The HBO Max teen series "has no plot to speak of," says Rich Juzwiak. "It’s about... teens... hanging out? It’s an exercise in paradox via externalizing characters’ identities while depriving them of interior lives? It’s a parody... of itself at least? It’s a horny-teen stopgap between Euphoria seasons that only warrants comparison to that show insofar as to demonstrate what Generation is not, which is, above all else, good. Generation is terrible. Oh god is it bad. It is meandering and smug and sketched in the broadest possible lines so that its characters do not do much beyond showing up to represent their assigned identities, like dead-eyed quota fulfillments. Many of these characters, in fact, can only seem to display a single emotion from scene to scene no matter what’s going on (lucky for them, it inevitably is not much)...If I’m being charitable—and I probably should be because this show has kept me entertained for a few weeks—Generation is woefully miscast. But there isn’t an actor’s studio well-stocked or whose training is rigorous enough to save a production whose very concept is this misguided. Created by father-daughter team Daniel Barnz and Zelda Barnz, and executive produced in part by Lena Dunham, Generation is founded on a notion apparent in a lot of online personal-essay writing: Identity alone is enough to make a person interesting. As if to tease out that logic, the show embodies the philosophy that says representation, and only representation, matters, not what is done with it. Ani DiFranco once sang, 'Someone’s gotta be interested in how I feel just ‘cause I’m here and I’m real.' Imagine that as a show with characters that are, in fact, not real...So why can’t I stop watching Generation? I’m not even the kind of person who needs to finish something I start for my own peace of mind/sense of closure. If a show or movie doesn’t speak to me directly within a few minutes, I’m out. And yet, seven episodes in, I’m still hanging on Generation’s every vacant word. I think the experience is something like hate-reading an essay on the internet whose every bad decision fascinates for the wrong reasons. Generation reminds me of Domino’s pizza or Indian food made in North Brooklyn—it is decidedly bad but yet full of sources of individual deliciousness that it ultimately delivers a queasy sort of satiety. In other words it’s, like, a lot, and filling is filling."