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Western Animation / Gen Zed

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The party starts soon.

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

Gen Zed isnote  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 is set to be released some time in 2016 (supposedly)note  according to the show's website which can be found here.

Provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Shona describes Cameron, Huey, herself, and Betsy as "a train wreck, a troublemaker, a transgirl, 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 trans-gender voice actress is a lie. Maddie Blausteinnote  has been 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.
  • Flat Character: All four, thanks in no part to the rather thin descriptions both the trailer and the site give about them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Shona's Leelah Alcorn poster. Yeah...
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main cast.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Huey.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Betsy on finding out about Shona being trans had this to say: "No pun intended but, it takes balls."
    • Betsy seems to be the queen of this. She names both of her Azalea plants after two musical artists and took Oxycontin so she wouldn't go "Lana del Cray before going down the Depeche road". What.
  • 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.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Separated by a Common Language: 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.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Shona, which is coupled with Redhead In Green.
  • The Straight Man: Huey, for the entire gang.
  • Take That!: Shona's jab towards The Breakfast Club being edgy.
  • Totally Radical: Detractors didn't call this "Tumblr: the animated series" for nothing.
    • 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.


Example of: