September 26, 2010

TV: My Generation (ABC, Thu 8)

Each year, during my "watch everything" fall TV marathon, I allow myself one show that I give up without watching the entire first episode. This year, the not-so-coveted "Because Life Is Too Damned Short" Award goes to My Generation. It's presented as a documentary. Ten years ago, we're told, the senior year of nine students at an Austin high school was documented; now the documentary folks are back to see what they've made of their lives.

Each character is reduced to an on-screen label -- The Jock, The Wallflower, The Brain, The Nerd -- and what little dramatic interest there is comes from seeing how their 28-year-old selves have failed to live up to their 18-year-old dreams, and how they've paired off over the last decade. (It doesn't appear that anyone's found a partner who wasn't part of the original nine, which is weird, because they certainly seemed to have been parts of very different high school cliques.)

None of the actors are at all convincing as 18-year-olds. It makes you wonder why projects like this always start with high school seniors and work up from there; the 18-28 gap is a big one, and a tough one to fake. It would be much easier, I would think, to find actors who could pull off a 40-50 split, or even a 25-35.

The offscreen voice of the documentarian/questioner is that of Elizabeth Keener, who sounds so much like her sister Catharine that it's extremely distracting.

Boring with a capital BORE.

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