The last remaining shred of “alternative” culture—the long-antiquated notion established in the late ’80s that there exists a pure, outlying culture separate from the “mainstream,” a notion that immediately found a more useful purpose after being repackaged by said mainstream as a marketing strategy—finally disappeared today, with the news that Big Bang Theory writer Dave Goetsch has sold CBS the family sitcom Smells Like Teen Spirit. Once the title of the Nirvana “anthem” that ironically encapsulated the energy yet frustrated apathy that defined this “alternative” movement, Smells Like Teen Spirit now refers to a CBS show about “an 18-year-old budding entrepreneur” who forgoes his acceptance to Harvard and instead launches a multibillion-dollar Internet company from his family’s garage. He will do so while dealing with his “1990s indie-rock parents” whose “slacker” ideals will serve as a comical juxtaposition to this new, more productive generation.
The development of Smells Like Teen Spirit is just the latest in a series of slow, drawn-out death throes for Alternative Nation—Singles, Collective Soul’s Hints Allegations And Things Left Unsaid, the playable Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero, this Miley Cyrus cover, MTV’s Alternative Nation, etc.—a region that has been fully annexed into the rest of America at this point. Courtney Love is expected to emit a rambling Twitter screed that will decry the show’s desecration of this once-vibrant culture while simultaneously reinforcing it any minute now.
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