If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent approximately all of ] January obsessing over Buzzfeed News’ take on millennial burnout. It explores how the pressures my generation face — the expectations, the overt social media displays of competitive perfection, the economic uncertainty — often lead to paralysis in the face of seemingly simple tasks. I, for one, find it impossible to return the unfortunate fruit of my late-night online shopping sprees (getting the packing tape, return label and that aggressively fuzzy sweater all in the same place at the same time is just asking for too much). And my fellow ‘old millennials’ are buckling under such insurmountable obstacles as completing health insurance forms or even registering to vote.
But if the Lifetime movie Death of a Cheerleader teaches us anything, it’s that our current burnout situation could be worse.
Much, much worse.
Death of a Cheerleader follows Bridget Moretti (played by my Nashville obsession Aubrey Peeples), an unassuming teen sucked into the propaganda of perfection that defines her elite high school’s outlook on life. Forced to face a stream of objectively normal rejections (a failed cheerleading tryout here; a few cutting words from a popular girl there), her frustration bubbles into an unrecognizable rage. Amidst the omnipresent pressures to succeed, her unleashed anger soon proves to come with with deadly consequences.
The story, rooted in a real-life murder from the 1980s, first hit the screen in 1994′ s A Friend to Die For, staring one Ms. Tori Spelling (of Benihana fame) alongside Kellie Martin. Martin, for her part, has a small role in Lifetime’s movie version. And between my nostalgic love for Peeples and the actual nostalgia evoked from Martin’s involvement, it was all too easy to get blissfully lost in this all-consuming tale of angsty teenage bloodlust.
And boy, does it put the struggles of today’s millennial burnout into perspective. Granted, I may never return the Old Navy clearance pile sitting untouched in the corner of my closet. But in all likelihood, I will also not be turning the pointy end of my kitchen knives (to the extent I even own those) on anyone anytime soon. So despite my handful of millennially-burned-out-tendencies, I’m fairly confident that I’m doing ok.
Death of a Cheerleader premieres at 8pm ET Saturday, February 2 on Lifetime, and will be available on demand.