TV

The kids are alright with TV like Love, Master Of None and The Big Sick

Millenials might be an irritatingly earnest and clean-living bunch, but it turns out that their generation of TV is kind, optimistic… and funny.

Every generation has its defining TV shows. I reached young adulthood in the Nineties when This Life accurately captured the chaotic state of hedonistic nihilism many young people lived in. Friends celebrated the carefree empty-headedness of urban life in the Clinton boom years. Many of us born around the mid-Seventies drank, popped and sniffed our way through our formative years, crossing our fingers that everything would probably all work out in the end but knowing, if it didn’t, it was all completely beyond our control anyway so there was no point taking anything too seriously.

Today’s youngsters are a more earnest and clean-living bunch. I speak of the millennials: those fresh-faced sticks-in-the-mud, with their avocados, their safe-spaces and their non-binary gender identities. They’re hardly a barrel of laughs are they? But they are probably better than the rest of us. They spend their time exercising where we spent it drinking. They campaign for what’s right where we sat at home on a PlayStation ignoring the fact things were possibly wrong. They’re probably going to make the world a better place, one whingeing, tedious hashtag at a time. Good luck to the irritating bastards, I say.

They’re probably going to make the world a better place, one whingeing, tedious hashtag at a time

They’ve also got their own telly that, while not as gritty as This Life, at least helps grumpy 42-year-olds like me understand the world as they see it. My favourites are Love – a Netflix romcom about mental health and the struggles of the gig economy. And Master Of None, about a comedian and his pals going on dates, sitting around in coffee shops and rolling their eyes at their parents’ old-fashioned values. Now they’ve got their own movie as well, called The Big Sick. It’s based on the true story of American-Pakistani stand-up Kumail Nanjiani, who struggles to form a relationship with grad student Emily Gardner due to cultural differences. They hang out in cool-looking parts of Chicago, ride Ubers everywhere and all their mates have beards. It couldn’t be more millennial if it was clutching an expensive green juice and moaning about the housing crisis.

The cast of This Life... those were the days.

But then there’s a twist: Emily falls into a coma. Over the tense days and weeks that follow, Kumail spends time with Emily’s anxious parents and the trio form an improbable and bittersweet friendship while they wait for the woman they all love to open her eyes.

It’s a lovely, funny, moving story. Just as authentic as This Life, just as funny as Friends and twice as optimistic as either of them. These millennials might be a bit of a drag on a night out down the boozer but they’ll definitely take good care of us when we get older.

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