The name that is on everyone’s lips right now is “Gen Z”. Perhaps the most overdefined, overmarketed, and overexposed generation in human history, they all want a piece of us (word for Britney). When social media replaced television as the primary form of youth media, it quickly eroded the lines between different media-consuming communities. Now, wherever we go, the rest of the world follows us, from our exodus from Facebook to Instagram as tweens, our romance with Snapchat as teenagers, and our dominance of TikTok as young adults.
But the “we” in question is somewhat difficult to define. Many of the trends and catchphrases attributed to Gen Z are recycled from creations and phenomena from other cultures, and AAVE in particular. Gen Z absorbs them all, then replicates them ad nauseam through the web; millennials imitate him, and corporations follow suit. Such is the circle of a digitally directed life.
The corporations in question include those that power the entertainment industry, of course. This year has seen many forms of entertainment attempt to be the ultimate chronicler of Gen Z (while reaping money for doing so) – think of recent movies like bodies bodies bodies Y Not wellThe TV show high heartbreakand the recently released Netflix movie get revenge. And one of the main Trojan horses that everyone uses, in their attempts to ingratiate themselves with the target audience, is language. To talk like Gen Z is to get Gen Z, or so the people who throw money at teen- and 20-something-focused media think.
To understand youth culture and its lingo, aspiring Gen Z specialists often rely on the holy trinity of modern media consumption, the Three Ts: Twitter, TikTok, and Tumblr. Bodies Bodies Bodies’ The trailer vindicated its claim as a Gen Z™ story by firing off a series of quick cuts between buzzword-laden lines drawn from social media discourse: “You’re always cheating on me,” “You provoke me,” “You’re so toxic.” ” and “You are silencing me”.
All of these buzzwords have traveled a long mile on the Three Ts. Despite being based on mental health terminology, they are almost always used in situations that have nothing to do with mental illness: trigger warnings and misogynistic behavior are invoked easily to achieve a hyperbolic and intense effect.
At least the movies that borrow these phrases are aware of their misuse to the point of being meaningless. bodies bodies bodies he points this out when a character scoffs at an accusation of gaslighting, replying that the accuser pulled that term off the internet and used it nonsense.
bodies bodies bodies is far from the only movie to center this kind of language in its portrayal or critique of Gen Z. The tendency to force these phrases associated with social media into the mouths of characters glared at me especially while watching get revenge, perhaps more than ever. The film has the admirable goal of framing itself as the 2020s answer to the snappy, iconic teen comedies of yesteryear, those with eminently quotable scripts like heathers Y clueless. But despite reference after reference to these movies, get revenge it focuses too much on doing the “saying” rather than the “doing” itself. It positions itself in relation to these iconic films, rather than becoming one, and the dialogue is largely to blame.
A very key – and underrated – part of what makes teen classics get revenge pays homage to so referential is how definite the adolescent culture of his time. They created and contributed to it rather than extracting it entirely, redefining how viewers spoke rather than the other way around.
A film as sardonic as heathers it endures largely because of its incredibly quotable dialogue and unique syntax. (We won’t talk about his horrible, short-lived TV reboot.) The iconic lines from the movie are still repopularized every year, largely through recycled Tumblr screenshots from the 2012 era. “What is your damage?” were the teenage slang in vogue at the time heathers1988 release. But if you hear any of these lines now, you immediately think of the pitch-black sense of humor that defined heathers, and vice versa. And since my generation was not alive at the time, they also define our impression of the adolescence of that period.
In the meantime, clueless “As if” originated in the LGBTQ community, and there is additional talk of its spreading into the mainstream through film, but it wasn’t part of the popular lexicon until the film’s release in 1995. Now, it’s remembered as a classic piece of 90s lexicon. when you think of cluelessyou think of the iconic plaid suits of Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash, of course—get revenge definitely did, but you’ll probably hear the aforementioned quote while viewing them. I’ve never owned a plaid skirt suit, but I’ve unfurled it “as if” more times than I can count. The costumes set the scene, but it was the language of the movies that was passed down through decades of youth culture in a very imitable way.
