Millennials vs Gen Z is the classic battle of lifestyles, life choices and preferences the global youth has been battling for a few years now. Both of them keep trying to prove how the other one is a try-hard. Be it fashion, music, tv shows there is always a division.
Generation Y or Millennials were born between 1981-1996 whereas Gen-Z or Zoomers were born between 1997-2012. Millennials are called a generation of ‘Digital pioneers’ because growing up they gradually gained access to technology. Moving from landlines to cordless phones, to mobiles, instant messaging and the internet. Whereas, Gen – Z is called the generation of ‘digital natives’ as they entered this world when it had already entered the digital era.
Both generations have witnessed technological changes almost every day. With this came better access to entertainment options be it television or OTT platforms. The most popular video content for weekly viewing among both Millennials and Gen Z is comedy. According to a YPulse survey, 58% of Gen Z and 59% of Millennials claimed to watch comedy video content weekly across such platforms as movies, TV shows, and series on streaming services.
Millennials are often accused of giving a pass to the problematic quotient of the shows they’ve grown a fondness for whereas Gen – Z is known to be quick to cancel anything that seems to be politically incorrect, non – inclusive, less diverse or more.
There are many shows that came and went but some of them stayed with both Millennials and Gen – Z, either for them to enjoy or become a polarizing pop culture debate.
Here are a few shows and movies that made their mark in the lives of both generations:
1. The Big Bang Theory
This particular show is not as conflicted amongst both the generations, but the thin line of split that is visible is how Gen – Z complains about it being unnecessarily stretched out, subtly racist like that with the Indian character in the show named ‘Rajesh Koothrapalli’ played by Kunal Nayyar, the portrayal of the typical ‘hot girl has to be a bimbo’ culture and how the show is a nerd – shaming one. But the millennials and a part of Gen – Zers who are fond of the show put up the defence as to how it’s a feel-good, light-hearted sitcom about friendships and how the characters evolve through seasons. They also believe that the show must be judged according to the years it was created in. I guess, the millennials can’t really ‘Bazinga’ off these solid points of critique!
This show is the ‘battle royale’ for both generations and the debate seems to be back in trend with the long-awaited ‘Reunion’ episode of the show airing soon.
The Gen – Zers have been very clear to cancel the show, its characters, and the millennials for various reasons like most of the characters being transphobic towards Chandler’s father, Ross being misogynistic like when he doesn’t allow a male babysitter because apparently, it’s a ‘female-dominated field’, Joey being inappropriate with women, etc. Gen – Zers think Millennials have idealized the stereotyped lifestyle the show portrays and that just because they’re fond of a show doesn’t make it a positive personality trait for them.
Millennials, however, again, turn a blind eye towards all this criticism because they believe the time setting of the show was such that there wasn’t an aware audience to cater to, and that there was not much discourse. They also defend the show by pointing at the inherent issues battled by the show’s characters because of their respective childhoods which explains their behaviour in their adult lives. And of course, it gave them a good time and memories to cherish and that it has a certain nostalgia attached such that Millennials seem to have developed a bond with all the characters of the show which might be too hard to look away from even after all this critique by their successor generation.
3. Harry Potter
Harry Potter and its universe is something millennials grew up with. Be it books or movies, they’ve cherished both. Millennials are known as the ‘Harry Potter generation’ and they’ve been obsessed with finding their Hogwarts house for them which defines them the closest just as Gen – Zers are obsessed with zodiac signs. However, Harry Potter has garnered its fair share of controversies because of its author J. K. Rowling. She has passed transphobic comments quite a few times lately and is alleged to keep using ‘Harry Potter’ and twisting its storyline to stay relevant. This is precisely why Gen – Z cancelled J. K. Rowling and couldn’t separate the art from the artist. The Gen – Zers also drag millennials for their obsession with Hogwarts houses implying a personality trait, which they think, isn’t something cool but lame.
4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
A show about the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 99th precinct. A perfectly well-balanced sitcom with all the right boxes ticked. It’s very hard for any generation to find flaws in this show. This show is inclusive, politically correct and funny. The show assumes accountability when needed and the best example of the same is that the show decided to conclude itself with its Eighth season after massive police brutalities came forward during the Black Lives Matter movement in America which gained momentum in the last year.
Also, unlike other shows which deteriorate in quality as the seasons’ progress, B99 has performed well throughout. This is probably one of the rare shows which has both the Gen – Z and the Millennials impressed. Be it Gina’s savagery, the cute chemistry between Jake and Amy, the fatherhood of Capt. Holt for Jake, all these gems and more make the show irresistible.
Gen – Z is surely not the ones to let things pass in the name of entertainment which is a good sign of how we’ve progressed as a civilization whereas Millennials are all about drawing a line to their cancelled culture and taking pride in their vintage. In reality, a lot of the Gen – Z critique about the shows is solid and the basic Millennial defence of it being nostalgic isn’t really promising.
But also, on introspection, it might seem stupid that two generations are fighting over entertainment preferences and some other things like skinny jeans and side part, but I guess, we all have our own battles to fight!