There was a time, before the rise of blogs, MySpace and Facebook, when people wanting to immerse themselves in the hyper-self-conscious navel-gazing of the self-aware and highly educated had to depend on the TV shows of Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. Now the people who brought you thirtysomething (lowercase sic) and My So-Called Life have joined forces with the people who brought you Tila Tequila. quarterlife (lowercase sic again), an original Herskovitz-Zwick series, debuts on MySpace Nov. 11.
The producers originally developed the show as a pilot for ABC in 2005, but they’ve re-engineered it for web video, cutting it into 36 8-minute installments. (Blogging, naturally, is a major part of the story.) Judging from the trailer, though, the talky introspection appears to be straight-up old-school Herskovitz-Zwick.
I have mixed feelings about the preview posted at MySpace. On the one hand, there are some big, clunky, sweeping generational statements shoehorned in there, about what blogging means (“You put my face all over the freakin’ Net!”), and about what 20somethings are like (apparently, they’re confessional, disappointed by adult life, and inclined to spend a lot of time at Toyota/Scion dealerships). On the other hand, I’m among the minority who believes Herskozwick’s shows about younger characters (My So-Called Life, Relativity) were superior to their shows about characters closer to their own age (thirtysomething, Once and Again).
Regardless, I can’t wait to see if they can pull it off. If any old-media pros can understand the culture of broadcasting your tiniest problems and whiniest musings to the world–“What is a blog? Why do we blog?”–it’s the guys who gave us Angela Chase.
[Update: Oh, and there's an associated "social networking site"! Of course there is! Just as with every TV series, videogame and soft drink released today. At what point will there be more social networking sites than social networkers?]