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Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part Two)

Forget the overrated, self-indulgent Quentin Tarantino or the execrable Seth MacFarlane. Here are four Gen-Xers who make movies and TV shows that are worth watching.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

June 4, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Last week, I singled out Courtney Love (in the Music category) and Adam Carolla (Comedy) as two of my fellow Gen-Xers who aren’t a source of continual embarrassment to me.

This week’s categories — Movies and Television –were tougher to tackle.

Broadcasting: Glenn Beck and Greg Gutfeld, both born in 1964.

All the millions of words written about Beck somehow don’t seem like enough. Curiosity about, and hostility towards, Glenn Beck remains insatiable. We’ll be inundated with bashing bios and long-form think pieces about him for decades and cover stories on glossy magazines just before they print their last issue.

Beck’s career was declared “over” after he left Fox News, yet his net worth has increased exponentially since.

Beck even received an “innovation” award from the TriBeCa Film Festival this year (!).

Greg Gutfeld shares Beck’s (and my) “question authority” sensibility. If he were a lefty, Gutfeld would be making ten times more money, and hailed as a genius by the same people who rag on him now.

He doesn’t share Beck’s extreme tolerance for risk or apparent ADD, both of which sometimes prompt Beck to make stupid decisions and mount (then discard) wacky personal hobbyhorses with abandon.

However, if they stay grounded, both men will outlast their critics, whom they are smarter and more talented than. (They work harder, too.)

Speaking of working hard but staying grounded:

While I admire much of what Andrew Breitbart (1969) accomplished (or tried to), he also worked himself into an early grave and left behind a wife and kids.

That’s not cool.

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All Comments   (10)
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"The Book of Mormon (ugh) cancels out Team America: World Police (yay.)"

So, basically you only like them as long as it's not YOUR ox being gored. Way to live down to the Conservative stereotype.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If his age qualifies him, you must include Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the world's greatest metaphor for the obstacle course of the modern coming-of-age; Angel loses the metaphorical power in order to become an unmatched (for TV) fantasy-thriller; and as for Firefly, it's far politically wiser than its creator. And The Avengers was just good clean fun for the whole family. His just-released Much Ado About Nothing is the only movie I intend to catch in a theater this summer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Even tho it's outré, I still consider myself a Browncoat. Can't stop the signal!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Joss Whedon was born in 1964, he's teetering right on that Boomer/X-er border. But I think your summation of his work is spot on. Whether Whedon intended it or not (and I think it's clear he really didn't) "Firefly" is one of the most libertarian shows of all time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I LOVE the Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Long before The Book of Mormon, they did a South Park episode on Mormonism that I regard as one of the best TV shows ever. For the first 18 minutes of the show the bash Mormon beliefs- bash bash bash. They do it well though and it's kind of funny. But just at the end, they give the little Mormon kid a soliloquy in which he absolutely skewers his self righteous, pseudo intellectual critics. The South Park guys saved the most pointed jab for themselves for what they had done in the preceding 18 minutes. It was clever, humble, unexpected, fair but most of all really really funny. I don't think there is anyone out there that combines brilliant, insightful social commentary, clever humor, and vulgarity like Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Not every episode is at the same level, but when they get it right, they hit it out of the park and into the next town over.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a terrific article! Hilarious, and insightful!

If you do requests, Kathy, could I ask for some of your favourite barbecue rubs? Or maybe some dating tips for savvy swains?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Glenn Beck? He is one step ahead of Alex Jones.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kathy,

You are a tail end boomer. Stop trying to deny this.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yep, prior to 1965 you're a Boomer, not an X-er. I'll grant you that the early '60's was a cusp period and it's easy to identify with both generations (I do and I was born at the end of 1962), but you ARE a Boomer if you were born then...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd like Seth McFarlane more if he would STOP SMILING!

"Smile and smile... I don't trust men who smile too much."
Commander Kor - Star Trek, "Errand of Mercy"

Beavis and Butthead were horrible. But I knew both of them in high school, so I kind of had to watch.

Agree about Hank Hill & co. Interesting that the same guy who did B&B - who were about as low as TV comedy characters get - could present characters from "flyover country" who were dead-on accurate as parodies but also real and sympathetic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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