Gen X Erasure Is Coming Soon to a TV Near You

Why it’s okay that a millennial-centered reboot of the boomer classic ‘thirtysomething’ totally skips my generation

Meghan Daum
GEN
Published in
7 min readJan 22, 2020

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Photo: ABC Photo Archive/Getty Images

TThe thirtysomething reboot is the latest example of Gen X erasure but I still can’t wait for it.

When I heard that ABC is planning to reboot thirtysomething, the iconic late 1980s, early 1990s drama about very attractive people who overthought everything and wore their elite college sweatshirts like uniforms, my first thought was, “nothing good can come of that.” My second thought was, “how long do I have to wait?” The network has ordered a pilot, to be written and directed by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskowitz, the original creators of the show. That means it could be months — a year, even — before this delicious potential train wreck comes to screens and launches a thousand think pieces about (in no particular order): whiteness, privilege, boomers, millennials, aging, the price of elite colleges, the price of sweatshirts, the price of real estate, and the price of the American dream in the era of late capitalism (whatever that means).

The show will star much of its previous cast. They’ll play older versions of their characters, a group of tightly knit friends who live in Philadelphia and struggle to reconcile their hippie-era…

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Meghan Daum
GEN
Writer for

Weekly blogger for Medium. Host of @TheUnspeakPod. Author of six books, including The Problem With Everything. www.theunspeakablepodcast.com www.meghandaum.com