Posted by: Trisha Leigh | August 23, 2010

How Smart is Hollywood Really?

As a writer, I often have outlandish thoughts. I express them to non-writer type friends and they give me odd looks, then change the subject. I shrug. We’ve agreed they don’t have to understand the way my brain works to be my friend.

They’re mostly from Texas, so they’ve got the looking politely in the other direction thing down pat.

I had a revelation at ComicCon, and would like to coin a phrase. Ahem. I propose that people from the ages of 28-34 be known as the “WB Generation”.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule; older or younger people who obsessed over all the shows on the WB during its heyday. At 31, I am smack in the middle of this demographic. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first show to strike it big on the network, began my senior year in high school.  The majority of the popular shows were off the air by 2003, right when we were busy getting jobs and getting married and no longer had time to sit and watch such frivolous nonsense (says the girl who tunes in every week for Gossip Girl).

So many shows I love now made appearances at ComicCon and I started to recognize more and more faces and wonder…just how smart are the television studios?

The age group I listed above is currently the prime marketing demographic. We are the people buying the majority of goods. We’re the ones purchasing homes, cars, having kids, buying things for our kids…and suddenly these ex-WB “stars” are popping up in primetime television.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Examples. I started watching Bones because David Boreanaz (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) signed on. I hopped on Fringe with quivering excitement over Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek) being back on television. I’ve already programmed my DVR to capture Running Wilde for the sole reason that Keri Russell (Felicity) is starring.

There are more. Katherine Heigel (Roswell) in Grey’s Anatomy. Shiri Appleby (Roswell) doing well in Life Unexpected.  Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) bringing to life a priceless character in How I Met Your Mother. Brenden Fehr (also from Roswell)  is a recurring character on Bones as well as CSI:NY. Scott Foley (Felicity) in the great but short lived The Unit. There are more, I’m sure. James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) in Caprica – a show I’m actually considering watching despite how far it is outside my usual fare.

I’m not saying I would continue to watch any of these shows if they hadn’t genuinely hooked me with great writing and delivered riveting stories and characters week after week. The point is that I started watching them only because these actors I adored as an adolescent and young adult reappeared in their casts.

So what do you all think? Am I the only one still influenced by the love I once had for all shows WB? Are the television studios really smart enough to realize the influence shows that went off the air almost 10 years ago can have on audiences today?

These are the things I wonder.

I know you’re out there, fellow WB Generation. Let me know what you think.



  1. I have also thought this as well. I am also guilty of tuning into new shows just because my favorite WB stars are on them. Granted, I don’t like these shows and haven’t stuck with any of them besides Grey’s.

    But then I have this other thought. The opposite idea that is also a possibility. Maybeeee these actors are washed up and trying to make it in movies and hit tv shows but aren’t quite getting there. Most of the shows get canceled in no time.

    So its either that tv networks are smart and purposely casting our beloved WB stars or that our beloveds are washed up and can’t be successful past their prime time on the WB.
    Could go either way or be a little of both. Who knows.
    Either way, kinda sad for them but happy for us when we get to be sentimental.

    Good post.

    • Ha, I wondered that briefly also. The shows I listed have become fairly successful but I know several of the WB alumni have starred in less than great CW shows. Those are the ones whose careers aren’t moving forward.

  2. I’m sure you aren’t the only one. But I know some people who refuse to watch Bones because they can’t see DB as anyone but Angel. Also, I HATED Buffy and Angel — but I love David Boreanz.


    • That’s so funny…I guess he was Angel to me until I got into Bones and now he’s Booth. Also, how can you hate Buffy?!? 🙂

  3. As a male in that age group, I want to take offense to being placed into a demographic based around a channel that I loathed. I loathed it so much that I refused to acknowledge to myself that the genius behind the short-lived sci-fi series, Firefly, was the same guy behind Buffy. But around 2005 I did allow myself to fall in love with (the first four seasons of) Smallville, via rented DVDs. I’m a geek; what can I say?

    • It’s true, I didn’t consider the male members of our age group when writing this post. Still, being part of that “WB generation” means that even if you didn’t LIKE those shows, their stars are still recognizable faces to you…right?

      • I can agree with that.

        However, the only show I watch (watched?) on the WB is Smallville. I think I watched a couple of shows out of loyalty to the Smallville actors, though.

        • I never got into Smallville, but I know people who liked it LOVED it. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I fit within your age range, but I do not identify with the WB Generation. Those years when the “hit” shows were on, were the years where I rarely watched television. In fact, I think I more than shunned most of the shows that came from the WB (they didn’t end up there in Canada, as we didn’t have the channel, but SOMEone was broadcasting them). I have yet to see a full episode of any of the shows you mentioned, and I think I missed the boat completely, as I’m much too outside of the target audience for any of them. Some shows age well (i.e. Seinfeld) and can typically transcend age groups and pop culture. I’m not certain if the WB shows can…are they too teen-oriented and time-specific to last? Are people still watching Dawson’s Creek or Felicity in syndication?

