Boomers and TV: what are the cult series for those born between ’46 and ’64?

“ORk, boomers.” The expression with which young generations make fun of their parents and older relatives is also the title of a 2021 Belgian anthology series, focused precisely on intergenerational conflicts and misunderstandings.

George Clooney true boomer: «TikTok?  I don't even know what it is.

But what is the ratio of Boomers (those born, approximately, between 1946 and 1964, i.e. during the post-war demographic boom) with television series? Which products have marked the generation and which have most effectively represented it?

If we take into consideration the US context, the sitcom genre is the one that, perhaps more than others, has highlighted the traits of an era.

The cast of “Happy Days”

Three titles above all: Lhe stereotyped and idealized province of Happy Days (1974-1984), Archibald (1971-1979, in Italy Everybody at home), in which “uncomfortable” issues appear on TV for the first time (racism, homosexuality, feminism, the war in Vietnam), daughters of the “dispute” and the long wave of ’68, and Friendsthe sitcom that highlights the dissatisfaction of a generation that has known neither war nor crisis.

More recently, the quality series Mad Men (2007-2015) painted the golden period of New York in the 1960s, that of the creative advertising industry and the social changes underway.

Kabir Bedi played “Sandokan”

In Italy, the imagination of the Boomers generation was marked by Rai dramas from the 60s and 70sas The Adventures of Pinocchio by Comencini (1972) e Sandokan by Sergio Sollima with Kabir Bedi (1976).

Another TV “myth” of the Boomers he is undoubtedly Commissioner Cattani (Michele Placido) from the TV series The octopus (1984-2001), the first serial hero to fight the mafia and build a lasting loyalty mechanism with his audience.

The cast of “Friends”: from left, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc (photo Jon Ragel /© NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection).

But a tell the dreams, hopes and disillusionments of the generation that passed through ’68 it was above all The best youth (2003) by Marco Tullio Giordana, a biography of the nation seen through the eyes and wounds of a Roman lower middle class family, in a saga that covers the transition from youth to adulthood.

To find a representation of the Boomers in seriality today, we need to move towards the so-called “family drama”, where the aging of a generation is revealed, often with comedic tonesby contrast with a world totally transformed: in languages, in technologies, in values.