people, with vague yet pithy quotes below the characters' faces.

These quotes are meant to illuminate the characters' inner lives; they say stuff like, "Dumping you was the worst mistake I ever made," or "When I'm with him, I'm thinking of you," or "I'm done paying for your mistakes." It's all very intriguing; or at least, intriguing-ish.

But now, the actual series pilot is upon us, and it's time to see if it lives up to the pre-show hype. Who are these pretty young people? What is 'My Generation' (Thu., 8PM ET on ABC) actually all about?

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]

'My Generation' is a fictional drama. But it takes the form of a documentary about nine students, all of whom graduated from high school in 2000. The students were picked for their seemingly stereotypical qualities -- there was "The Brain," "The Overachiever," "The Jock," and so on... Each one of them had high hopes for the future. But now, it is that future. It's 2010, and the former classmates are reuniting. What have they done with their lives?

We learn that nothing has really gone as planned. "The Jock" (Mehcad Brooks) joined the army instead of becoming a basketball star like he wanted. "The Overachiever" (Michael Stahl-David) gave up his dreams of getting an MBA, moved to Hawaii, and became a beach bum.

And what happened to "The Brain," Brenda Serrano? After the presidential election of 2000, she changed her career-track, dropping science and going into politics. Now, she's a high-powered legislative aide in Washington, D.C. But Brenda (played by Daniella Alonso) also lost her long-time high school boyfriend: the person she expected to marry. Suddenly, she's pushing thirty -- and is still single.

On the pilot, Brenda tries to fix her relationship woes by going on a blind date. It doesn't go very well. The guy she meets is egotistical and boring (a really bad combo). And even worse, during their "getting-to-know-you" meal, he brings the conversation to a screeching halt when confesses this to Brenda: "I have a small penis." Uh-oh. "But," he adds, after a short sleazy pause " -- I know how to use it." Wow. Brenda is rightfully appalled. She stands up and walks out of the restaurant. Her life hasn't gone the way that she expected -- and neither has her blind date.

This date could just as well be a metaphor for all the characters' lives. They had certain expectations ... but then they were shocked by rude reality. The future itself is a blind date: unpredictable, sometimes disappointing.

The "blind date" analogy also works for our own experience, as we watch the show unfold. 'My Generation' has promised a lot. The show's creators hyped it as a groundbreaking new drama. But can the series live up to the buzz? The premiere has some great moments -- but just as often, it falls back on standard TV clichés and pat reversals.

Once viewers start hanging out with the show, will they enjoy it enough to stick around for the long haul? Or will they get up and storm out in the middle -- the way that Brenda did?

What did you think of the pilot episode?

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It was better than I thought it was going to be. I'll watch. I hope we get to see more Mehcad Brooks. It seems in all these shows he is an after thought in the pilot episodes.

September 24 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought is was fresh and really entertaining. I find myself anticipating the next episode, so good sign imo.

September 24 2010 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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