    Still don’t watch much primetime television…however Fringe is certainly a favourite…and Joshua Jackson doesn’t hurt. 😉

    • Um, no – those shows are not going to have the shelf life of a Seinfeld or Friends. To the majority of our age group, though, they are classic in some way because they remind (me, at least) of a different time in my life. Kids now haven’t the slightest idea who Dawson, Felicity, or Joey are, and that’s okay. That makes them ours.

  5. I think that Hollywood is that smart. After all, it would explain the (relatively) recent revival of 80s franchises like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Tron.

    …Then again, I tend to get strange looks from my friends when I say this stuff too.

    • Nice point, I totally agree with you about the movie franchises. They are after us too, the children of the 80’s who now retain the most buying power. Up next…Smurfs!

  6. While I got to Buffy a little later than most, I totally started watching How I Met Your Mother because of Alyson Hannigan.

  7. First of all, I think we watch most of the same shows.

    I follow writers ore than actors…I’ll watch anything Joss Wheaton. I’m still hoping for another gem like Buffy. 🙂 But Hollywood is smart. They know how loyal viewers are. And the shows that you mentioned had almost a cult following. If you can pick something like that up again, you’re set!

    • That’s so true. Shows that become cult hits are nearly impossible to predict, so the writers and studios just ride the wave when they catch one. I saw Joss Whedon is due for another home run.

  8. I loved Roswell and Buffy! I don’t watch tv anymore so I cannot comment on your theory; however I do think it’s a good one!

    I do request that you lower your age range to 26? Some of us (or just me) feel left out!

    • Ha, deal. I did a quick survey in a couple of groups and had some people 25-26 who never watched any WB. I’ll have to consider lowering it a few years!

      • I agree lowering the age range. My friends and classmates would discuss WB shows more than anything in the 90s and all of my sorority sisters look on the shows as the defining television (along with TGIF) of our youth, though we were considerably younger than yourself. I know you said there are exceptions but somehow a vast majority of the women I know fall in it and I’m 22.

        • The range is turning out to be much younger than I expected, probably due to the arrogance of me assuming everyone stopped watching when I did. It’s been interesting to see how young the range reaches!

  9. I think the WB Generation is a great term for our generation and I hope that it catches on.
    You are absolutely right and have opened my eyes and quite possibly, stumbled upon something not many of us have even considered! Thank you for bringing insight into some of the reason why I like these shows so much 🙂

    • Aren’t they just great, those lovable WB actors? I find that I still enjoy most of them as much as I always did. Some of the shows are better than others but a couple (like Fringe) are genuine hits.

  10. You are not alone and yes the producers know what they’re doing when they put these former WB stars in new shows ^_^

  11. I tend to want to watch anything that Pacey… umm, I mean Joshua Jackson is in.

    • I am so with you on that. When I saw he was going to star in Fringe I called friends, squealed alot, and set my DVR. Not necessarily in that order.

  12. Nice post! i enjoyed reading it 😀

    • Thanks, I’m glad you stopped by!

  13. You might want to widen that demographic a bit, but I think you have it pinned down!

    • Someone else said the same thing…on the younger or older end? Or both?

      • I’d say on the younger. At 26, I followed the Dawson kids as they moved from high school to college perfectly (at least according to the Quebec school system). What a glorious time in tv lineups that was!!

        And as far as I can say from experience, there is not one decision made by studios made without $ in mind. So those producers are clever! Especially when you think that some of these actors have not been in the limelight for a while and suddenly, oh, there they are again… (not that I’m complaining though!)

  14. Hi, Trisha. I happen to fall under your generation, so cheers!

    I don’t watch much television nowadays because, to me, it sucks. I do, however, think that many of us have a focal point we like to fall back to, when reminiscing about the past. I must say, the stuff that airs on the tube now, doesn’t even compare to the quality of the past. Even though it was before my time, I’m actually a ’60s & ’70s buff; ya know, back when the original Star Trek and Twilight Zone was out, and whatnot.

    Anyway, keep doing your thing and I wish you the best of luck with success; it seems that you have locked into a good niche.

    • Thanks for stopping by and for the comment! None of the WB shows are ever going to be considered classics to the majority of people but to us, they are. I grew up watching TV Land reruns thanks to my dad. Funny is funny, no matter if its in black and white or color!

  15. I know what you mean. I watched Fringe for the same reason.

    I’ll take it one step further and expand the marketing machine beyond television, piggybacking on the circle of life. As children, did we not all play with some or all of the following: My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch dolls?

