If you have been keeping up with social media, you probably saw how millennials were going off about “Friends” being full of offensive jokes and storylines. But that is in the past now. Now, the sites are on “Seinfeld.”
Just to clarify, millennials are generally those between 22 and 37 years old. Older generations ironically characterize them for their self-obsession, shameless addiction to modern technology like phones and social media, and laziness. Now, you can add another negative trait to the list – they offend easily.
Or, perhaps they just lack a sense of humor and can’t take a joke. It could also be that they are too sensitive, and can take anything out of context and see it as insensitive to some people.
Despite shaming by older generations, millennials have some positive attributes as well. They are widely considered to be the most informed generation at the moment. And why wouldn’t they be? They have witnessed a lot of changes in society and politics in the years they have been around.
And that amy help explain why they are so easily offended. How? When these shows were televisions hits, our society did not deal openly, if at all, with several social issues as is done today. Even though the shows might not have been offensive to the generations they were created for, their humor and storylines can seem incredibly out of line for a millennial who has very different perspectives.
Perhaps this is why–even with its cult following–a show like “Seinfeld” has become the target for new criticism by a new generation.
Exhibit 1: The Soup Nazi Joke
The criticism is not coming out of thin air. Some sensitive millennials just see some things differently. For instance, “The Soup Nazi” story, in reference to a strict chef who used militant enthusiasm to determine who to sell food to might seem like an innocent joke to the generations that grew up watching the show.
But to some millennials, the idea is quite offensive as it makes fun of the state Jews had to deal with while held in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. To older generations, it would seem silly to think that the soup had anything to do with Jews. Now, today, some millenials think that any mention of a nazi must offend Jews.
The criticism has not escaped the attention of Jerry Seinfeld. But as you might expect, he does not side with millenial criticism. Seinfeld thinks society has changed too much and is becoming too politically correct. He seems to believe that crossing ethical lines is what good comedy is all about. However, many millennials disagree. Tastes in comedy are changing.
Could this generation be on to something? After all, there are many modern comedy shows out there that millennials don’t find offensive. Maybe comedy does not have to offend certain segments of society in order to be comedy.