Whippersnappers

I think I’m getting old.

It could be argued that turning 46 years old might've been my first clue that I wasn't knee-high to a grasshopper anymore, but I always thought that when I was in my mid-40s, I'd feel adult and mature and as that feeling has yet to settle in, I’m pretty sure chronological age has nothing to do with my current issue.

It all started when I tuned into the new season of Grey's Anatomy. Although seasons one and two were clearly superior to what came after (talk about jumping the ferryboat), it's been good, undemanding entertainment, occasionally thought-provoking, occasionally funny, occasionally heartwarming. And then I sat down (metaphorically, as I tend to be sitting down most of the time) to watch the new season and… is it just me or did it get really silly and irrelevant? Were they always this self-absorbed, vacant and obsessed with getting laid? This young? Does no one at Seattle Grace focus on their career? Sure, I have my moments of "it's all about me", but hijacking the spotlight to the point where you're telling a terminal patient about your boyfriend problems really seems to be stretching the boundaries of believable, acceptable and cute.

I've also been watching Private Practice, the spinoff from Grey's Anatomy. Not quite as sprightly as the mothership, it seems to be directed to an audience about 10 years older then GA, women in their 30s and perhaps maybe early 40s and I love enough of the actors on the show (especially Amy Brenneman) that I gave it a chance. Until last week, when – and I’ll make this so short as to be nearly incomprehensible to waste minimum amounts of much time on it - when Addison is on a lunch date with the SWAT guy and he explains how the reason he hasn't called said he's had a horrible week in which he watched two people died. And Addison says "I know exactly what you mean, I've had that kind of week, too. I work in an office where nobody speaks to each other" and she goes on about the colleagues not speaking. To a man who has just told her that he's watched two people die. And who is staring at her adoringly while wanting to date her some more – what man worth his salt would accept that sort of self-absorption? - and I know that it is said that men think with their nether regions, but that seems just a little too much to believe and I'm going to stop now before my blood pressure gets out of hand. I know about suspension of disbelief, I know about just going along for the ride without expecting too much, but this was the point where all of that came to a sudden stop, complete with the sound of screeching brakes, because I just cannot watch a show where I'm supposed to forgive that kind of writing, where I am supposed to accept that this is what an intelligent woman in her late 30’s/early 40s with her shit somewhat together would actually say. And then I got the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly in my mailbox with a cover picture of the new Kirk and Spock for the reimagined Star Trek and they look to be about TWELVE!

And that’s when I realized that in the eyes of Hollywood, I am now officially the next generation and maybe even the one after the next generation. The age of invisible when any thought is put into audience demographic for mainstream entertainment. Which dooms me to a choice between mutilated people (usually women) or silly, irrelevant and ridiculous shows if I want an evening of undemanding entertainment (the former, with the exception of CSI and Bones, definitely not being entertaining).

Does nobody in Hollywood realize the thing about the baby boomers? That there is this bulge of the population moving towards its 50s and that although seemingly youth-obsessed, what with all the Botox and the plastic surgery making everybody look like plastic dolls, many of them have an actual brain and an actual education and that maybe their issues aren't all about screwing someone in the linen closet. Maybe there’s more to life and maybe even - imagine this! - nice, undemanding entertainment could revolve around things the other than your nether regions. That maybe once you grow up a little (not completely, I don’t think we ever do) although said nether regions certainly have a role to play, you might actually be using the organ located at the other end of your body – y’know, the one in your skull - to cope with the demands of a life that includes more than drooling over the cute boy/girl. Can we have a bit of an imagination, please?! And can we please, please see said relevant issues acted out by somebody who’s past 25?

Effing whippersnappers should get off my lawn...

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