HBO Max released an original called “Genera+ion” on March 11.
The show is a dramedy series that follows a group of Gen-Z teenagers, who test deeply rooted beliefs about life and love in their conservative community.
The first episode takes us through the same day, but from the perspective of each character and how they all come to have a connection with one another. The episode works down this order with Chester (Justice Smith), Greta (Haley Sanchez), Nathan (Uly Schlesinger) and the following episodes th audience is introduced to Riley (Chase Sui Wonders), Naomi (Chloe East), Arianna (Nathanya Alexander), Delilah (Lukita Maxwell) and J (Sydney Mae Diaz).
The show is comparable to HBO original “Euphoria,” but presents a more realistic approach and has yet to tackle heavy topics, like drug abuse and abusive relationships.
The show does a great job at having the voice and themes of Gen-Z is going through because the show was co-created by 19-year-old Zelda Barns, who worked with her dads, creators Daniel and Ben Barnz.
“I wanted to see myself and the people that I know onscreen represented in the most fresh, real and authentic ways possible,” Barns tells Glamour magazine. “I find it very confusing and weird and joyful and painful to be a teenager, and that’s what I want to see reflected in this show.”
The show deals with coming out, questioning your sexuality, love and just plain old finding yourself.
Something about the show is that anything you would think about the character should be thrown out of the window because the show trumps all expectations that we’ve grown to expect, like one of the characters has two dads, but is borderline homophobic and constantly explains that she can’t be homophobic because of her two dads.
As much as it may hurt the show gives the realistic perspective of not always being accepted by the people around you, and the internalized homophobia that comes with growing up conservative.
The audience gets a gritty realistic feel with all of the characters with the way that they’re dressed, the way that their hair is worn, etc. It doesn’t look like they walked out of hair and makeup and were styled by someone in costume, but like the teenagers that roam the streets today.
“I really wanted to make an effort to not be unrealistic and throw them in clothes that they couldn’t afford or possibly get,” Shirley Kurata, set costume designer tells Nylon Magazine, said. “It’s just suspending that commitment to real teenage life. I think that the Barnzes’ purpose was to show, as much as possible, the world of teenagers, in a real way.”
The series decided to take a different approach with their release dates. Instead of releasing all of the episodes all at once, they’re staggered. The first three episodes aired on March 11, two episodes on March 18, two episodes on March 25 and one episode on April 1.
But this isn’t it for the series, part 2 of season 1 is set to air sometime later this year — but the date is not yet known.
It’s a relatable coming of age story that has a diverse cast with various aspects to their personalities, so the audience is able to find themselves in each of the characters and find something likeable in a hateable character.
Companion podcast for the show called “Generation: The Podcast,” which showcases a behind the scenes look at the show featuring writers and cast members. The podcast can be streamed through platforms such as Apple Podcast and Spotify.
Tune in to the show through the HBOMax app or their website.
Rating 4.5/5 stars