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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Una storia importante: Generazione 56K (Netflix)

15 December 2021


Generazione 56K is an Italian romantic comedy on Netflix, situated in 1998 and 2018. At the moment of writing this, it has only 1,950 IMDb ratings that average 7.4. Well, I gave this TV series a 9 because it feels good, really good. Hence, my review.

The title refers to the generation(s) that grew up with dial-up analogue internet, which includes me. The sound of establishing a (56K) connection is famous as well as notorious because of its lengthy duration and its likelihood of failing to establish that connection.

On 17 November 1988, the Netherlands was the first European country that became connected to the (then American) internet (Tweakers-2018, Dutch Cowboys). This connection was for scientific use only. My first experience with analogue internet dates back to 1993 or 1994. Around 1996, I transferred from an analogue connection to ISDN, which did not block incoming telephone calls while being online.

This Italian TV series is about a boy and a girl that grow up during the Italian introduction of analogue internet in 1998. The boy fancies the girl while she gives him the middle finger in return. Twenty years later, the boy has become a chief app developer and his childhood friends are (still) working for him. The girl has become famous for restoring antiques.

One night, they meet in front of a bar. She recognizes him but he does not recognize her. He assumes that she is his Tinder date for that evening. She plays along. They have a great evening and he is slowly realising that she feels familiar. After that date, she disappears from his life and he starts looking for her.

For weeks, he tries finding her online without any success. His father recommends calling antique stores and making inquiries at the bar where they met. He claims that his father’s advice equals stalking, without even realizing that his digital efforts have been nothing less than stalking.

Obviously, his father’s (analogue) advice pays off and he finds out that the woman he met is in fact his childhood crush. This is in fact the moment that the romantic comedy starts.

I’ve been wondering why this Italian comedy (Generazione 56K) works well, while another Italian comedy (Guida astrologica per cuori infranti or An Astrological Guide For Broken Hearts, #7.1 with 1,418 ratings) does not work (for me). Both series are on Netflix. I suppose that great comedy shows need contradictions (eg, between an analogue father and a digital son, a boy and a girl, past and present). Else, it gets dull.

I recommend watching Generazione 56K. It feels like an authentic, warm and important story.

Una storia importante (1985) by Eros Ramazzotti
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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