It’s easy to think all Millennials are as self-indulgent as the characters on HBO’s Girls. (After all, Lena Dunham is the Zeitgeist of our generation.) That is, until you meet the three individuals at the heart of MTV’s World of Jenks Season 2.
Chad, Kaylin and D-Real are three young people living under difficult circumstances. And for one year, 26-year-old documentarian Andrew Jenks was there to capture every high -- and every low -- as they faced their circumstances head-on. No narcissism necessary.
“I think Girls is a great show, but it, at times, captures some of the more negative parts of our generation,” Andrew told Wetpaint Entertainment while promoting the new season. “A lot of those characters are self-oriented and only think about themselves, but I think there’s another part to our generation that D-Real, Chad and Kaylin represent, which is one where you’re going through a lot in your life but actually not thinking about you and instead, doing things for other people.”
Kaylin is an aspiring fashion designer who has battled cancer twice, and with the threat of a third diagnosis constantly looming, she decides to go after her dreams in New York City.
“We follow her when she decides to move to New York,” said Andrew. “She knows she has cancer that could come back at any moment. She could die from it. She says, ‘Screw it. I’m moving to New York.’ And she gives up everything -- family, friends, health care -- to do it. The important thing to remember about Kaylin is that she doesn’t feel bad for herself. She’s never said, ‘Poor me. Why me?’ She’s an unbelievable person.”
D-Real is a street dancer who overcame his gang lifestyle and hopes to inspire others to do the same. Will he turn personal tragedy into triumph?
“We found him on YouTube,” Andrew explained. “There’s was this really popular video called Dancing in the Rain. It got three million hits, and I wanted to know the story behind it. Who is this guy? Turns out, the day before he made that video, his best friend had been shot and killed on that street. And as a black male in Oakland, you’re not allowed to properly grieve. You can’t cry; you’re a man. So he went to the cross streets where his friend was murdered, and he danced.”
In addition to Kaylin and D-Real, there’s also a familiar face. Fans may remember Chad from the series’ first season. Whether it was the Mumford and Sons soundtrack or his compelling story, Chad’s humor and eccentricities made him one of Andrew’s most memorable subjects.
Now, faced with the biggest year of his life, Chad -- with some help from his friend Andrew -- is meeting his biggest challenge head-on: change.
“He was going through so much in one year: It was his last year in school, he was aging out of the system at 21, he had his first girlfriend, he gets his first kiss, he’s looking for a job... for someone who has autism, especially Chad, change is a big deal because routine is a huge deal,” Andrew told Wetpaint. “His routine is everything to him.”
“After the episode, you no longer looked at him as a guy with autism. He’s just Chad, and he’s really f***ing funny! Chad’s just the man. Autism or no autism, Chad is the funniest person I know. I told Mike and Sherry [Chad’s parents] that if anything were to happen to them, I’m adopting Chad in a hot second.”
World of Jenks Season 2 premieres Monday, March 4 at 11 p.m. ET on MTV.