My Generation is an ambitious series from ABC focusing on the lives of a high school senior class and what happens when they’re revisited by a documentary film crew ten years later. On paper the premise is unique and interesting but in execution the series is fairly boring and cookie cutter presenting nothing that can’t be seen in similar high school reunion films. It might be fair to give the series one more episode to get its feet if you’ve watched the pilot, but if you had a mild interest it might be better to wait till DVD.
In 2000 a documentary film crew followed a group of seniors at a high school in Austin, Texas. Returning in 2010 the crew seeks to figure out what happened to those seniors and whether their dreams have changed since high school. The series follows the typical high school archetypes like the beauty queen, the rich kid, the nerd, and the rebel, and how their relationships and life goals have changed by the cultural events of the last ten years.
I was highly intrigued by the premise of My Generation. As a person who graduated in that ten year time span it’s interesting to watch the documentary segments focusing on the events that have happened from 2000 on such as 9/11, the Presidential recall, and the undying love for Sisqo’s Thong Song. When the film crew shows clips of the group in high school it’s interesting to see how they acted and interacted with one another. In terms of casting there are a slew of good actors in the bunch. Kelli Garner is sweet and loveable as the punk turned army wife expecting her first child while her husband, played by True Blood’s Mehcad Brooks, is the jock turned military man. Keir O’Donnell is also great as the nerd turned elementary school teacher who merely wants a family.
Aside from a few sweet characters and a nostalgic trip down memory lane the running plot of My Generation is dull and predictable. The fact that the series doesn’t try anything new with the archetypes is what damns it. The beauty queen and the rich guy have a bad marriage, married men still pining for the high school love that got away, the one night stand that resulted in a pregnancy, all done before and far better. The issue is the actors, all of whom just seem pinched and uncomfortable. The worst of the lot is Jaime King and Julian Morris as the aforementioned beauty queen and rich guy. Both are incredibly over-the-top and fake, and I don’t mean that that’s their persona. They have zero chemistry and King plays a failed actress which wouldn’t be so funny if she wasn’t such a bad actress in the series. It’s easy to see how all these plotlines will play out as the show progresses, because they’ve been seen in other things.
I wanted My Generation to be something fun, nostalgic and sweet like a lot of ABC shows. Instead I kept checking to see how much longer the episode had. The plotline is boring, mediocre and predictable, and aside from the flashbacks the characters are cardboard stereotypes. If you’ve watched the pilot watch one more episode to decide whether you’ll stick with it, if you decided to wait I’d say wait for DVD.