Pop! Inspired

The Quarterlife Crisis sucks, so why would we want to watch it?

Posted on: August 23, 2009

Rory Gilmore and Matt Saracen graduate. From Fox Searchligh.

Rory Gilmore and Matt Saracen graduate. From Fox Searchlight.

Post-Grad, starring Alexis Bledel, opened last weekend to poor reviews and tanked at the box office. In the film’s defense, the Quarterlife Crisis is a hard sell: Reality Bites and Garden State were cult hits, Kevin Williamson’s Wasteland was canceled after three episodes and the internet/NBC series Quarterlife barely made it off the internet. As a current Quarterlifer, I’m not interested in ever seeing any of the above mentioned and here’s why.

Reality Bites was released in 1994.

Reality Bites was released in 1994.

The “Quarterlife Crisis” is a “new” phenomenon. The general directionlessness of the twentysomething years has been around forever. When I say “Quarterlife Crisis,” I mean the Post-Grad definition and how we use the term today: After a high-achieving college life, recent grads are disappointed and frustrated by the Real World. A lot of it is because school promises that if you get good grades, go to the right college and get a job, success abounds.

And let me tell you, that’s total bullshit. You just spent 22 years believing a bunch of lies. Now, get ready to believe a whole set of new ones.

Finding your niche takes a lot longer than 120 minutes. Movies and TV are a heightened reality, where all problems are solved and wrapped up in a tiny little box by the time the credits roll. The Quarterlife Crisis and directionlessness of one’s 20s can last anywhere from the day you graduate college until…well, some people never figure out what they want to do with their life. I’ve found that your 20s is a time for a lot of mistakes and a lot of throwing things against the wall to see what sticks – and for how long.

There are no easy fixes. Hollywood stories always conclude with the The Hero getting their Greatest Wish, be it a job, revenge, the perfect wedding or a kiss from their longtime crush.

But the Quarterlife Crisis isn’t just one problem – it’s an assload of complications, hangups, regrets, mistakes and disappointments. One simple thing couldn’t even begin to fix everything. Getting the guy doesn’t suddenly make you forget that your unemployment benefits just ran out. You got revenge on your biggest rival, but you still live at home with mom and dad. Getting the dream job doesn’t cut off all of your emotional baggage.

The Quarterlife Crisis isn’t just about getting the perfect job or apartment or love. It’s about accepting and finding a new reality that fits you. Everyone finds something different at the end.


    Killing the crisis in Wanted. From Fandango.

It’s so embarassing. Mortification can be pretty entertaining (see: The Office, Parks and Recreation, the entire Teen Movie genre, Degrassi), but there’s just something kind of sad about being a twentysomething.

During your teens, you have all of your firsts and it’s cute. You go wild and crazy and political during college. In your 20s, you watch all the fun and happy hours drain out of your life while sitting in your cubicle. You could fill out that grad school application, but your 9-to-5 is already booked up with Gchat convos, online Scrabble and maybe a nap in the bathroom when the bosses are gone.

That would make a terrible movie. I don’t want to watch that, unless Angelina Jolie busts into your life and says you’re an assassin. And that brings me to my last point…

Heres to you...

Here's to you...

The Quarterlife Crisis isn’t the story. Everyone goes through this in their 20s. It’s nothing new. Stop trying to make it something new and create a neologism or abbreviate into something cool (OMG! QuaCri! QC! Quartisis!). Everyone in their 20s is confused and unsettled and probably doesn’t have health insurance.

Yes, it’s there, but it shouldn’t be center stage – something more interesting should be the star instead. Something else needs to set the story apart. The Graduate had Mrs. Robinson. In Wanted, James McAvoy is clearly a QCer*, but Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman reveal he’s a kickass assassin with guns and car chases. Megan McCafferty’s Quartisis* novel Fourth Comings works because while the protagonist is going through her QC*, another dilemma – which deals with the series’ main love story – is the real focal point.

Conclusion: Why watch someone else’s QuaCri* when you can have your own? Except when the movie is really about something else.

* Yes, I realize none of those are ever going to happen.

Post-Grad [Official Site]
Quarterlife Crisis [Official Site…just kidding]
Mallory’s Guide to the Real World [Shameless self-promotion]


1 Response to "The Quarterlife Crisis sucks, so why would we want to watch it?"

[…] who loves college shows? Quarterlifers like me nostalgic for better times? People who watch The New Adventures of Old Christine? I haven’t […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

We love pop culture!

Unless stated or linked, the images used have been captured/colored/created by us.
Real Time Web Analytics Clicky
%d bloggers like this: