Privileged is one of those rare shows that really seems to capture the Gen Y experience. Some people look at this show and they just think that isn’t going to be another show about the kindhearted teacher broadening the horizons of the spoiled and ignorant privileged girls. That’s really only one layer of the show, and it is important to put it into the right historical context.
A lot of older critics are going to miss that context, especially because they dismiss a lot of Gen Y problems in general. The idea that all of us just suddenly decided to be lazier than the previous generation somehow seems more believable to them than the idea that the economy isn’t working out in our favor. That’s partly what this show is about, which is what makes it feel so real.
The protagonist Megan Smith did everything right. She went to a great school because she worked hard in school to begin with, and like all Gen Y people, she was told that that would be enough. Naturally, it didn’t work out, because she graduated and entered one of the worst job markets that the country had ever seen. Instead, she ended up as a live-in tutor to a couple of girls who will never have to worry about the state of the economy, because they’re already set for life. This dynamic alone is more than enough drama for a television series, and Privileged manages to get a lot out of it.
The again, the series also manages to make an interesting statement about the fact that the people who rub shoulders with the rich and powerful almost feel like members of the class themselves in some ways, because they get to enjoy some of what the rich and powerful have. Even if they only see you as the help, they’re still going to see you, which is more than what a lot of people can say. It makes for another interesting dynamic.
This show sadly only lasted for one season. However, at least it’s an easy series to get into as a result. People aren’t going to have to slog through several seasons in order to get to the good part. They’ll have reached the good part already.