With the beginning of fall comes the return of mild temperatures, foliage and SNL. If you’re anything like me, you were curious to see if Loren Michaels’ gang could succeed at making you laugh for an hour and a half. There were mixed results-some poignant political commentary, some savory guest appearances, some really weird pre-taped sketches, and some oddly dated segments.
One faux workplace TV drama, The Millennials, stood out to me as unnecessary, unfunny, and just plain bad. As usual, my generation was portrayed as a brain dead group of big babies whose lives revolve completely around social media. Apparently, we expect big promotions after brief tenures at companies and feel entitled to special privileges (extra vacation, nap time) at the office. And we all speak in some botched Californian accent which, for the record, Jimmy Fallon and Ariana Grande pulled off in far superior form on The Tonight Show. Millennials are entitled? LOL I’ve never heard that before.
I guess my hope is that a show like SNL, known for its sharp, NSFW commentary, would use this opportunity to skewer my generation instead of retreading tired stereotypes that I could see anywhere. Maybe it would’ve been funnier if one of the millennials decided to quit the office because he was tired of teaching all of his Gen X and Baby Boomer co-workers about using Snapchat and Periscope. And he just wanted to work in an office where everyone knew how to set up their email on their phone without the help of the IT department. It might be mean-funny, but it’s definitely real.
Whether it’s TV or movies, the media is having a difficult time figuring out how to effectively capture the rise of the millennial. Tired tropes and uninspired jokes abound. The Intern, which as a whole was a decent film, showcased a brand of millennial that dressed like a dirty slob, couldn’t handle stress, worshipped celebrity, and treated briefcases like ancient artifacts. I know it’s easy for Hollywood to generalize, but we are not this dumb. I promise you. At least, I don’t know anyone this dumb.
I’m not offended by the depictions, but I think we’re doing a pretty damn good job of proving our worth and showing the world what we’re capable of. And I feel like we deserve some credit in film and TV characterizations. For every 10 millennial morons that care more about what Kim K is wearing than who their next president will be, there’s one like me that understands the value of hard work and is interested in starting his own business. What do we need to do to change America’s perception of us?
If anyone can understand and appreciate the value of a great joke, it’s me. Great comedy inspires great conversation and debate. It even forces feelings of anger and passion to the surface. In a sense, maybe The Millennials wasn’t as terrible as I thought it was because it inspired this post. But not all jokes are created equal, and if we’re going to be forced to continue watching parodies of our generation, we at least deserve some informed roasts that represent us all and not just this small sect of sad, hopeless ingrates.