    Sure, Barbie and Legos were part of our repertoire too, but they had always been around. What distinguishes Ponies, Shortcake, Cabbage Patch et al. is that they were reintroduced on the market around the same period you mentioned – when the original audience was now getting married and having kids.

    Their sales catalyst is our sense of nostalgia, our glorified recollection of the good old days. After all, what could be sweeter than buying for our kids the same toys that brought us so many hours of fun years ago?

    Marketing folks may be a lot of things, but stupid normally isn’t one of them. I say this as both a marketer and a mom whose daughters own several Ponies and strawberry shortcake dolls. 🙂

    • You are so right. Another commenter pointed out the movies that have been made recently as well, Tron, Transformers, Smurfs, etc. They are onto us. We love to watch things (and people) to remind us of that simpler time in life, when we were being taken care of and didn’t have worries. Sigh.

  16. I’m 23….but yh WB Generation for me for sure!

    Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Dawson’s Creek, 7th Heaven (shhh dont tell anyone)……

    and yh i’m sure its done on purpose. There are plenty of amazing undiscovered actors that could act better than David Boreanazaadz (sp?) but they picked him because they would get their target audience as well as his fans…same happens with movies

    • I totally forgot about 7th Heaven until I found that picture and Jessica Biel was in it, lol. You are a young WB Generation-er! Thanks for the comment!

  17. The studios are smart enough to know that they need to keep trotting out re-treads. They know they have to keep the same faces in front of each demographic for as long as they are alive. How else can you explain Andy Rooney and the skeletons on “60 minutes”? Andy Griffith? Hell, even Maura Tierney has been on several shows for almost 20 years. There are certain actors that will be in our lives all our lives. And that is no accident.

    • I guess I’m glad the ones from our generation are so adorable! I’m quite sure Josh Jackson is going to age well 🙂

  18. I friggin’ loved Felicity and would give almost any show a shot that had a character from the original Felicity cast. I think you make a really good point here. And Fringe is actually good TV, so it’s a win-win!

    • Fringe is an EXCELLENT show, and Joshua Jackson brings alot to the table. I loved Felicity as well. It’s neck-and-neck with Buffy for my fav WB show.

  19. What I learned from this post is I am nearly old enough to be your dad. Oy.

    I am outside the demographic, but I think you make a pretty good case for the “WB Generation.”

    • Oh come on, Bill. Nearly old enough is still NOT old enough. Cheers.

  20. I like your premise.

    That being said, I’m not so sure about the WB generation. Pretty big gender divide with their programming. Women our age may be the WB generation, but I think I can safely say that many men, like myself, have never watched an entire episode of a WB show.

    • Well, I admit you and one other male commenter caught me off-guard. Still, there are plenty of male science fiction/fantasy fans who liked Buffy, Angel, and Roswell. Many more guys who were forced to watch Dawson’s Creek with their college girlfriends.

      That being said, even if you never watched any of the shows, aren’t the actors still recognizable to you? If you see one in a show now, do you recall they starred in Buffy? Just curious.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Honestly, no, I don’t remember any of them. I remember that Buffy and Dawson’s Creek existed, that’s about it. Maybe it’s that I’m more the sort of guy that never got past a first date in college, so I never had to deal with the “forced to watch Dawson’s Creek” scenario. Yeah, I know… I’m awesome. 🙂

        • Ah, well. I never forced a guy to watch any of those shows in college either so I’m right there with you.

  21. You definitely need to broaden the age range. I am er… NOT 31. I adore Supernatural. I don’t watch much TV because prime time is my writing time, but I never miss an episode. The show starts its final season soon and I’ll mourn. Great post!

    • A couple other people suggested my range was too tight as well. Still. Supernatural is a newer show on the CW (which I don’t watch, incidentally). It and Smallville began a new generation of teen-type shows. I haven’t gotten into too many of them…except Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries. Crap.

  22. i’ll try and keep this simple. i rarely go to movies anymore. a big waste of money and time. TV?
    the WB for sure isn’t on the radar and never has been. yeah, i’m an old guy. grumpy and pissed off about crappy re-makes and no creativity in hollyweird these days. goes for TV as well. sue me.

    • Well to each his own 🙂 I agree that so much programming is crap these days, but if you never dig then you’ll never find the treasures!

  23. very nice i like it very good keep it up.

  24. I’m a WB generationer. It’s true. Sadly, television is not a big part of my life. This isn’t to say I don’t see the stars I used to follow and pin up on my walls and are happy for them when they find further success.

    Also, I love the line about Texans. It made me giggle like a coed.

    • I am vaguely jealous that you don’t watch much TV. I watch too much and worry it’s killing my brain cells. Although for writers, so many story and character ideas…and examples of what not to do. Heart.

