War broke out today between millennial media and the cast and creators of CBS’ new comedy series The Great Indoors, in which Joel McHale stars as an adventure reporter who becomes boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of their magazine. The apocalypse struck TCA this morning.
It started when EP Mike Gibbons, who noted that 40 is the new 80, mentioned that CBS focus-grouped the pilot, and the millennial in the group said he did not like it because of the jokes about millennials being coddled, too sensitive and thin-skinned. The woman running the focus group, Gibbons said, clarified: “So, you were offended by millennials being portrayed as too sensitive.”
A Millennial Media Member interrupted Gibbons. “I’m a millennial myself. How are we so coddled, and what about our overly politically correct workplace bothers you?” she asked, like she meant it to sting.
Stephen Fry, who co-stars as the charismatic founder of The Great Outdoors magazine, who is a world traveler, explorer and adventurer, jumped in to note there is “an element of coddling” and “an element in which you have it tougher than the generation before.”
“Yeah, no shit,” Millennial Media Member snarked at Fry, whose family “generations before” includes relatives sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
The Millennial Media Member wanted her question answered by Gibbons, not Fry, and said so in no uncertain terms.
“A great example is how you interrupted my answer,” Gibbons shot back.
Gibbons then informed Millennial Media Member that, during that aforementioned focus group, when asked if they would watch the next episode, the millennial group member raised his hand to indicate he would. “That’s because it’s about them,” Gibbons speculated. “Millennials are very smart, and we have that in the show in spades, and they have a voice and that’s great.” But, he added, millennials have an “inability to resist taking four photos of themselves a day. They will come back if it’s about them.”
Gibbons insisted the show is an equal-opportunity fun-poker-at-er, targeting the millennials in the workplace but also McHale’s generation and Fry’s.
At various points, millennial cast members tried to calm down the question askers, without much success. Christine Ko, for example, explained that the show’s millennials are represented positively for their embracing of diversity and being “the most inclusive generation” and promised they would make fun of McHale’s character “a whole lot.” She also said she was “pleasantly surprised” to discover a lot of the people in the writers room were millennials.
Another media member, non-millennial, asked Gibbons if he was “worried” that the show would be dismissed as “middle-aged white guy complaining about his lot in life and having to deal with millennials.”
Joked Gibbons, “Our show is going to make America great again,” .
“So you are the Trump show?” Non-Millennial Media Member snapped back. “I’m just seeking clarification.”
“Irony comes through in print, right?” Gibbons quipped.
Back to Millennial Media Members: “Do you want millennials to watch your show?” one asked. “Cause you come out here and, ‘Ha, ha, ha, millennials are so sensitive and PC,'” that person asked, calling it “so negative.”
This time McHale jumped in, saying that if the show is offending millennials, it’s “the best strategy ever.”