The Scott Pilgrim Generation

I’ll admit it – I saw the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World before I read the graphic novels. As a matter of fact, I *just* read the graphic novels (and yes, I binge-read them). I remember the movie coming out, loving it, and being baffled that anyone felt any different.

But apparently a *lot* of people felt very different. And I think it has to do with age.

And, no, I’m not saying that “young people like it, and old people hate it.” True, my father said that it was the most horrible film experience he had ever, well, experienced. But I have heard the same sentiment come from a 25 year old. In fact, I have met a ton of young people who hate Scott Pilgrim.

So who loves Scott Pilgrim?

A post over at Cinemablend claimed that people under 30 don’t get it, and that people over 30 don’t get it. If that’s true, who could relate?

i09 narrowed it down by equating the movie’s appeal top what they call the Nintendo generation, but reading the article, it seems that all they’re basically saying that folks who grew up understanding “video game logic” will love this movie. And that’s true, but folks of all ages play video games (even Nintendo games).

The Scott Pilgrim Generation

Here’s the thing. The first volume of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series was published in 2004: Scott Pilgrim was 23 (22 in the movie!), and I was 22. I was born in 1982, which has been said to be at the tail end of Generation X or the very beginning of the Millennial generation, depending on what date range is being used. And there are a lot of age ranges out there.

Generations are big. There is no way that I feel like I am in the same generation as someone who was born in 2004, or someone who was born in 1965. And there is a fair amount of evidence that there are a lot of people born around the late 70s/early 80s who share this frustration, particularly because the technological and cultural shift that happened while we were growing up was so massive.

These inbetweeners, those that grew up with the internet, are our own mini-generation, and a lot that defines it is front and center in Scott Pilgrim. Of course part of it is the video games. Part of it is the indie music scene. Part of it is Scott’s wonder of “dude, this thing says I’ve got mail.”

And part of it was the small scene where the Seinfeld theme was played with a laugh track between Scott and Wallace. This is a show that ran from 1989-1998… when I was going through middle school and entering high school. Seinfeld is a show that is still relevant today, still remembered and beloved, but also remembers that people used to have to erase messages off of physical answering machines. People in Generation Scott Pilgrim remember life before the internet, but can function in the post-internet age.

There are cells in the Scott Pilgrim universe, but guess what. Scott uses a landline.

As for the books? I loved them. But that’s for another post.

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