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It was only a matter of time before a web show targeting Baby Boomers popped onto the scene, and now that time has come. 50 to Death is a delightfully clever take on growing old at the turn of the 21st century, and in a sea of shows featuring scantily-clad teens obsessing over boys, fashion, or the supernatural, it’s refreshing to see a group of 50-pluses reflecting on how the AARPis getting them down, or how best to enjoy their 60th birthday.
Norm Golden (Law and Order), creator and star of the show, is reminiscent of a slightly more huggable Larry David. Woeful about getting older, and about to give up on an acting career that consists largely of auditions for prescription medication commercials, Norm is immediately both likeable and relatable.
Golden says the show was inspired by one of his own auditions in real life. “I was looking around the room seeing a few people my age and many older than my parents, and realizing I was caught in this ‘old’ category,” he says.
“Joan, my significant other, falls into the same category,” Golden continues. “She’s been a Broadway performer. She’s been an actress her whole life. And now she’s in that age range where it’s tough to get a gig. There’s this quiet age discrimination going on. If you’re not on the A-List, you’re just ‘old.’ So I suggested we do something to show we are viable and capable and funny and intelligent. I said, ‘let’s get our buddy Jon and bring the three of us together, and play on this concept of age, and jousting with the 21st century.’ We’re always one technology behind, and we may need occasional naps, but we’re capable, and vital.”
Barber is particularly enjoyable to watch as Golden’s spouse. Their back and forth banter is reminiscent of a classic sitcom like Mad About You. It’s equally spunky, but there’s no doubting that Golden, Barber, and Freda are not your average web stars. Putting a chick in a bikini is just not an option for this show.
When asking Golden if the show will be able to find it’s audience, he is completely confident: “I do not have a doubt in the world that this show will find a major audience. The boomers are a big population. And we have the children of baby boomers. And the boomers say ‘that’s just like us, that silly thing we just saw, that happened to us.’ And the boomer’s kids, they say ‘that’s my parents.’ And teens say it reminds them of their grandparents at their silliest. Even though all this is directly connected to the boomers, it transcends just that generation. There’s a universal appeal.”
Golden makes an excellent point when it comes to quality entertainment in general. “Funny is funny,” he says. “Humor is humor. Good humor isn’t generation specific, it’s universal.”
Golden and his crew plan to release new episodes of 50 to Death once a month for the next year.