The task of developing film and television that resonates with Gen Z is akin to crafting a fine brew that appeals to a sophisticated palate. It is an intricate dance of substance, style, and relevance.
Here is a look into how movies and TV shows can be more finely tailored to meet the intricate tastes of Gen Z.
Understanding Gen Z’s Ethos
The first step is a deep dive into the ethos of Gen Z. This generation is marked by its pursuit of authenticity, a nuanced understanding of societal issues, and a yearning for content that mirrors their multifaceted experiences.
Yes, they are digital natives. But their online savvy does not eclipse their desire for genuine human connections and storytelling that celebrates the spectrum of human emotions.
Depicting Relatable Narratives
To captivate Gen Z, screenwriters and directors must weave stories that echo the real lives of this cohort. However, it is not about portraying a utopian world devoid of challenges. It is about authenticity and representation. Series that exemplify the messy and beautiful tapestry of life, such as “Master of None” or “Normal People,” resonate deeply with Gen Z.
How? Well, by reflecting their own realities, complete with diversity in race, sexuality, and lifestyle choices.
Championing Diversity and Inclusivity
Diversity on screen is non-negotiable. Gen Z craves inclusivity that goes beyond token characters to a representation that is integral to the narrative. This includes a broader spectrum of races, genders, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds, as well as a diverse range of personalities and body types.
“Pose,” for instance, breaks new ground by spotlighting the lives of Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ characters. Not as sidekicks, but as central figures with rich, complex stories.
Embracing Complex Characters and Moral Ambiguity
Gone are the days of clear-cut heroes and villains. Gen Z leans towards characters that embody shades of gray, characters whose flaws and complexities make them compellingly human. Antiheroes and morally ambiguous figures like those in “Breaking Bad” and “Euphoria” offer a depth that this generation finds intriguing and relatable.
Such characters encourage viewers to explore their own values and beliefs. Thus, reflecting the inner turmoil and the difficult choices people must often make.
Integrating Social Consciousness
Films and shows that resonate with Gen Z often carry a thread of social consciousness, addressing topics from mental health and environmentalism to social justice and activism. Content that thoughtfully engages with current issues, such as “The Social Dilemma” or “When They See Us,” speaks to Gen Z’s desire. This helps them be informed, aware, and proactive about the challenges facing society.
Amid the complexities of their world, Gen Z also seeks solace in hopeful narratives. These stories offer a counterbalance to the often harsh realities of life. Thus, these showcase the potential for change and the power of positivity without veering into naivety.
Reinventing the Superhero Narrative
Superheroes have long dominated the screen. But Gen Z is looking for a fresh take. They are drawn to characters who grapple with real-world issues and internal conflicts: Heroes who save the day while also saving themselves.
However, “The Umbrella Academy” and “Ms. Marvel” represent a new wave of superhero narratives with complex characters living in a world that is far from black and white.