Sunday, March 2, 2008
Call It Quarterlife Melodrama
When I was 23, I bought a book called "The Quarterlife Crisis," lauded on Oprah as the first book to gain deep insight into the trials and tribulations of those in their mid-20s.
I must say, I was a bit disappointed. The book was very surface and didn't really provide any solutions, or even comfort -- it was essentially a documentation a few people a little confused about whether they should become doctors or lawyers, or parents before they're 30. Needless to say, these weren't issues I was dealing with at 23 (yes, I know that's a bit early for a 1/4-crisis, but I always seem to be a little ahead of the game ;)).
I wish the online television drama Quarterlife was around when I was going through all that bad stuff. Although melodramatic and filled with not-so-great acting, the creators behind -- you guessed it -- My So Called Life have brought the same sentiment to the same generation. The difference? A decade and some change.
Main character Dylan works at a Cosmo-esque women's magazine, but she wants to be a "real writer." She's also in love with her friend who is (of course) in love with her other friend. There's sadness, longing and a lot of drinking and eating in between working and sleeping.
The story -- told in 8 minutes clips instead of 44-minute long episodes -- sums up Generation Y. We're unsure of our place in society; because of the comfortable means we've been raised on, we don't feel the need to set things in stone, whether that's a relationship or a career. And we've never really had to work for much, which is why we carry designer handbags and iPhones that our parents paid for. Some of us are lucky; we're ambitious enough to land good work. Others are not, and that's why we all have friends who are 34 and bartending.
Regardless of where you fall, you'll appreciate Quarterlife. Just when I feel like I'm passed the stage of being unsure of what's to come, the feeling creeps back up. And watching Quarterlife reminds me that, if someone wrote a show about my hopes and fears, I must not be the only one holding onto them.