What Pop Culture Tells Us About Millennials

Every fall we’re inundated with a slew of new TV offerings trying to gain our viewership in an attempt to become the next hit show.

Every fall, there are a slew of new TV shows to sort through.
Every fall, there are a slew of new TV shows to sort through.

This year’s fall and midseason lineup of new shows features the regular assortment of legal dramas (Conviction, Bull, Notorious and Doubt), along with a number of spinoffs of other hit shows (24: Legacy and The Blacklist: Redemption), not to mention a few reboots (MacGyver and Prison Break) and a surprising number of shows based on popular movies (The Exorcist, Frequency, Emerald City, Lethal Weapon, Taken and Training Day). And of course, you can always count on Fox to throw in an animated show that targets an adult audience (Son of Zorn).

One of the new sitcoms that I’ve been watching is called The Great Indoors, and stars Joel McHale (from the hit sitcom Community) as Jack, a renowned outdoor adventure reporter who takes a desk job with an outdoor magazine. He struggles not only to adapt to life indoors behind a desk, but also to understand his staff of millennials who write about outdoor adventures that they never actually experience.

The show is fascinating on many levels as it portrays many of the stereotypes of millennials that we’ve heard through the media and research.

The Great Indoors is a new sitcom airing on CBS that takes a peek into the lives of Millennials in the workforce.
The Great Indoors is a new sitcom airing on CBS that takes a peek into the lives of Millennials in the workforce.

Of course the humor and the settings are not always family friendly and the caricatures of millennials are often exaggerated, but there is often some truth to the portrait of millennials that the show creates.

For example, in a recent episode, when a feature story idea goes completely off the rails, Jack tells Clark (the Millennial who is responsible) that “to call this situation a dumpster fire would be an insult to flaming piles of trash.”

A dejected Clark responds by saying, “I knew it. I just wanted to be a great journalist but I stink.”

Sensing an attitude of defeat, Jack tells Clark, “You don’t stink at journalism. You just stink at knowing what your actual talents are because you’ve been over-praised and under criticized.”

Clark suddenly has this realization that it’s actually good to live in reality because only then can he fulfill his true potential.

Millennials need and want to know what they’re good at. They want to know what their talents are and how they can make a difference in their community. They want to live with purpose and meaning.

All of our research on Millennials, along with our own personal interactions, confirm that Millennials want input. They want mentors who can influence them and help them manage life and grow personally, spiritually and vocationally.

But after college, there often is no intentional plan or program to help Millennials with their personal and spiritual development.

Millennials want input. They want mentors who can influence them and help them manage life and grow personally, spiritually and vocationally.
Millennials want input. They want mentors who can influence them and help them manage life and grow personally, spiritually and vocationally.

We hope to change that here in Orange County. After the first of the year, we’ll be launching our Leader Development groups, which are aimed at providing some key ingredients to help Millennials thrive spiritually and live missionally in today’s current cultural and professional environment.

We hope to help Young Professionals understand themselves better. We want them to know what they’re good at and how God has uniquely wired them. And we want to challenge them to use those unique gifts and talents to help advance God’s kingdom purposes in our community and around the world.

Please pray with us and for us as we continue to move forward with some of these new initiatives. We covet your prayers and are grateful for your partnership with us.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that the NBC show This is Us is by far our favorite TV show of the new season. With it’s positive portrayals of family, fatherhood and adoption, it’s a show that draws you in and tugs at your emotions. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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