When in 1989 Fernando Arrabal pronounced on TVE that millennialism is going to arrive, in reality, he did not know and nobody expected that it would be in March 2021. It was not the end of all humanity, only that of a generation. Because Zelda Barnz, 19 years old, and Genera + ion have definitively sealed the decline of millennial hegemony. Now the speech belongs to Generation Z, those born in the late 90s and early 2000s have killed the father and taken power.
It is very important that our generation be allowed to tell our own stories. Often these series are very nostalgic for the high school stage, people watch them because they want to remember their teenage years, and that is rare to see when you’re in high school. Zelda Barnz is the voice of the zeta asking for space and the 16 chapters of her Genera + ion series, which from today opens the first three chapters in Spain through HBO, is the manifesto.
A girl giving birth in a bathroom, her friend looking for a solution on her cell phone, a teenager masturbating in front of the computer and tasting his own semen, a young queer black man with a navel top strolling in front of the entire institute. That is the cover letter of the new teen fiction, emerged from the mind of a 15-year-old girl in a summer camp and brought to the screen under the direction of one of her parents Daniel Barnz and the production of Lena Dunham, who has come to compete with Euphoria as the new adolescent phenomenon.
THE BEGINNINGS AT AGE 15
I had realized about a year ago that I was bisexual and I thought it was time to tell my parents so I sent them a letter. This is all I’m doing at camp, everything is fine. I’m bisexual. She loves you, Zelda. ‘From that moment my parents and I began to have conversations about sexuality and identity and the spark of this larger conversation emerged about how this differs in our generations, explains Barnz to Papel about a fiction that begins today in Spain the first part of its first season, which throughout 2021 will show the second and that the true reality of postmillennial lands.
And, at the center of that reality, identity, sexuality, diversity, and acceptance of the LGBTQIA + concept. Generation Z is especially open and we want to see ourselves faithfully represented, there can’t be a series about us without queer people at the center because it just wouldn’t be real, says its creator, who continue Genera + ion focuses on queer characters very different from others in the past. Their sexuality is a big part of who they are but it is not their full personality, many are gay, but their sexuality is not the only thing that defines their narratives.
The question is simple teenagers in a high school in Anaheim, Southern California, being teenagers in 2021. We chose Anaheim because it did not seem real to us to have many characters who define themselves openly queer in a small town. more population and that our characters will experience the rejection of their community for being queer. Anaheim is relatively conservative and big enough to show that reality, details Zelda Barnz, who will finally bring her series to television under the direction of one of her parents, Daniel
A SEXUAL SCRIPT WITH HIS FATHER
But how does a teenage girl write a script based on personal experiences about sexuality with her father? At first, there were a couple of awkward moments, it was strange to write a script together with explicit material. Then we reached a point where we understood that we had to be honest with each other and that paved the way for more honest communication in our life general Much of my life has inspired Genera + ion but there is also a lot of fiction.
A fiction in which the profiles of the actors take on great importance, fleeing from the previous teen series model. We wanted this to look authentic and it’s hard to do that with 27-year-old actors or models posing as 16-year-olds, we needed teenagers to feel like teenagers, says Zelda Barnz. No John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John playing schoolboys in their late thirties, twentysomethings living their own lives on camera.
This is how Chloe East, Uly Schlesinger, Justice Smith, Lukita Maxwell, Chase Sui Wonders, or Haley Sanchez appeared. A diverse and racialized casting, just what its creator proposed, and whose names will end up sounding along with those of Zendaya or Hunter Schafer as the future already present of the audiovisual industry. I just hope that the kids of my generation see this and feel truly represented on screen, that they feel accepted, loved and that they can see themselves as they really are.
As has already happened with Euphoria or We are who are, the two great recent HBO teen series. With one difference. now it is they, the Zetas themselves, who are going to decide what to talk about. Because, let’s not forget, millennialism is dead.