Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Katie and I watched the television premiere of Quarterlife, a MySpace-spawned drama about postmodern twenty-somethings doing things that twenty-somethings do. It's not bad. Lots of relational drama with some no-name actors who do a pretty good job representing twenty-somethings.

But here's my hang-up: the show is clearly attempting to market to the 21-29 year old, post-college young adults by putting stuff in it that the show's creators believe represent this age demographic. By doing this, they want people in this demographic--people like me--to relate to this show of post-college cliches. Allow me this run-on sentence:

This is the postmodern, post-college, post-20th century, idealistic, "you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up," naive, sexually-driven-yet-sexually-immature, environmentally aware, artistic indie hipster, fashionably independent, Internet savvy, blogging, globalized, I-can-share-intimate-thoughts-online-but-not-in-real-life, motivated by revolution, speaking in ironic and snarky sarcasm, valuing authenticity, listens to music no one else has heard of, struggles with commitment, wants to change the world, feels like they are entitled, outside-the-box, passionate, reacts against labels, we-know-you-have-a-hidden-agenda, adolescent/adult generation that expects respect from the world but doesn't know how to earn it.

If all we knew about my generation a thousand years from now was from one episode of Quarterlife, this is the cliche description that would go in the history books. Is this my age-demographic in a nutshell? Or is there something more that we can offer? And will this show draw a huge audience because we twenty-somethings can relate? Or will it repel us, because we can see they are trying to get us to relate, trying to sell us to us? Any thoughts?


  1. I watched about 15 minutes of Quarterlife because it was on right after The Biggest Loser. I gave the show a chance and I was intrigued at first, but it quickly turned into a boredom-fest. I eventually changed the channel and found a Cops-like show on the truTV channel. Watching police officers get beaten by drunk motorists was much more entertaining.

    Unfortunately, I think when VH1 gets around to doing "I Love the 2000s," we're going to see a lot of what was displayed on Quarterlife. The biggest one being, "Hey, remember video blogging. 'I have feelings and they really matter so I'm putting them out on YouTube.'" But no, I don't think Quarterlife will be successful because our age demographic is not interested in watching actors pretend like they are in the digital generation when they can do it themselves. And they are far too absorbed with the matters of One Tree Hill to care for another whole new set of characters. Plus, there are far more better things to watch during its time slot like Family Guy and American Dad. I know it has a huge following on the web, but I don't think it'll translate well into TV.

  2. Cam-
    I was trying to think of other cliches from the 2000s that will be mocked on VH1 someday. I imagine iPods, scruffy beards, guys wearing tight girl jeans, indie music becoming mainstream, "going green," and Heelies will all be included. Not that those things are bad or deserve mockery, but they are defining trends of the 2000s thus far.