Saturday, March 20, 2021

What I’m Watching: Generation

Generation: Season 1, Episode 5 “Gays and Confused” (B+)

This episode felt much more grounded in the moment and three specific characters than the ones we’ve seen before, aside from a brief introduction where the father was identified and he showed up with a shopping cart to help transport the baby out of the bathroom. If this show had a lead, which I’m not sure it does, I’d say it would be Justice Smith as Chester. He’s a grounding force, even though he does seem singularly intent on destroying Sam’s life by implicating him in sending inappropriate pictures to a minor without knowing it. Chester got exactly the responses he wanted from Sam with the shirtless selfie and an acknowledgment that he was falling in love with someone he wasn’t supposed to “as we speak.” Hopefully that won’t end as destructively as I’m predicting it will. Riley seems fully aware of how Greta feels about her but equally uninterested in typical relationship descriptors. The idea of “hooking up” with a girl is far more plausible and logical to her than the concept of dating. After a visit to Greta’s home that found her more embarrassed than anything and her two friends charmed by everything that humiliated her, the end of the episode felt rather tame, with Greta in bed smiling next to Riley, an intimate if unexpectedly understated moment. I like that this show seems to be more about its characters than about what happens to them, intent on following their personalities and journeys rather than any predetermined arcs that might more typically fit a TV season.

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