Forever Young premieres Wednesday, April 3, at 10pm ET on TV Land.
It sounds like a match made in reality show heaven: a bunch of cantankerous, get-off-my-lawn oldsters living with a swarm of spoiled, arrogant whippersnappers.
But TV Land has a bit more in mind with Forever Young than inciting an age war. The Ashton Kutcher-produced series seeks to foster understanding between the two groups, and hopefully prove that old saying about age being nothing but a number.
Judging from the comments of three people who took part in the so-called “social experiment,” apparently it worked. They all have good things to say about each other and agreed that being on the show was a life-changing experience. Heck, it’s been more than two years after filming wrapped and they still stay in touch!
But it certainly wasn’t respect at first sight.
“From the second we met these people [I thought], ‘I’m going to have to live with these people? I’m constantly going to be corrected, told how wrong I am,’” says Christian Taboada, one of the juniors.
“Old people seem to just judge a lot, and nag and nag and nag,” says fellow junior Michael Markiewicz. “When we first got into the house, it seemed like all of them basically didn’t think they could learn anything from the younger guys.”
Emileen Hanna, 75, says she also sensed some preconceptions, saying, “I don’t think they gave us credit for being so sharp.”
But through three and a half weeks of living together, competing in challenges and — most importantly — just listening, barriers were broken.
“We got along so well through the whole thing, and I think we learned more from them than they learned from us actually,” Emileen says. “Sometimes we seem to be less open-minded, more prejudiced. … I had a preconception that all kids were awfully self-centered and materialistic. I found out it’s not that way with all kids. I don’t know whether we just got lucky to be with five really great kids, but they were all so sharp and so with it and so helpful to us that I didn’t find anything wrong with them.”
Photo: © 2010 Kristian Dowling Courtesy of TV Land