Earlier this July, HBO Max came out with its new show Genera+ion. It positioned itself as Gen Z’s modern take on relationships, sexuality, and coming-of-age in an era when older generations don’t understand that identities are ever-changing.
The story follows a cast of about seven different characters, which shouldn’t have been too hard to follow, but as the connections between the characters became blurred amid a serious lack of chemistry, I became lost immediately.
A show that had the true potential of being great instead ended in tragic mediocrity. Due to a mix of poor editing, writing, and filming choices, alongside some less-than-average acting, I can say with full certainty this show is not worth your watch.
At the beginning of each character jump, a title typically popped up to help with transitions, but the inconsistency of this editing choice was really annoying.
Most of the time, it displayed the names of characters, but during Episode 14, it displayed a countdown of hours.
Unless there had been a more defined formulaic choice when character titles were displayed, then this could’ve been a good option stylistically, but having it so random made it feel like an offhand choice.
A continuous shot is a bold choice used to provide a deeper analysis of the scene or create a more dramatic effect. But Genera+ion seemed to use it randomly throughout the show. Sometimes when a pair of characters were speaking, the camera would pan back and forth rather than clean-cut between each character, and more often than not, I found it distracting and dizzying.
My only thought is that they perhaps chose this to create a more realistic and loose feel rather than super cinematic. However, this show could’ve benefited from some beautiful cinematography and editing.
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t recognize the shots that were beautifully produced, but poorly thought-out shots overshadowed those scenes.
Poor Character Development:
While most of the characters were horribly written, Ariana was the worst-developed character by far. Her problematic statements about the LGBTQ+ community, excused by the fact that she has gay dads, were not funny.
There are occasional times when homophobic jokes can be made lightly and in good taste. But every time Ariana made a rash comment, it was more embarrassing than humorous.
The best TV shows offer a decent backstory that helps shed light on the psyche of their characters. Genera+ion’s attempts fall flat.
There was nothing in Ariana’s history that suggested why she was problematic and dramatic, so there’s no opportunity to feel sympathetic for her.
Chester and Sam?
The entire first half of the season attempted to hint at sexual tension between Chester and Sam. Certainly not the first series to fall into the teacher-student trope, albeit Sam and Chester’s supposed connection felt super inappropriate and icky.
Chester’s obsession with his guidance counselor was over the top and then it wasn’t. After the big fire alarm blow up, Chester immediately found a boyfriend and there was no resolution to Chester and Sam.
The cliffhanger of the season hinted at a reunion between the two, but if the writers have any hope of increasing their Rotten Tomatoes score, they better not follow through on a relationship.
Chester’s the only half-decent character, so his characterization better not be harmed.
Greta, Luz, and Riley
The budding crush between Riley and Greta was genuinely adorable, but Luz was thrown in haphazardly to increase conflict. There was no chemistry between Luz and Greta, or Luz and Riley, so it was a total waste of a storyline to try and bring in a third character to wedge a gap.
We all know Greta and Riley are endgame, so why try and complicate that?
Overall, the show gave a deconstructed Euphoria vibe. It attempted elements that Euphoria excelled at, including the boy’s locker room scene. Euphoria made waves when it showed an unfiltered scene of naked boys, but Genera+ion’s explicit locker room scene simply felt forced and frivolous.
Unfortunately, HBO Max’s content is a hit or miss, and this show was a downright miss. So warning, watch at your own risk! As for now, the future of Genera+ion is left unknown, but I would be surprised if there was a Season 2.
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Superman & Lois
Superman and Lois Review – In Cold Blood (303)
We’re only three episodes in, but Superman & Lois Season 3 is hands down the best one yet.
Truthfully, I was skeptical about Lois’ cancer storyline at first, but the creative forces have tackled it with such grace, and it has added life to the narrative, deepened my love for these characters, and grounded the series. The superhero aspects of the show are still fun, but there’s just something about seeing these people who have dealt with near-apocalypses and bad guys who mean them harm facing the worst villain yet—an aggressive diagnosis.
That very sentiment was portrayed so beautifully on-screen with Clark’s recurring night terrors.
His fear and helplessness upon not being able to save Lois, no matter how hard he tried, manifested in the nightmares.
And it’s a very valid feeling considering he’s Superman after all. If anyone can save her, it should be him, and yet, stage 3 breast cancer is something that no one can do anything about except for maybe the doctors and the chemo, which Lois seemed to avoid at all costs.
That very fear and helplessness that Clark felt spread through all of Lois’ loved ones as they found out what was going on, and then eventually, Lois owned up to those feelings as well.
