Having a hard time understanding your Millennial employees--or customers?
Some popular TV shows can help answer the question of what makes Millennials tick. OK, it's television, but even the most exaggerated representations of this often enigmatic generation (born 1982 to 2004) have some truth to them.
Here are three shows you should watch to help understand the Millennial generation. Don't have time to commit to another show? This list includes the one must-watch episode to get the essentials without committing to a full binge.
1. Broad City
This sitcom follows the characters of "Abbi" and "Ilana," two friends in their 20s in New York City. While they both aspire to trade their low-level day jobs for more meaningful work, they spend most of their time devising ill-advised schemes and dealing with the disastrous consequences of their actions.
Essential episode: "Mochalatta Chills" (Season 2; Episode 2)
Abbi seizes an opportunity to work as a personal trainer at a gym (where her actual role is janitor) while Ilana hires a team of interns at a sales startup while her boss is out of town. After one day of personal training with a sweaty, out-of-shape client, Abbi decides to go back to being a "cleaner." Ilana, meanwhile, realizes she's breaking the law by not paying her interns, and fires them all before her boss returns.
Why it's essential: "Mochalatta Chills" highlights the recurring theme of Broad City: Abbi and Ilana dreaming big without thinking things through. Like many twenty-somethings, Abbi and Ilana are eager to advance fast, even if they lack the requisite experience.
Schedule: Season 3 premieres on Comedy Central in early 2016.
2. Startup U
This reality series that debuted in August bills itself as "Shark Tank for Millennials." The one-hour show follows billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper as he mentors 10 Millennial entrepreneurs enrolled in his seven-week startup program Draper University. The young business professionals are low on entrepreneurial experience, but have strong opinions about what makes a viable company today.
Essential Episode: "Welcome to Draper University" (Season 1; Episode 1)
Among the 10 "cast members" introduced are a 27-year-old former investment banker whose startup Stonr is a medical marijuana delivery app. Another cast member is the 26-year-old founder of a subscription service that helps men send personalized gifts to women.
Why it's essential: "Welcome to Draper University" showcases the idealism and optimism of young, bright-eyed entrepreneurs who have yet to test their business models in the real world. While some of the cast members' egos take a beating during the course of the program, their enthusiasm and determination on day one stays with them through the series.
Schedule: Startup U airs Thursdays at 5pm EST on ABC Family.
This comedy follows "Adam," "Blake," and "Anders," three college dropouts who are roommates and co-workers at a telemarketing company. All three pride themselves on being capable, productive young men, but none of them feel the need to do any actual hard work.
Essential Episode: "The Strike" (Season 1; Episode 6)
The three friends ask for two days off from work for "Half-Christmas," a holiday they celebrate every July. When their boss rejects the request--and orders them to take down their Christmas decorations--Adam and Blake go on strike. Anders continues to show up to work, but upon discovering that his company calls people on the "do not call" list, he joins his friends in striking.
Why it's essential: "The Strike" is illustrative of Adam, Blake and Anders's strong sense of entitlement relative to their low levels of achievement. The main theme of the show is how the three friends consider "holding down a job" as deserving of luxurious perks--like extra vacation days--even if they're just going through the motions.
Schedule: Season 6 premieres on Comedy Central in January 2016.