Consummate Gen-X bad boy Christian Slater will narrate Generation X on National Geographic. Yea! I’ve written about our lost generation of latchkey kids now in midlife for about nine years, so I’m pretty stoked about this news. You may recall that National Geographic did a special on the 1980s in 2013. They didn’t mention Generation X one time.
The series will air at 9 p.m. CDT on Valentine’s Day. Episodes will feature archival footage and interviews with key members of the generation. Ironically, (ha) I’ve never heard of some of them. Here they are:
- Kevin Smith
- Molly Ringwald
- Sarah Palin
- Courtney Love
- Gavin Newsom (Not the Captain Stubbing Gavin)
- Julian Assange
- Alison Stewart
- Rachel Dratch (Not the Rachel from Friends)
- Tabitha Soren (Not the Tabitha from Bewitched)
- Sway Calloway
According to National Geographic, the series will put a rare and well-deserved spotlight on Gen Xers. It will specifically feature how a generation of cynics turned their childhood experiences into some of the biggest achievements the world has ever seen. Each episode will highlight a major, Generation X milemarker and stories will break down the cultural, political and economic conditions that influenced the 13th generation of Americans. Subjects explored will include:
- Vietnam War
- Growing Up With Divorce
- Growing Up Latchkey
- Nixon and Watergate
- Rise of Grunge, Disillusionment
- Reality Bites
- Pentagon Papers
- Star Trek
- Cell Phones
- Brady Bunch
- Breakfast Club
- Me Decade
- Online Dating
- Gay Marriage
- Murphy Brown/Dan Quayle
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Barack Obama
Generation X on National Geographic
Here’s a summary of a few of the episodes.
Generation X: Alternative Goes Mainstream
February 14 at 10/9c
Members of Gen X, the 65 million people sandwiched between the much larger groups of baby boomers and millennials, are often thought to be cynics, slackers and loners, a characterization brought to life in the disillusionment movie “Reality Bites.” In the first of six episodes, Generation X explores the roots of this generation by looking at the forces that shaped it, from the stalemate of the Vietnam War, the increasing divorce rate, the growing latchkey kid phenomenon, the resignation of Nixon and the rise of grunge.
Generation X: Truth Be Told
February 21 at 10/9c
When Julian Assange created WikiLeaks, it was no coincidence that he was a member of Generation X. After decades of watching government corruption scandals unfold, such as Iran Contra and the Pentagon Papers, Gen-Xers developed a distrust of those in power, further evidenced by paranoia films like “Dr. Strangelove” and “War Games.” The decades-long forces that led to the WikiLeaks release are examined through original interviews and memorable footage.
Generation X: The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth
February 28 at 10/9c
Featuring interviews with prominent Generation X thinkers and innovators, this episode examines how advances in technology have profoundly shaped every aspect of Gen X-ers’ lives. From the initial optimism of Star Trek to the disaster of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and from the advent of the pocket calculator to the creation of the World Wide Web, Generation X has had to bridge the transition from the analog past and the digital future.
Generation X on National Geographic is produced by Left/Right. Click here for the schedule.