As she pursued every lead and angle in the Bruno Mannheim story, she was using it as an excuse and distraction so that she wouldn’t have to admit that she was sick. I love that the series emphasized a very real reaction from people who have dealt with similar situations. Even the strongest and bravest people in the world struggle to come to terms with a potentially incurable disease that will steal their time and energy.
Much like Clark Kent, Lois has tracked down, pursued, and faced some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, but this is her greatest battle.
Thankfully, she has a very good support system, not only in Clark, but in her children, their friends, and the extended family.
Natalie’s decision to give Lois her mother’s watch was beautiful as it somehow brought things full circle. Nat couldn’t be there for her mother in her final moments, but she can be a beacon of strength and light for Lois. In a way, it kind of gave Nat the closure she always needed. While Henry Lyons wasn’t on board with Nat’s idea initially, when he saw how moved Lois was upon receiving the watch, he knew that his daughter made the right call and admitted that the only reason that he was so against it was because of his fear of losing Lois… again. She may not be his wife, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less—it was just an excuse to stop the hurt from settling in.
Lois gave everyone quite a scare with the cancer announcement, and she doubled down by putting herself in even more danger by following a lead to a medical facility where she and Chrissy got locked up in a freezer filled with blood. The place was lined with kryptonite so it blocked her distress signal, so it seemed like they were going to be trapped forever.
Eventually, when the foot soldiers came to clear the unit out, Lois devised a sneaky plan that allowed her to ping Superman for assistance in the knick of time.
The biggest reveal from that situation—other than the irony of Lois putting herself in a near-death situation to avoid chemo—was that the blood inside the facility belonged to Clark Kent. Is Mannheim trying to create an army of Superman-like beings? He’s definitely trying to give the terminally ill patient’s he’s spared some superpowers, but what’s his endgame?
Clark can’t really stay mad at Lois when she uncovered such a vital piece of information that allows them to build a better case against Mannheim.
And if there’s one thing she’s going to see through, it’s bringing down Mannheim once and for all. I don’t agree with Lois’ decision to keep rescheduling chemo, but I do understand wanting to get there on your own terms, just as much as I understand the desire to still prioritize a job that’s meant everything to you for most of your life and that remains the one and only thing still keeping you sane and feeling like yourself.
Everyone copes in different ways, and Lois’ way just happens to be throwing herself into work… it’s not exactly shocking. She’s this season’s superhero!
It’s also nice to see the Kent boys and Nat get into a little action of their own. The family is dealing with a lot now, but this is a superhero series after all, so it would be a shame not to utilize that, especially when there are super teens in the mix. So far, Nat has helped save the world on a few occasions, but Jordan has been sidelined to complete his training, never really breaking free to do his own thing without his dad’s assistance.
But when Jonathan’s truck gets stolen and they realize that the culprit is his girlfriend Candice’s father, they decide to take matters into their own hands and get it back without involving the police.
There was a lot to love about this storyline, including Jonathan’s desire not to get Candice’s dad arrested because he knew that would just make things worse for her. I also love that they didn’t leave Jonathan out of it despite not having any powers. Instead, Jordan and Nat both supported and protected him while he made a beeline for his truck. I hope that eventually, Nat creates a suit for Jonathan that will allow him to fight alongside his loved ones.
As for Candice, she apologized for insinuating that Jonathan lied about her father being a thief, while Jonathan seemingly came clean about kissing his ex, Eliza, at a party. A lot is working against them, but it seems like he loves her and wants to make things work, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they figure it out. There was a time Jonathan was selfish and self-centered, but he’s come into his own this season.
And then there’s the unfortunate fallout between Sarah and Lana. Lana has had a lot on her plate recently, and taking on the Mayor gig just added to her stress and workload. Sarah is also trying to establish her independence, and she feels stifled by her mom, who hasn’t been prioritizing her or taking into account her feelings. And it all culminated in the fight where Sarah called her mom selfish and made a snarky cheating comment that triggered Lana, who responded by slapping her daughter. They were both in the wrong, but Lana’s behavior crossed a line. We later see her apologizing for the slap, and she notes that she feels especially bad because she grew up with an abusive mom, but sadly, the damage has been done as Sarah snuck out to go meet with her dad.
This seems like a turning point in the mother-daughter relationship, and I can see Sarah’s next step being a request to move in with Kyle instead.
While I can see the teenager’s perspective on this, I do also feel for Lana as she’s painted as the villain by her child, who doesn’t truly understand what her mom has taken on or is going through. In addition to the divorce, Lana was the target of a freaky attack. She never really processed it or accepted it, and then Kyle lit the fuse by questioning her about a security system, which stemmed from a jealous place versus a genuine one. It made Lana feel insecure and as though her privacy was invaded because she thought her ex was snooping around and trying to dig up information.