Both films deployed these phrases so casually that they stood out even more. They were such unique interpretations of teen language that real-life teens, even to this day, want to emulate the vibes and vocabularies of those movie depictions. They were creative and brought something new to the lexicon of young people.
Trying to include a line that catches children is something that 2005 Bad Girls, another member of the teenage canon, even mocked him with the meta-invention/attempted popularization of “fetch”. Unlike “search” in the Bad Girls universe, the mass adoption of these teen movie vocabularies was organic, as opposed to algorithmically crafted. viral moment” of make revenge biggest quote: “Rising to the top in high school is embarrassing anyway.” Give me 10 minutes and I will find that exact sentiment expressed by 20 different young people in one of the Three T’s.
What’s frustrating is that when get revenge focused on the “doing”, as with its brilliant plot twist in the third act, I found it to be a smart performance and on the pulse of today’s youth culture. After the twist was revealed, I immediately texted my friend praise for the movie, demanding she watch it so we could talk about her entering the teen movie firmament. We had finally done it, Joe. Juicy, exciting, and morally dubious at best, I felt hopeful for the future!
But at the end of the climactic comeuppance scene in which the “fake awake misogynist” boyfriend is exposed, one of the characters sarcastically says, “Don’t let the patriarchy hit you on the way out,” and I fell flat again. Earth.
make revenge The tendency to extract from today’s terminally online teenage language robs him of the opportunity to offer a unique and idiosyncratic take on youth culture, the kind that defines the movies they want to emulate. Overconfidence in your understanding of Gen Z prompts get revenge, and other similar movies, to constantly wink at the audience through their collected dictionaries on Twitter. “We love an emotional terrorist” and “It’ll be like our own version of friendship tattoos, except, you know, with trauma” are just two more examples where make revenge The script deliberately tries to underscore how well the film knows Gen Z and how equipped it is to make fun of them.
But that trust is not earned, as it reduces adolescent status to a very specific portion of the population that is dedicated to a very specific media sphere. Who knows how long today’s buzzwords will last? When it finally fades make revenge the language will be found to be immensely outdated and not likely to resonate with the unborn future teenagers who will come across it.
Yes, almost all members of Generation Z are on social media. We all know these often misunderstood, decontextualized, and annoying social justice-oriented terms, and have seen them overused in action. Everyone who has an opinion on youth slang has already made their point of view known, from the experts to the youth themselves. That’s the point of social media, after all: oversharing one’s granular opinions about literally anything, out of an overly inflated sense of self-importance or a burning desire to develop something.
I understand that the point of satire is to hold up a mirror, or in this case, whatever the audio version of a mirror is, to society, to create a cultural history of the time. But the way these new teen movies lampoon their target audience reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what made their influences so successful. heathers it was not the world in which he already lived; it was a place I wanted to escape to, where teenagers dressed so casually and spouted wit that I couldn’t wait to steal for myself. Why would you want to shop in a world full of people saying the exact same thing as any social media feed, in the exact same way? If I wanted that, I’d just get on TikTok.
“Today’s fictional media about Gen Z can’t resist falling into generational catchphrases, to everyone’s detriment. ”
Imagine if movies of the late 2000s and early 2010s obsessively invoked the maxims of the “live, laugh, love” era to represent millennials. It would be insufferable! But today’s fictional media about Gen Z can’t resist falling into generational catchphrases, to everyone’s detriment. It becomes even more dubious when the media inevitably canonizes phrases that are blatantly not “Gen Z” or “internet talk,” but are then institutionally attributed to them rather than their actual creators, who are often marginalized communities.
When I look back at movies from my teens/early 20s, I’m not sure there’s any medium that isn’t completely defined by The Three Ts. I think my generation’s future nostalgia deserves more than a media reflection. social like a voice memo. As a generation that has come of age in a “recycled” culture, a culture whose development was halted by a global health crisis, we deserve a cinematic glossary to call our own.
Source : www.thedailybeast.com