  25. Is Hollywood smart? Sure it is. Just a couple of years ago Rosie O’Donnell made the wise observation that: “People in African countries such as Bolivia are starving.” And James Cameron wanted to fill the Gulf leak with a clay model of Leo’s head. And even “Hollywood” Obama is smart. He said he’s been in all 57 states. I don’t know of anyone smart enough to duplicate that feat.

    • Do you know where I can get a clay model of Leo’s head? Because, you know… I’d like that.

      • I guess you could write Cameron. I hear he has about a dozen of ’em.

  26. […] August 23, 2010 by josph089 As a writer, I often have outlandish thoughts. I express them to non-writer type friends and they give me odd looks, then change the subject. I shrug. We’ve agreed they don’t have to understand the way my brain works to be my friend. They’re mostly from Texas, so they’ve got the looking politely in the other direction thing down pat. I had a revelation at ComicCon, and would like to coin a phrase. Ahem. I propose that people from the ages of 28-3 … Read More […]

  27. I think demographics play a part but maybe not exactly as you put it. I think WB gears towards younger crowds and these actors have just matured with us and out of the roles that WB offers. That said, their popularity from earlier roles most likely played a part in their casting into current roles.

    • Yes, the WB is no longer on the air – just online. The CW has taken its place and new, young talent fills its shows. I’m glad for the ones who managed to grow and mature along with us…and that our love for them still helps them get work.

  28. I like all the shows you do too, I’m just older, and don’t watch them for the people you do, just because I happen to like the shows! Funny, I guess if a show is good, a show is good! I’m a little Too OLD for the WB generation, ouch that hurt to say! Oh well, someone has to be a little older than you, who’s gonna pay into Social security for you? Whoops, wrong way, Well thanks ahead of time.! Anyway, I don’t really like that many movies right now though, so over them, I wait til’ they come to DVD or Cable and watch at home in my home Theatre, One of good things of being a little older, having a little more money for the “perks”.I don’t really “get” the humor the of Sandler & Will Farrell, Jim Black, Tina Fey so I don’t know what Hollywood is doing…

    • I’m an old soul when it comes to movies. I love the classics and despise 99% of what Will Ferrell and Jack Black do. Still, Hollywood gets it right every once in a while. There are still diamonds being produced, you just have to dig through a lot of crap to find them sometimes. 🙂

      • Will Ferrell’s one good movie: Stranger Than Fiction. Jack Black’s one good movie: King Kong.

  29. I’m well outside of your demographic (57 years old), but I’ve followed many of these stars for much the same reason — at least as they pertain to Buffy and any other work by Joss Whedon. Missing here is Warehouse 13, an interesting show created and largely written by Whedon apprentice Jane Espenson.

    And I had no idea Spike was in Caprica. Now there’s another damned show I’ll have to look in on.

    • I didn’t know Joss Whedon did Warehouse 13, and I interviewed the cast at ComicCon. I’ll check out Caprica too, but can’t promise to keep watching if it loses my interest, as much as I love Spike.

      • No. Whedon didn’t do Warehouse. His protege, Jane Espenson did. She, along with Tim Minear, is one of the best writers from his stable. (Although Minear’s very, very short-lived series Drive wasn’t well received — quite justifiably, I thought.

        And I’m with you on Caprica. Willing to give it a shot, but Spike or no Spike, the show has to hold my attention.

        And a very good thesis on WB’s marketing tactics, by the way.

      • Wait! What? You interviewed the cast? Damn, girl, you lead a charmed life.

        • Ha, I DID. I write television and movie reviews for a website called and they sent me out to ComicCon as press. It was AMAZING.

        • Yeah? Well I had drinks with Ian Rankin, and we…

          Ian. Ian Rankin?

          I-A-N R-A-N … oh, never mind.

          I envy you.

  30. I wasn’t aware of how many stars are making it back into the spotlight so I never really thought about it. But when you point them all out, it does make you think. Besides, I just started watching Buffy on netflix and am flying through the seasons haha

    • Oh, a Buffy virgin! You’re going to love it. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  31. I completely agree with you. I started oddly young as a WB viewer, tuning in to Buffy, season one at seven years old. Now, at twenty, I miss the fervid kind of fandom I left behind with shows like Buffy, Angel and Dawson’s Dreek. Until the appearance of Supernatural and Doctor Who, I never thought I would get that excited over a show again.

    To give you an example: when I was eleven years old and starting secondary school I found it very difficult to make friends, until I happened to be sitting next to a quiet girl one day and I happened to say, “Do you like Buffy?”

    A nine-year friendship was formed.

    I would even go so far as to say that these shows dictated my like for a particular genre: sci fi and fantasy. With me, Roswell, Buffy and Angel were the pre-cursors to Doctor Who, Torchwood, Supernatural, and True Blood.