It’s heartbreaking to see how quickly this family fell apart, and how they are continuing to lose their way without each other. However, I am rooting for a Lana and Henry romance, and Kyle and Chrissy are also pretty cute. They both need someone to lean on and confide in now that they don’t have that relationship with each other anymore.
What did you think about the episode?
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How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father Season 2 Midseason Finale Review – Swish, Daddy
How I Met Your Father aired two back-to-back episodes on March 28—titled “I’m a Swish” and “Daddy,” respectively—and a huge focus was on the daddy. Not that daddy…. but Sophie’s daddy.
If you’ll recall, a huge overarching and lingering mystery is the identity of Sophie’s birth father, who she very briefly *but very seriously* considered to be her new, older boyfriend, Robert, the chef she met during a gala she attended for the Flubber musical.
Robert, played by Sex and the City’s John Corbett, was the first normal and unproblematic relationship for Sophie, so it was a shame when she eventually identified a potentially huge problem when he reminisced on his time at the first Lollapalooza. Sophie recalled an almost identical story from her mother, also noting that she was conceived at that very Lolla, so the red flags were all there—and even more concerning when he pulled up a photo with Sophie’s mother from that day in 1991.
Sophie, understandably, bolted from his country home, desperately trying to get ahold of her mother for answers about Robert. Her mother *thankfully* shut down the idea that Robert was Sophie’s father—phew, that’s a close one—but she revealed that they explored their bodies with their mouths, and that was a revelation that Sophie and Robert’s relationship could, unfortunately, never get over.
The damage had been done, so they parted ways. Robert telling Sophie to “say hi to her mom was simply adding salt to the wound.
However, a lot of good stemmed from Sophie’s relationship with Robert. For starters, she realized that she wasn’t his “swish”—Robert did actually like Sophie and they connected on a deeper level. It was one of her healthiest relationships… until it wasn’t. She felt what it was like to genuinely be loved. And it led her to the realization that she wants to make a real effort to find her father.
Part of me secretly wished that Neil Patrick Harris was somehow Sophie’s biological dad, but admittedly, that would be a little too far-fetched.
Fans did get insight into their meeting, with the scene from the HIMYF season premiere, finally playing out in its entirety on the screen. Turns out, Sophie didn’t have to pay for the damages she caused after she crashed into Barney Stinson’s car because she delighted him with a juicy story about how she almost dated her father.
There were plenty of laughs when it came to Stinson’s return, but there was also a deeper, more heartfelt connection between him and Sophie as he popped up at a crucial moment in her life and revealed that he understood all too well what it was like to want to find your birth father. While Sophie definitely had some hesitations—what if her dad was a prop comic or something?–there was an outcome where finally meeting him would prove to be everything she’s ever wanted, just as it did for Barney. His success story with reconnecting with his father inspired Sophie to seek hers out.
With so much time having passed since HIMYM, creators attempted to make Barney less crass, or at least make it a point that he’s a work in progress. In the initial moment after Sophie crashes into his car, he reads off a very long list of apologies thinking that she’s a scorned ex looking for revenge. When she assures him he’s not, all of his dirty jokes fall flat as the recovering serial womanizer reveals he wears an STD, shock therapy device, that he describes as an “experimental new electroshock treatment for guys like me.”
“This sucker is programmed with 10,000 problematic words and phrases,” he further reveals, trying to make it through the body shocks.
Barney also reveals that he’s a father to a beautiful little girl named Ellie, so again, the series did a great job merging heartwarming while staying authentic to Barney’s character and making many callbacks to the original series that likely tickled fans.
There were plenty of other non-Sophie-related developments, the biggest of which includes Valentine’s engagement to Swish, a college student that she met on a dating app after Sophie’s relationship with an older man inspired her to expand her age range. I don’t think that’s exactly what Sophie meant, but since Valentina is just in it for fun, it’s also not a huge deal…. until it is. Valentina agrees to Swish’s marriage proposal because she “didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”
She assumed Swish’s proposal wasn’t serious, suggesting that his generation has such a short attention span that he’ll forget about it the next day, but Swish was smitten with a capital S. Instead of forgetting about the proposal, he was getting his grandmother’s ring and planning a real future with her, which adult Sophie, played by Kim Cattrall, emphasized to audiences as it will likely become a major storyline in upcoming episodes.
Other Noteworthy Moments
- Ellen isn’t the only one who knows that Jessie still harbors some serious feelings for Sophie as Valentina found the love song he wrote for her in the bar’s Lost and Found bin. She promised to keep it a secret, but when Sophie announced that she broke up with Robert, she tucked the song back in the box hoping that the next time around, Sophie would fish it out and realize what was right in front of her this whole time.
