Thursday, August 30, 2018

TMP Television Edition: College


It's the last Thursday of the month, and the last Thursday before my summer is officially over. School starts on Monday and I will have a room full of 3rd graders to teach. Hopefully, all of them will one day go to college. Hey, that's the theme for this week's Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves - TV shows about college. I think I can handle this.


A Different World
(1987-1993)
I might have picked this one a time or two, but I just can't resist. I mean, this is one of my all-time favorite shows. It started as a spinoff of The Cosby Show, following Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) to the fictional Hillman University. She only stayed one year, but the show flourished without her. Over the years, it tackled lots of social issues, developed a wonderful romance, and brought plenty of laughs along with those things.


Dear White People
(2017-???)
Here, we have another spinoff. This time, however, it's not of another TV show, but of a feature film of the same name. In fact, it functions more like a sequel. It picks up right after the events of the film and those events hang ominously over everything that happens. Through two seasons the show remains committed to exploring race, gender, sexual, and platonic relationships in all the various flavors they come in. It can occasionally get very heavy, but there is a healthy dose of levity in every episode. The show is also unique in that its point of view changes from one episode to the next. Who is telling the story continually changes giving the audience various perspectives. Airing on Netflix gives it more creative freedom and the ability to not pull as many punches as it would have to had it appeared on network television. The result is a brutally honest, but still fun show about college.


Grown-ish
(2018-???)
Taking its cues from A Different World, Grown-ish is also a spinoff featuring a daughter from the parent show, Black-ish, as she goes away to college. If ADW embodies the late 80s transitioning into the 90s, then Grown-ish is pure millennial magic. The problems our heroine Zoey deals with aren't much different from her television ancestors. However, they're further complicated by life in the age of social media. Maintaining a level head can be tough when your whole life is on display. This show does an excellent job of showing that. Hopefully, it's off to a long, successful run.



18 comments:

  1. Unfortunately I've seen none of these although I am aware of A Different World. I might have seen stray bits of that one but I never understood the allure of Lisa Bonet so when it started I ignored it and when she left I figured it was a goner so once it found its footing it was too late for me to catch up.

    I went with all comedies this time, and one is super obscure.

    Blue Mountain State (2010-2011)-Risqué, amiable comedy from the now defunct Spike TV network about the "Mountain Goats" the hard partying football team of fictional university Blue Mountain State. While much of it took place on a football field this was more concerned with the crazy doings of the team’s members, chief among them Alex Moran (Darin Brooks), Craig Shilo (Sam Jones III) and scene stealing dunderhead Thad Castle (a fearlessly comic Alan Ritchson).

    Boston Common (1996-1997)-Easy going and slightly goofy Virginia country boy Boyd Pritchett (Anthony Clark) accompanies his sister Wyleen (Hedy Burress) when she begins college in Boston. What’s supposed to be a short trip becomes permanent when Boyd falls in love with fellow student Joy (Traylor Howard) despite the fact she has a steady, but pompous, boyfriend, and decides to stay much to Wyleen's dismay. Being handy he gets a job as the college repairman sharing an apartment with Wyleen (and frustrating her attempts to spread her wings) while pursuing Joy and becoming enmeshed in no end of antic comedy. A huge hit in its first season this nosedived in its second when moved to a terrible time slot.

    Delta House (1978)-Watered down but still amusing sitcom derived from the megahit Animal House about the rowdy Delta fraternity house at Faber College with several of the movie’s cast returning. This also served as an early spotlight for Michelle Pfeiffer as “The Bombshell”

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    1. A Different World was so much better after Bonet left.

      I tried Blue Mountain State once or twice and thought it was horrible. Same goes for Delta House. Admittedly, I was far too young when the latter came out.

      I also only tried Boston Common once or twice, but I honestly don't remember anything about it.

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  2. I admit to not having seen these shows as I couldn't come up with anything due to the lack of shows about college that I've seen as the only that I can think of that I've seen is... ugh.... Saved by the Bell: The College Years which is an awful show as I'm now awaiting Funny or Die's Zack Morris is Trash series.

    Oh, and my answer for King of Pop day is Off the Wall. I prefer that album instead of Thriller while I also love Bad and Dangerous. You really can't go wrong with those 4 albums.

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    1. Definitely not a ton of college shows. I'm glad you chose nothing over talking about Saved by the Bell: The college Years. Yuck!

      Bad would be my vote, but yeah, can't go wrong.

      Are you on Twitter?

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    2. I'm not on Twitter nor am I on any kind of social media tool. I just read your Twitter scroll and every other blogger's Twitter scroll. I use Twitter sometimes for news but I don't have an account. I'm just not into social media.

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  3. I haven't seen any of these, I've had Dear White People the movie in my Netflix queue for ages but it hasn't quite made it to the top yet. I never got to see it in theaters.

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    1. I would say check out the movie before you try the show given how the storyline functions.

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  4. LOVE Dear White People. I really wish I could binge it but there's so much going on that I can usually only watch one or two episodes at a time. The entire cast is just aces. Haven't seen the other two but I know a bunch of people who like Grown-ish.

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    1. I managed to binge both seasons the first weekend or two after they came out. The cast is great. i think you'd like Grown-ish.

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  5. I remember watching a couple of episodes of A Different World but never got into it. I don't have Netflix so I don't even know your second pick. I know about Grownish but have not seen it. I realize that I never really watched shows that took place in college so this was a tough week for me.

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    1. Yeah, not a whole lot of college shows out there.

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  6. Yeah Saved by The Bell College Years was my first thought. And there’s so many other better shows out there. I’ve seen so many movies set in college I feel I should know more TV ones.

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    1. Full confession: I'm not a fan of the original Saved by the Bell so The College Years never stood a chance with me. Not as many TV shows on this topic as one would think.

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  7. Yeah I think thats because good ones start at school and then move on to college, a la Buffy etc. There's still a market for it though.

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  8. The only one I've seen is Dear White People, both the movie and the first season. And yes it can be very funny...like when they watch a show that was like Scandal.

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    1. Yes, "hate watching" is a funny part. The second season is very good. I actually found it even better than the first.

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