9 May 2022

2000s babies turning 21, a new series

From Afternoons, 1:40 pm on 9 May 2022

A new docu-series 2000s Baby follows the lives of five young people born in 2000 in the lead-up to their 21st birthday parties.

2000s Baby co-directors Maggie Shui and Liam van Eeden tell Jesse Mulligan the series tells the stories of five people at a transitional time in their life and the world.

Alison and her parents at dinner.

 Alison (right) wants her parents to support her acting dreams and chill out about her lip filler Photo: Liam van Eeden/Re:

2000s Baby is produced by the online news service Re:. Full episodes are available on TVNZ On Demand and the Re: website.

Van Eeden says he and Maggie were overwhelmed by the number of responses to a call-out on social media for people with a 21st birthday coming up.

After casting calls and hearing their stories, the final five were selected - Misha, Rāwhiti, Poe Tiare, Alison and Tristan.

Alison, a Chinese-New Zealander, has to deal with the nuances of the relationship with her parents who will see her drunk for the first time at her party.

“She’s kind of not sure how they’re going to react to that, so that’s a story that we follow throughout the episode,” Shui says.

“Plus, through that, you kind of see how she yearns for them to just accept her for who she is and also to be able to connect more deeply with them.”

Another episode follows Tristan, based in Ōtautahi, whose goal for his 21st was to come out to his parents.

“Working with him, we were able to reach a point where Tristan was comfortable steering the narrative with us and putting it on film,” van Eeden says.

Covid-19 also had an impact on filming, with restrictions affecting gatherings.  

“There was a lot of recasting so some people who originally signed on to be part of the series unfortunately couldn’t end up being part of it,” Shui says.

“A lot of parties were postponed. I know Alison’s was postponed at least a couple of times.

“Also, Covid was quite a key part of several of the stories.”