- HBO Max’s new teen dramedy Genera+ion focuses on modern-day excessive schoolers in a usually conservative, suburban group.
- The primary episodes contact on a bizarre-but-real interest generally known as “Rooftopping,” which finds the college steering counselor nervous about one in every of his college students.
- This is what rooftopping really is, and the way it suits into Genera+ion.
Genera+ion is the most recent entry in a creating subgenre that has emerged on HBO and HBO Max within the final couple years: younger individuals actually going by means of it. That subgenre, in fact, contains the Emmy-winner Euphoria, but in addition We Are Who We Are and Trade, all of which present how various individuals of youth are rising up in numerous worlds, in numerous environments, and round completely different individuals. Genera+ion takes issues a step additional, with one large focus in its early going not essentially being on a literal drug getting used, however extra of a pure, thrill-seeking drug: an expertise referred to as “rooftopping.”
The present’s first episode depicts Chester (Justice Smith) climbing to the highest of a constructing, in search of views and experiences. “I have been wanting to do that one so unhealthy,” he says to his climbing companion as they stroll hustle up the steps, desperate to get to the highest. Upon reaching their vacation spot—a metallic lodge signal atop a constructing’s roof—Chester takes a selfie, and sends it to Sam, the brand new steering counselor he is already creating a quasi-rush on. “That is what lonely appears like,” his caption says, referencing an earlier dialog because the background makes clear simply how excessive off the bottom he actually is.
We see Chester’s smile and pleasure when he first reaches the construction, coinciding together with his adrenaline rise. Identical to one in every of movie’s most well-known adrenaline rushes, in the long run of 1969’s The Graduate, we then see the comedown; the straight-faced lack of emotion that follows a giant rush and infrequently comes with a sense of “what now?”
When Chester arrives at a celebration not lengthy after his rooftopping experienece, he will get a involved name from Sam. “It is referred to as Rooftopping,” he explains. “It is only a factor that folks do. You possibly can Google it.”
Chester is satisfied it is no large deal, whereas Sam thinks that motion must be taken after such a message. And so the plot of Genera+ion and this bout of Gen Z teen drama goes on.
However what’s Rooftopping really?
Chester wasn’t mendacity—Rooftopping may be very a lot a factor, and never notably a brand new one, both. On City Dictionary, a definition for the time period was revealed means again in April 2009. “Often known as Buildering,” it reads, “is an off shoot of city exploring or urbex which entails climbing onto the roofs of buildings, ideally the upper the higher. Completed to take photos or simply for kicks.”
Which is to say: Rooftopping is not only a gag made up for this newest incarnation of a serial teen dramedy. The truth is, in 2018 researchers from the US Nationwide Library of Medication even made the advice that sure very harmful spots ought to have marked ‘No Selfie Zones’ to attenuate danger, approaching the heels of a research that mentioned 259 individuals died between 2011 and 2017 on their journeys to seek out excessive selfies.
A Quick Firm story in 2019 centered on the phenomenon and its roots, which hint again to a 2011 picture by Tom Ryaboi referred to as “I am going to Make You Well-known,” and have solely elevated as time has progressed and other people have turn into an increasing number of keen and thirsty for social media likes and adoration.