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Month: July 2020

Homelanders React – Seeing Our World through Younger Eyes

Homelanders React – Seeing Our World through Younger Eyes

There’s a good chance that you’ve encountered “kids react” videos on YouTube, where children are recorded while they listen for the first time to music from past decades. There’s even other kinds of things they react to, for example obsolete technology like rotary phones. These videos are a lot of fun, and are a reminder to older generations of how far away we are in time from the culture of our own childhood.

Here’s a great example, suggesting the timeless appeal of certain pop culture icons-

Another example involving icons from a couple decades later, who perhaps are a little harder to connect to-

I like to think of “kids react” videos as an artifact of the Homeland Generation, even though, given the ages of the children, many of them are late-wave Millennials (I guess you can safely say they are all from “Generation Z.”) I think of this as a Homeland generation phenomenom because, as I’ve blogged before, they are the generation that has had its entire life documented on the Internet – older generations, who cherish them and, through viral videos, want to see the world through their eyes. In other words, being doted on in this way is part of the whole Homelander experience.

Of course, the react format can be flipped around, to see the generation gap from the other side. For example, here’s some Boomers encountering the music of kids these days-

The media company that makes these videos, FBE, was founded by two brothers on the GenX-Millennial cusp. They have a great YouTube channel filled with all kinds of content, including different kinds of react videos and other participatory format videos featuring a diverse set of people of all generations. It’s actually quite a fun, wholesome place on the Internet.

The react video is such an engaging format that other YouTubers have picked up on it. Check out this channel – it’s basically two Gen-Zers who took it upon themselves to make their own version of this kind of video. Who says pop culture can’t unify us?

To close out this post, here is one of my favorite examples of a cross-generational video. It’s from yet another channel and features three Homelanders meeting a G.I. (Greatest Generation). That’s quite a gap! Check it out to see what surprising things these kids learn about life way back in the early 1900s. And to feel the heartwarming connection that any two people can have, no matter how far apart in age they are.

Space Force: A TV Show for the Age

Space Force: A TV Show for the Age

The family and I really enjoyed watching the Netflix comedy series Space Force. It’s a great vehicle for Steve Carell, with his gift for playing lovable losers. Though in this show he is not so much a loser as “the man for his time and place” who “fits right in there,” to quote a mysterious stranger. In the case of Space Force, the time is now and the place is at the head of a brand new branch of the United States military. And Carell’s character, General Mark R. Naird, has the right stuff for this challenging job.

One thing I like about the show is that it is very topical. It is the only consciously Trump Era fictional television series of which I know (still waiting for a COVID-19-conscious sitcom). The President is even a character, though we only know him in the form of texts and Tweets from “POTUS.” General Naird has just the right mix of sincerity and guile to handle this unpredictable boss, as well as his peers in the other military branches, and the competitive space efforts of America’s great rival, China.

To balance against Carell’s typically understated performance, John Malkovich provides a more animated supporting character, Chief Scientist Dr. Adrian Mallory. If you are a fan of Malkovich, which we are, you will enjoy him in this role. Since this is on streaming video, there is ample opportunity for him to exploit his propensity for foul language. Just another example of how TV has changed since my childhood. The rest of the supporting cast also provides solid performances.

Space Force is completely farcical and makes no effort to be realistic in terms of the science or engineering of space exploration. There’s an irony to the depiction of the easy accomplishments of this fictional organization, in contrast to the actual state of the U.S. space program. It’s like the show is satirizing what the ignoramus-in-chief thinks the Space Force is capable of doing. Like it’s set in his imagination.

I suppose you could argue that the TV show Space Force normalizes the current administration and its feckless ways. Maybe it’s even a little sympathetic to it, so as not to alienate Trump supporters, who surely make up a substantial portion of Netflix subscribers. Arguably the show also normalizes the idea of inevitable Sino-American conflict. These are dangerous times, and perhaps we shouldn’t be making fun of these things.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that no one has announced a new comedy TV series set in the COVID-19 era. But I would welcome one. Humor is cathartic, and helps us to process the difficult realities of life.

So check out Space Force and enjoy the show. One season is available on Netflix, with no word yet of a second season.