Millennial: a term to describe a demographic of individuals born in the mid ‘80s-early ‘90s, the twentysomethings of the current decade. And boy, does it stink.
For some reason, millennials get a bad rap for being self-involved, entitled, out of touch and plugged into technology because we started to mature in the height of the technological age. Unfortunately, this depiction has carried over into pop culture and I, for one, don’t care for it. Thankfully, I’ve found one show that definitely speaks to the “old soul” within.
Months ago, several friends urged me to watch TV Land’s Younger, a show about 40-year-old divorcée Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) who takes advantage of her youthful looks to reboot her literary career as a 26-year-old post-grad with the help of her best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar).
While I usually kept the show on the back burner, one night (after completing Stranger Things) I found myself binge watching the first two seasons. With every episode, Liza found herself learning more about the millennial culture — one that her very own daughter is a part of — and I found myself identifying with Liza’s often confusion and bewilderment.
I may be considered a “millennial,” but I don’t subscribe to the overwhelming depiction of people my age. For instance, it took me a long time to join Twitter and Instagram and I don’t live my life through Facebook statuses. I usually have to Google the new acronym of the week, and I never heard of the “bad pancake” theory (the theory a person one dates after a serious relationship is doomed to be a failure like the first pancake in a batch) until this week’s Season 3 episode.
Like Liza, I find myself learning more about my generation and I find myself identifying with this woman who’s trying to play catch up for her alter ego. To her unsuspecting millennial friends, Liza is the “old soul” of the group and that’s precisely the kind of person I am (though personally, I think there needs to be a better term than “old soul”)—and I’m certain there are many others out there.
I’m a lover of ‘80s euro pop and remember what it was like to own a rotary phone with a dial-up modem—things to which Liza’s counterparts Kelsey Peters (Hillary Duff) and Lauren Heller (Molly Bernard) are oblivious. Not all of us have been “tweeting since birth” as her boss Diana Trout (Miriam Shor) likes to think, and we’re not all totally self-involved digital dynamos spending copious hours trying to master the perfect selfie.
In a way, Liza represents a demographic of millennials who aren’t the prototype to which we’re so overexposed, and we need more of that. I only wish it didn’t take a 40-year-old mom from Jersey to showcase that side of the culture—not that there’s anything wrong with 40-year-olds…
Images via TV Land
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Afiya Augustine-Cox is a perpetual dreamer, freelance writer, editor, crafter, and jewelry designer from Brooklyn, NY. When she’s not working on her online store, Pretty Poet Ink, you can find her on BlackGirlNerds.com or her blog, Alja The Writer. Check out her out on Twitter at @LaJoliePoeta.
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