- Sid met a woman on a plane who was also in a long-distance relationship with someone in Los Angeles, and the duo bonded over how challenging and lonely it could be. Taylor, guest starring Caitlin Thompson from This Is Us, and Sid hit it off, and I think she might be the woman that comes between him and Hannah. I love Sid and Hannah, don’t get me wrong, but the setup is just not working. And it definitely seemed like Sid made that very realization because he looked pretty defeated when he arrived at Hannah’s apartment. I think actually connecting with someone other than Hannah in such a meaningful way made quite an impact on him.
- After seeing how supple and glowing Robert’s skin was, Sid and Charlie got wrapped up in trying to prevent the aging process so that they could look just as good in the future. And they learned the hard way that botox, cryotherapy, and chemical peels aren’t all that they’re cracked out to be. Bless their souls.
It was an eventful midseason finale of How I Met Your Father, but I definitely think the storylines elevated the series and reinvigorated the audience. New episodes will return on May 23 so stay tuned on how it all evolves.
Walker Review – False Flag Part One (314)
Walker delivered a riveting part one of its season 3 finale, setting the scene for a showdown between Cordell and Kevin.
If you remember, Kevin Golden was revealed to be the leader of Grey Flag. And no matter how many times the Rangers, the FBI, and Cordell think that they are one step ahead of the terrorist organization, they end up learning that they’ve been wrong this whole time the hard way.
They were confident that they would be able to thwart the attack at the medal ceremony while ambushing the Grey Flag compound in the process, but things took a bit of a nasty turn.
One thing led to another and a shootout ensued in the ground floor parking lot, forcing Barnett to give up the act and own up to being a ranger to protect Captain James. He tried to play it as best as he could, but there was no stopping these guys once they went rogue. They come from the belief that some must die for the greater good, so there’s no reasoning with them.
Turns out, the medal ceremony was the distraction this whole time as Kevin was aware that Trey was undercover. It was a good attempt, but there’s no way in hell someone as slick as Kevin would believe that Trey would turn his back on the Rangers and his friends.
The nexus of everything seems to be Cordell Walker. Grey Flag has made it very clear that he’s their target, as was evident when the C-4 actually exploded at the FBI safe house where Cordell met Julia. Kevin used Julia as a Trojan Horse, and while she was completely unaware of his nefarious intentions, she led Grey Flag right to it. And the C-4 was presumably planted in her vehicle, exploding just as Cordell got the call that the target was not the medal ceremony as previously intended.
The attack took Cordell and Julia by surprise, and at this point, it’s unclear if she survived though things did not look too promising for her. Why is Cordell constantly losing love interests? It’s a huge shame because Julia was Cordell’s most trusted confidante—one who escaped this Grey Flag hell once before.
Kevin planted some doubts in Julia’s mind about Cordell, which is essentially his goal. He’s been playing a game this whole time, schmoozing up to Cordell’s family by securing the new horse rescue donations and funding, which Julia revealed are coming from a shady government agency that makes it seem as though Cordell is working for them. Kevin framed Cordell in one fell swoop, and no one even saw it coming cause they were so focused on simply figuring out Grey Flag’s game.
A lot is still unclear about Kevin’s motivations, however. He wants to create change by dismantling a system that he believes doesn’t work, but why is Cordell at the center of it all? Why did he go after his whole unit?
And how is Coop involved? They are missing a key piece of information to see the full picture and make the connection.
I’m guessing that Coop is Kevin’s father, though that still doesn’t explain his obsession with Walker.
Hopefully, the second half of the season final will clue us in and it will all start to make sense. The weirdest thing is that if Kevin wanted Cordell dead, he had ample opportunities to make it happen. And yet, he never did, instead getting closer to Cordell’s family than ever, which is just terrifying.
The Walker family somehow always ends up as the victim of Cordell’s job. At some point, he’s going to have to make a choice because this is no way to live. They thought they were being hospitable and making a good friend who was simply using them this whole time.
Barnett did his best to help out the Rangers, but sometimes, even your best isn’t good enough. There was just too much working against him.
Cassie was definitely caught off guard by the revelation that Kevin was behind Grey Flag, but she also had a gut instinct about him and knew she couldn’t trust him. Women just know when something is off. I can’t imagine the trust issues she’s going to have coming off of this.
The good news is that she’s finally proving that she needs to follow those vibes and see them through because she’s not been wrong once… and unfortunately, that’s not something to be proud of when you always expect the worst.
What did you think of the episode? Will Julia survive? Is Kevin in the wind? How will Cordell find his way out of this one? Will it result in a team-up with Coop for old-time’s sake? And how will Cordell move forward ensuring his family’s protected once and for all? Is Lana safe?
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