    I don’t know that I ever would have watched these shows had I not had an introduction to the kitschy fantastical of the WB shows.

    Sci fi, fantasy and comics are becoming less about furtive ‘nerds’ playing D&D and more of a regular thing, and I for one, say huzzah!

    By the way, you should check out Torchwood – James Marsters makes some great guest appearances.

    • Thanks, I’ll check out Torchwood! Great point about some of the shows introducing us to genres like science fiction and urban fantasy. I never thought of myself as that type of “nerd” and now my novel is a post-apocalyptic science fiction! Crazy… 🙂

  32. I think some of the casts are type casted for the specific roles. When the show ended, studio or the series creators don’t consider them for other roles. So their need to work really hard to proof that they are worth it.
    Of course studios need to consider the fact that they are here to make money in anyway possible. So some of the decisions are made from the marketing point of view instead of intellectual. After all, most people just want entertainment, few are asking for fun entertainment, even fewer are asking for smart and fun entertainment. Our brain hurts when we think, so why think?

    • Yeah, my brain hurts a lot but it’s usually worth it :). It’s true some actors get pigeonholed, but I think that’s more of an issue for actors from truly iconic shows like Seinfeld or Friends…we’ve witnessed what a hard time those actors have had finding new sitcoms that last. Too many people see them as one character. The WB kids might always be those characters to us, but to the majority of the population they are fresh faces.

  33. Sometimes various stars filter back into our lives. Molly Ringwald, the red-headed it girl of the late 80’s, is now a mom on The Secret Lives of An American Teenager. Charlotte Ross, whom many of us remember from Days of Our Lives, is a mom on Glee. What goes around comes around I guess.

    • There’s something comforting about seeing them, I guess. LIke a piece of youth someone decided to give back. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  34. I turned 23 last month, but I like to think I am very much a part of WB Generation.

    Well, I got the WB as a channel in the 1999-2000 season (didn’t know it until about halfway through that season though), so I missed a lot of these shows the first time around (I’m not a fan of jumping in the middle), but I feel I am very much informed by these shows. Roswell was the reason why I became involved with online fandom (that and Gilmore Girls — my first username on a forum combined two characters).

    I later became obsessed with Buffy and Angel though (like maybe 2-3 years ago), saw part of Felicity a few years back and hope to start watching Dawson’s soon (oh, I totally own both soundtracks despite not really following the show). Currently watching Roswell season 3. (I didn’t get UPN until the 2003-2004 season and the reception was complete crap.)

    Nowadays, I definitely watch Bones, How I Met Your Mother, Life Unexpected, and am planning to watch Running Wilde in the fall. I could never really get far with Fringe, but maybe that could change if I get my way through DC. (BTW, I can’t remember right now if I got really into Bones before or after I got hooked onto Buffy/Angel because the timeline is all tight. I know I got season 1 on DVD a few years back and I caught up with the show completely after season 3 ended, so that would mean it’s the same summer I finished my first run of Buffy and Angel [and Firefly]. Same for HIMYM, got deep in that show that summer. Pretty sure I started before I finished Buffy, but was it because of needing an Aly fix? Hmmm. Definitely started LUX after my Roswell days though.)

    • Interesting! There have been quite a few commenters who are younger than my original age range and hopped on later for Smallville, Roswell, and Gilmore Girls. Thanks for the comment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Running Wilde because I LOVE Keri Russell. She was fantastic in the film Waitress.

      • Oh I love Waitress, too! I think I saw that before I watched Firefly (with Nathan Fillion), actually. So damn pretty!

        Running Wilde looks promising to me not only because Keri, but because Will Arnett. His GOB on Arrested Development was fantastic!

  35. Every generation is about 13 years. The generation you’re talking about was born between the years 1971-1984. Generation Libra….

  36. Nice post. For a different take on Hollywood, click here:

    • Interesting. I am one of the old school film school snobs who watches the Oscars. I am also a closet fan of the MTV (aka Twilight) Movie Awards. 🙂

      • Well being old school, you surely must decry the state of affairs in Hollywood today, no?

        • Alot of yes but some no. There have been some great films just in the past couple of years. Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, Gone Baby Gone, Inception, Changeling…

          For me it’s less risky to find the actors you trust, the ones who consistently make good choices, and go with them. There are some in the ones I mentioned that hardly ever let me down. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Casey Affleck, Angelina Jolie (when she chooses a serious project she’s generally right on).

          Just my reasoning 🙂

      • You sound quite young. I know you are young, but you sound young; and I don’t necessarily mean that in an insulting way. (Just as you might perceive me as sounding old.)
        I think if film-making is to have any hope of aspiring to the level of art, it falls on the shoulders of great directors rather than “trustworthy” actors. (Now, that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one!)
        While of course I recognize the actors you mention – as I suppose I must – I have not seen any of the aforenamed films except the Slumdog one which I found tedious and preaching (but I liked the dancing at the end.)
        To understand movies today, one must understand and be fully conversant in the films of yesterday. Two directors of note, in particular, deserve especial mention: Hitchcock and Kubrick. Unless and until you have seen every one of their films at least once, I am afraid I cannot take you seriously.

