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Western Animation / Gen Zed

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The party starts soon.note 

"They grew up. Now they're wondering why they bothered."
Tagline of the show

Gen Zed is (was?) an upcoming animated comedy show about a young trans woman who wants to be a stand up comic & her online friends who all move in together. It is written and directed by Hayden Black of Goodnight Burbank fame, which he also did.

It focuses on protagonist Shona Sommers, a 19 year old trans woman living in Downtown Los Angeles with her friends in a loft. Shona aspires to be an “edgy” stand-up comedian, while her other friends/roommates embody various millennial stereotypes, such as Cameron, described as a “shit poet” and nerd; Huey, a tattooed musician prone to acting like a “douchebag;” and Betsy, an Asian-American heiress to millions of dollars who’s addicted to prescription drugs and aspires to be a fashion designer.

Despite having only released a promo so far on June 2015, it was heavily criticised for its overall quality in regards to the animation, writing, character dynamic and the nature in which the trailer is delivered. Particularly, when it advertises (read: proudly boasts) having "a transgender actress in a lead role".


The show's pilot was set to be released some time in 2016 according to the show's now defunct website, but nothing has come of it as we move into the 2020s.

Provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Shona describes Cameron, Huey, herself, and Betsy as "a train wreck, a troublemaker, a trans girl, and a trustafarian" respectively.
  • Alliterative Name: Shona Sommers.
  • All There in the Manual: The show's website gives extra information about the main characters and some side characters like their names and ages. At least one (a yet to be seen character named Mr. Jiminez) has a rather detailed backstory compared to the ones above.
  • Asian Airhead: Betsy, type two.
  • Blatant Lies: Their selling point about using the first transgender voice actress in a leading role is a lie. Maddie Blausteinnote  was in the VA industry for years, and was the first trans VA for many agencies she worked for. Furthermore, Casey Mongillo beat them to the punch by at least a month.note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Establishing Character Moment: Huey gets this most of all who is often depicted in the trailers as always yelling and very angry.
  • Five-Token Band: The entire point. Shona is a trans woman, Cameron is black, Huey is white, and Betsy is Asian.
  • Limited Animation: By golly, does it show! From the lip-synching and the fact that when the camera focuses on one character, sometimes their full profile isn't clipped outside of the otherwise letterboxed background.
    • Subverted in the scene where Shona and her friends are dancing in front of the title card. At first, it seems that Betsy is missing her legs when actually, the black bars at the bottom have just blended with her black leggings.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Betsy's dancing in the next-to-last scene of the trailer (the one that provides the page image).
  • Pungeon Master: Betsy seems to be the queen of this:
  • There's also the Asian girl's tendency to give a random Shout-Out to famous musicians in every line, except that one where she commends Shona for being trans.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Shona's family seem to think this way from what little we see of them in the promo. One even stated that they're throwing her an "Inter-transitional Homosexual Turn Around Fiesta" so as to make it not look like an intervention. Oh, and they referred to her by her birth name.
  • Transgender: Shona Sommers, who is also played by one which the promos were very proud of.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Subverted with Betsy. While said to be rich and spends all her money in rather useless things, she's actually nice enough to be friends with Shona.
  • We All Live in America: Meta-example: the show is called Gen Zed, obviously referring to "Generation Z" but they used the British English pronunciation instead of the American English one, which is "zee"note . According to the trailers, they call themselves as such as they don't want to be "Gen Y" but the show is set in LA and the characters for the most part are American. It's worth noting, however, that the creator is English.


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