Every new teen drama wants to be the one that actually, finally Gets It. They can range from the extremely earnest (see “Degrassi,” “Dawson’s Creek”) to the flashy and forbidden (see “Gossip Girl,” “Euphoria”), but all strive to capture that vulnerable slice of life between childhood and adulthood when everything burns a little too bright, a little too quickly.Generation Season 1 Download.
“Generation” — aka “Genera+ion,” with a plus sign instead of a plain ol’ “t” as a nod to the + in LGBTQ+ — is TV’s latest stab at honestly portraying teenagers. Premiering March 11 on HBO Max, the series at least has the distinction of being co-created by a particularly unusual team: Zelda Barnz, a teenager herself at 19, and her father, Daniel Barnz, who also directs. Together, they’ve made a frenetic show about Gen Z that aims for something between Gen X’s “Freaks and Geeks” and millennial cornerstone “Skins,” though without the shaggy charm and piercing twists that respectively made those series so compelling. “Generation,” though, is undeniably strongest when telling straightforward stories of teen angst and heartbreak — which are, as it turns out, timeless.
“Generation” follows a group of Southern California misfits teetering on the edge of being truly cool. The resident hotshot jock is Chester (Justice Smith), an enigmatic queer kid who keeps defying the dress code with flashy crop tops. As his discerning new guidance counselor Sam (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) quickly surmises, Chester is just as charismatic as he is lonely. Still, as Sam also admits later in a lovely little scene, Chester is also the defiant jolt of queer lightning that Sam always wanted to be in high school before embracing a safer respectability.There are other themes at play in “Generation,” but the difference between Gen Z Chester and millennial Sam’s queer experiences defines the show’s driving force.