        • I’m young but not THAT young. And I have a degree in film so I can discuss it backward and forward and until I turn blue in the face. I’ve seen Hitchcock (favs being North by Northwest and Rear Window). I’ve seen Kubrick but honestly don’t care for his style. I’m a big Capra fan but I’m guessing you’re not if you didn’t like Slumdog.

          I trust certain actors to choose great directors, innovative screenplays, and they do. Consistently.

          Film IS art, but Hollywood is a business. The sad fact of the matter is that 90% of moviegoers are there to be entertained. Period. They aren’t there to think, or be challenged, or engage. There are people in Hollywood who care about making sensitive, thoughtful films – but they only get 10% of the resources. Just the way it is.

          When I was in film school, I was a huge pain in the ass to go to movies with. Everyone hated me, I was critical of every line of dialogue, every camera angle, every small choice. I decided I loved movies, and picking them apart made me hate them. I still see their flaws, but I forgive them. I stand back and say, what is the intention of this movie? If it’s to entertain (like, say, Christmas Vacation) I sit back and laugh.

          That’s not to say I don’t have standards. I despise Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell and everything they stand for. It breaks my heart when kids say they don’t think When Harry Met Sally is funny, or that they’ve never seen It’s a Wonderful Life or heard of Alfred Hitchcock.

          But films mean different things for different people. Just because I like to be moved enough to ponder and discuss them afterward doesn’t mean everyone does. And that’s their right, like it’s mine.

        • Never trust actors to do anything but try to advance their own careers, usually unsuccessfully.

          I’m curious as to why you’re unimpressed with Kubrick, especially as a film student. It’s a bit like a student of classical music being unimpressed with Mozart.

        • Not unimpressed. I recognize his unique talents and tip my hat to his determination to do things his way, to keep control of his films. His style (and often subject matter, as I am not a huge fan of the war film genre) are just not for me.

        • Hmm.. we are talking about Stanley Kubrick, right? If so, I am not sure you are fully acquainted with his work. One of Kubrick’s many talents is his ability to transcend all film genres. While he has made war films (eg. Full Metal Jacket) his many other works range from horror (The Shining) to sci-fi (2001: A Space Odyssey) to 18th century historical fiction (Barry Lyndon) to post-modern dystopia (A Clockwork Orange) to scandalizing love (Lolita) to gladiator movies (Spartacus). Masterpieces all.

  37. You make a valid point, but I cannot decide if the television people are smart or not, especially since they do tend to cancel so many shows that I LOVE, and bring back the LAME ones. I will give this some more thought, but was a WB fan too 🙂

    • It’s true. Have you noticed how they don’t give shows nearly as long to hit their stride, find their audience, etc now? At ComicCon I heard several times that if Seinfeld aired today it wouldn’t have run a whole season before someone pulled the plug. We’re definitely missing out on some great shows because no one wants to give them a real chance.

  38. I am a huge fan of tv and being of the WB generation (I am almost 32) love me all things WB. I must profess that I still watch original 90210 reruns on Soapnet, and watch the new one too.

    • You know, I never go into 90210 (new or old) but I did get hooked on Gossip Girl and I’m obsessed. So silly 🙂

  39. Hollywood smart? Or are we the dumb ones to buy into all the garbage Hollywood feeds us?
    Good post, though.

    • Ah, maybe that’s the real question. If so…I’m totally falling for it and I’m not alone.

  40. I think you’re definitely onto something for sure! I’m 27, and it seems that I’m one of the few gents who identify with the demographic (or who are willing to admit it, maybe… hehe).

    I was totally into Buffy, Roswell and Felicity, and at the tail end of it Gilmore Girls. As I got older though, I watched less and less television – now our television isn’t even hooked up to cable or an antenna – but I do occasionally catch up on shows via DVD.

    I was so glad to see Keri Russell make a come back; her role in MI3 was criminally small (I suppose more of a cameo) but Waitress was so great. Scott Foley’s guest run on Cougar Town was also TV gold.Will be interested to see what Running Wilde will be like, and what Scott will do next. I’m actually about halfway through season two of Felicity and the nostalgia is like a drug, so if they are re-casting these actors knowingly, the studios are very smart indeed.

    It’s an interesting point about whether these shows will have the same shelf life as things like Friends and what not. I think Felicity holds up incredibly well (although some things are funny like Noel being excited about a new iMac – those old giant ones with the colored case – or seeing those old Palm Pilots that are like bricks). Although, an old housemate of mine was watching Dawson’s again and I found it incredibly dated and weird… I think it depends on taste too.

