Glee and today’s generations.

27 Nov

On word of @stevenfisher, I turned my attention to the TV show Glee. (Thank you, hulu.) What I was struck with right away — above and beyond the characters and unfolding story — was the dead-on accuracy of the generational depiction of today’s Americans generations.

While GenX grew up in high school with The Breakfast Club being a most iconic movie for the state of high-school-ness, Glee is the equal opposite. In The Breakfast Club, a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse, come together for one day because they are united by being in trouble by the Idiotic Adults who put them in detention. They find tribe and connection and then disband completely after the event. Diversity, connection for a moment, and back on to their own paths.

Glee features today’s Millennials in high school. In their diversity (white, black, asian, gay, obese, handicapped, jock, jew, bad boy, goody-two-shoes… and so) , they find union, team work, happiness and a collective sense of purpose and value. As well, the GenX glee club teacher wants to do a good job and bring value to his students and has to fight a ruthless Boomer gym teacher. (Can I get an amen, GenXers? Really, you’re not imagining it at all if you find some of your Boomer colleagues ruthless about protecting their turf.)

But back to the Millennials and their natural orientation toward peer relationships, coming together and collective power. I find these few minutes of the Hairography episode, in which they sing The Beatle’s Imagine, to be absolutely on target for expressing in song and vision the heart space of Millennials. For those of you who love and/or find yourself baffled by Millennials, go to this show (the 11th episode) and 31:18 minutes in. Watch the song. Feel the feeling, and be one step closer to understanding the Millennial mindset. (Hurry, the link won’t last forever.)




3 Responses to “Glee and today’s generations.”

  1. GenerationXpert November 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Nice post. I hadn’t really looked at Glee this way. I did, right from the beginning, understand how this is a Gen X show based mostly on how the Gym Teacher is always in a state of WTF? as to the actions of the Boomers & the Millennials (and how he’s always looking for ways to get things done – usually by going outside the system.) I watch it every week just for that.

  2. Steve November 29, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    Great post. You now have me looking at these things in a generational marketing angle.

  3. kathleen June 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Jesse followed you over from Neil Howe’s blog. I Just recently watched glee and was amazed at the generational parodies. Definately a pop culture breakout for the millies

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