Millennials Sound Off: Does Anything On TV Represent Their Generation?

From Girls to New Girl, the last few years have provided a slew of shows focused on Millennials. Since the lives of 20- and 30-somethings living in cities have been a favorite focus of television for decades, it makes sense that as Millennials have aged into that demographic, their lives would start to seep onto the small screen. But for all the screen time people their age might be getting, is there is any show that accurately represents the Millennial generation, or the lives of people their age? If you ask Millennials that question, the answer is a resounding “NO.” 67% of Millennials do not feel that any show on TV or online accurately represents them. 

When they turn on the TV, they’re not seeing a true reflection of themselves. Since one of the main draws of television is escapism, it’s doubtful they would want every show to be a perfect reflection of their own lives. But it says something that so many of them have a hard time thinking of even one show that they can watch and truly relate to. Millennials might be judged by the shows that portray their generation, but to them, from The Bachelor to #RichKids of Beverly Hills, most shows are misrepresentating who they really are.

When we asked them to tell us what show misrepresents their generation the most, we got a range of answers, citing both current shows and some off the air: 

Jersey Shore received the most call outs, with 25% of 14-32-year-olds surveyed saying that it was the show that misrepresented people their age the most, and one respondent elaborating, “We're not all idiots as these shows would indicate.” Another told us, “It makes it seem like 20-somethings are completely shallow & only care about partying & hooking up.” Reality shows in general were called out for misrepresenting Millennials, and 73% of…

 
 

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“I love reality TV shows. It's always fun to watch average people make themselves look foolish just for a shot at fame.”

—Female, 17, CA

“Bored kids” and “desperate parents” are the most likely to love their smart speakers. Nine out of ten children who own one say they enjoy their device, and 57% of all smart speaker owners with children admit entertaining their children was one of the reasons they opted for the purchase. Ypulse found 13-34-year-olds consider Amazon Alexa one of the “coolest tech products” so it’s no surprise smart speaker owners love their devices: 65% “would not want to go back to their lives before getting one,” 42% consider it an everyday “essential,” and over half of parents plan to purchase another. (Fast Company)

Plastic surgery is reportedly having a moment with Millennial men. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, of the over one-third of men who are “extremely likely” to consider cosmetic procedures, 58% are 25-34-years-old and 34% are 18-24-years-old. Some reasons they’re willing to go under the knife (or needle)? To boost their self-confidence, to appear less tired or stressed, and to stay competitive in their careers. Experts say social media and the self-care trend is making men more appearance-conscious. (Bloomberg)

Reading Rainbow is back and it’s all grown-up, just like its fans. The well-loved show's host, LeVar Burton, is picking up a book and laying down a podcast for his Millennial fans. He’ll be reading selected works of fiction and breaking down the themes just like in the old days, but he’s also adding a little something extra: his personal take on the tale. The only thing missing from the original PBS Kid’s show? The coveted chance to get on screen and read a review from your favorite story.

(Huffington Post)

Gen Z is thinking finances-first when making college decisions. Almost 80% consider the cost of an institution in their decision of where to attend, which makes sense considering over one in three are planning to pay for part or all their expenses. Avoiding the student loan debt that most Millennials know all too well is a key component of their finance-savvy thinking: 69% of teens are concerned about taking on loans, and the number of teens who plan to borrow has dropped 10% since 2016. (CSF)

Leisure and hospitality are the “hottest” jobs for teens this summer. A full 41% of teens went into leisure and hospitality last year, nearly double those that landed a wholesale and retail gig. Education and health services rounded out the top three, with all other industries claiming 5% or less of the summer teen workforce. When Ypulse asked teens where they’re planning to work this summer, restaurants and fast food jobs combined would land the top spot on the list. (Markets Insider)

“Everybody loves Drake. People that claim to not like Drake don't know themselves well enough.”

—Female, 21, CA

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