Parents' Guide to

Generation

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Lots of nudity, sex, language in arresting teen drama.

TV Max Drama 2021
Generation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (9 ):

It's reminiscent of teen shows both recent (Euphoria comes to mind) and vintage (Freaks and Geeks), but a lean into both sincerity and comedy makes this effort stand out from the pack. One thing Generation gets right immediately -- though the sprawling cast of high schoolers we meet are diverse in terms of sexual and gender identity, race, ethnicity, and outlook, they share one thing in common: everything they feel is the Hugest Thing Ever. Chester, both a star athlete and a confidently queer kid, quietly calls out for emotional support under a facade of bluster; Nathan is willing to accept he's bisexual but hates himself for choosing his twin sisters erstwhile boyfriend for his sexual forays; painfully insecure Greta struggles both with her life-threatening crush on Riley and with her fraught family dynamics.

Generation does made its teens feel immediately specific and real, even if the drama that surrounds them is heightened. The odds are long for the show standing out: after all, as Generation itself tells us in one episode, there's hardly a shortage of shows about "this secret life of teenagers hoo-ha" (this choice bit of dialogue is placed in the mouth of Nathan and Naomi's mom, a priceless Martha Plimpton). But there's something that feels genuine about the writing and the acting; the teens are fumbling for relevance, ease, and cool, while plainly telegraphing anything but. At one point, Chester perches on a distraught Nathan's lap and assures him that it's all going to get better from this point forward. "Will you remind me tomorrow?" Nathan asks, distracted but interested. "It sounds like something I'll want to remember." Generation captures something real and painful about teenhood that viewers will remember too.

TV Details

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