    • Yay, finally a guy admitting they watched at least a few shows on the WB! Felicitiy was in contention for my favorite, I loved that show (and continue to adore JJ Abrams). I don’t think they’ll hold up like Seinfeld, or Friends…their audience was such a brief one and for the most part the issues they dealt with speak to young adult viewers – who now have their own shows on the CW (Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, etc).

      Buffy will hold up the best, maybe forever. I watch reruns at least once a week.

      I highly recommend Fringe, JJ Abrams latest masterpiece – great show, great Josh Jackson. Thanks for stopping!

  41. I grew up with those shows too. But I don’t really care too much about the actors. I don’t know if this has anything to do with Hollywood agents, directors, producers being smart. I think that talented & good looking actors can find success even after a series ends. Look at Jessica Biel she’s now in movies, I didn’t think much of her in 7th Heaven. I’m more impressed in the movies she makes now.

    Frankly I like Bones because its a good show. I didn’t like Angel, and I lost interest in Buffy when I hit 17. Buffy, Angel, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity came out when I was a freshman in high school. I like DB now that he is in Bones. I think its cool that he has range as an actor.

    However I don’t watch those teen shows now that I’m in my 20s. I just can’t stand them as an adult. I do think its interesting to see DB on Bones, Josh on Fringe, etc. I like watching them as an adult doing mature work. Anyway that’s my opinion on it.

    As far as marketing goes, I think most of them try to go after every age group. There are people who market to my parents the baby boomers, there are those who market to generation x, generation y, etc. Marketers will go after anyone who will bring them a buck. They even try to target children, which explains those baby Eistein cds.

    • I love that the actors (for the most part) have grown with us and now we get to watch them in primetime shows. I agree with you on marketing – there are ads and television slots that target individual groups. As a general rule, though, people 25-45 are prime targets because they are the ones accumulating (and spending) wealth. That’s us.

      I think its interesting that not too many of the WB stars have had luck in film. Keri Russell was great in Waitress but it wasn’t a big movie. I haven’t been impressed with any of Jessica Biel’s work, though she was funny in Valentines Day. Weird.

      Thanks for the comment!

  42. I would like to open this comment with a compliment on how well spoken your readers are. It’s amazing that you get feedback in complete sentences. The last comment I received was lewd, entirely in German (only a coincidence that I can speak the language), and I’m half sure it was from a man. So I guess I am saying: kudos.
    Now, to get back on topic, I must say that I remember WB fondly, like one remembers grade school. It seemed amazing at the time, but if you go back to experience this nostalgia first hand, you mind find it to have lost its luster. For example, as much as I loved the quirky Vampire slayer, her acting is nothing less than atrocious for at least two seasons. I can’t stand re-runs of Seventh Heaven, and I wonder why I ever cared about the life of Simon, the boy closest to my age. These actors and stories are living memoirs of my youth, and to see them play other roles is just bizarre. TV tends to float their actors (just watch any Abrams or Whedon show), but it seems especially out of place when they are icons from my youth. David Boreanz isn’t a detective, he’s a vampire.
    Speaking of Whedon, though, I think that there is a new trend in following TV stars, and it has more to do with the creators than the people who act in them. Jenifer Garner didn’t have to play the role of Kate for people to start watching Lost.
    I have also noticed, and tell me if you agree, that the men of fallen TV networks and dramas tend to circulate in television, while the women tend to find their own way into more profitable careers as movie stars. Dawson (forgive me for not knowing his real name) is a now on the Fringe while Katie Holmes was Batman’s girlfriend, Mila Kunis (a dorky voice actress for Family Guy’s Meg) is making large with Book of Eli and Black Swan, and Jessica Biel can have any movie she would ever desire. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a household name but who honestly knows Nicholas Brendon or Anthony Head?

    • Thanks for the comment. I have noticed – with the exception of Felicity,which was well acted front to back – how silly these shows seem when I watch them now. I think they are better off in the past.

      The actors, though, I am glad to see grown up and joining me in the here and now. Interesting point about the women vs. men. Except for Josh Jackson on Fringe (who played Pacey on Dawson’s Creek), few are in reputable shows. I just saw Anthony Head at ComicCon, actually, and he’s in a pretty popular BBC show called Merlin. I haven’t seen it myself, but lots of people seem to like it.

      The women are having more success in film. How I Met Your Mother is another iconic role/show for Allyson Hannigan. I’m really hoping Keri Russell finds a hit with Running Wilde this fall. I don’t find it hard to assimilate them in their new roles, honestly. It’s been a long time. David B is just as much Booth as Angel. Josh Jackson is probably more Peter Bishop than Pacey Whitter in my mind. I guess I’m just glad I don’t have to leave them behind because I’ve grown up.

