When the first episodes of 90210 aired in 1990, I was six years old. I watched 90210 until I moved to Japan in 1995. My parents, like many others, assumed 90210 was a pretty good show about high schoolers and family values because it was airing during the same era of Saved by the Bell. They did, of course, draw the line at Melrose Place, but I remember sneaking a peak when that show first came out.
Still, my parents didn’t follow much of what was going on during the show. I can still remember when Donna got drunk at the prom because she was too nervous about sex with David. And if you ever need a high school protest example, the following episode coined the “Donna Martin graduates!” theme of the early ‘90s.
I am just one of many Gen-Yers on the older end of the spectrum who grew up with a show about Beverly Hills teens getting whatever they want.
And we wonder about Gen-Y entitlement issues?
In many instances, Gen-Yers have been termed “monsters” that are taking over the world. Our parents and the media made us, but this is a warning for Gen-Yers:
You are breeding the next form of mutant.
Let us look at the hit TV shows of today:
America’s Next Top Model
Dirty Sexy Money
There are themes in all of these shows about young people getting whatever they want. And yes, there are many more family-focused shows out there. But even Kyle XY had an episode about masturbation.
And on the fall line-up: 90210.
So if we think that entitlement issues are bad now, imagine what they will be like as we move forward into the future. Should we run and hide as a society, already afraid of the Gen-Yers, and not ready to deal with what is next? Do we develop a workplace divided between us and them?
Or do we play up to their strengths?
There are young children today who, while loving Blair Waldorf’s new Channel dress, also want to know why the older generations couldn’t listen when Being Green became a theme in the last century. Children are being more inventive than ever, creating things they want if it’s not readily available.
They are also more disillusioned: Growing up in a world of 9-11, a war in Iraq, the Virginia Tech shootings, increasing gas prices, a Hollywood strike, Jamie-Lynn Spears, a high-stakes Presidential race, and the era of intellectual property rights.
It may not be all bad that we are breeding the next 90210 generation. In fact, they may get whatever they want, especially if they make it themselves.