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      • Merlin is fun, but it’s not up to the quality of a Buffy. Still, the stories are enjoyable and it’s nice to see Anthony Head working. At least he’s not back to doing coffee commercials.

        And you met him, too, did you? Huh.

  43. I dont know how planned it is that all those actors from the loved series are now appearing in films… but I am slighly older than the demographic, and still I loved!! Dawson, I watch Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill (different network I know) and missed Roswell on its original outing but have seen it on DVD… ahh… the days of good television… speaking of which- I am still outraged that Freeks and Geeks got cancelled!

    • Haha, I never saw Freaks and Geeks. I’m so happy to meet another “older” person who likes Gossip Girl, I never have anyone to discuss it with.

      I threw a pillow at the TV during the finale. When Chuck and Jenny… yeah. That was crap.

  44. hmm, I like John Travolta’s From Paris with Love(action),its a sensible movie, i dont like expendables of Stallone-too showy of old-schools, Salt is a good watch though it killed box office somehow. I appreciate Prince of Persia somehow.Grown-up is a silly movie slapstick which I wonder how many appreciates.

    • I like all the Bruckheimer movies in the Prince of Persia vein…it reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure. Very enjoyable!

  45. like others have said, the age gap has to be widened. I’m 24 and I’ve watched just about all of those shows as well. anyone who was a preteen or had teens in their household, i’m sure, would agree.

    I had a lot of female friends at the time, so in order to have something to talk about i tuned in to a few of these shows for that sole purpose but got hooked. I loved Dawson’s Creek after a while, mainly because I wanted to be like Pacey or Dawson and get that girl.

    You are completely on point with your post though. There’s a new show that is coming out, no WB related characters but it’s trying to do the same thing. It’s called Melissa & Joey, starring Melissa Joan Hart(Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains it all, but more-so remembered by me for Clarissa) and Joey Lawerance(Blossom). I haven’t seen the show yet, I’ve only seen the trailer and immediately DVR’d it. It looks marvelous because it’s letting those characters act their own age and it seems to be really funny.

    Great Post!

    • There’s what I like, an honest guy! I knew there were guys who watched for their girlfriends.

      I haven’t seen the previews for that show but will look it up! I loved Sabrina and Clarissa, if I’m being honest. Thanks for the comment!

  46. only on Wednesdays

  47. I had a revelation at ComicCon, and would like to coin a phrase. Ahem. I propose that people from the ages of 28-34 be known as the “WB Generation”.

    I love it. I like it much more than “Millenials.” In terms of shared pop-cultural experiences, “WB Generation” is much more illuminating as it speaks to perceptions of social behavior and philosophies rather than (primarily) consumer habits and views on technological gadgetry.

    • Thanks! Based on the comments here I think I’ll have to widen the range to 23-35 – still, it works.

  48. Is it wrong that I am upset no one has mentioned Friends and their cast members who went on to do different things? I am sure, at some point, we all have followed them up just to see where they landed after 10 years of flying high…

    • I mentioned Friends several times in the comments, but more in how the show was different because it WILL last and the characters are so iconic that it’s hard for them to move on into different roles. Except Jennifer Aniston, I suppose.

      • I didn’t get a chance to go through all the various comments but thanks for the reply. That is true, hence most of them went on to direct and produce more and do the odd appearance on screen now and again. Great post though, thought-provoking! 🙂

  49. Great Post ! I used to be a fanatic of the Buffy series myself till I realized I’ve outgrown it and thought there are more fun and nice series out there.

    • There are certainly great shows on TV today. Not that many, but they’re out there. It’s nice to watch them and to see a familiar face once in a while!

  50. As a few others have commented, I feel I fit the profile though I am younger. I know plenty of women raised on these shows (and Popular! Ahh.. I loved Popular) and though we couldn’t relate to the shows on the same level, I think they shaped us. Dawson’s Creek was a realm I had never yet seen and so it provided for me the first solid instances of young love and heartache. I had a crush on Pacey and now I love Peter- and both have stellar vocabs!

    • Haha, you’re right about the vocabulary of both characters Joshua Jackson played on television, that’s funny. Ah Dawson’s. It opened so many of our eyes in its day, didn’t it?

  51. […] that and my agent agreeing it was safe to use the name Pacey. Beta readers who are part of the WB Generation call the name and the character it references for them “iconic.” I guess I’ve been convinced […]

  52. Wonder one word is enough.

  53. Hi every one

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    Seem here when your eyes stuck not to move here and there.

    Message gone to heart to see more and say once more.

  54. WB was an awful station which hosted some of the worst TV shows I have ever seen. End of story.

  55. Legendary post, I enjoy this spectacular site,I found you along freshly pressed!

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