What will happen between Pacey and Joey? Who is the victim of the sniper’s bullet on West Wing? Will Monica and Chandler live happily together for all eternity? While perhaps not generating as much national attention as the infamous, Who shot J.R.? these surely are the questions that have been plaguing students all summer long.
The surprises that await students this fall have been anxiously anticipated since that tense moment in May when the cliffhangers were revealed. As D.C. experienced a burst of cool, crisp air last week, the word autumn was on the tip of many tongues, and thoughts of the end of summer re-runs were prominent.
What are students anticipating most? Well, according to an survey of 20 students conducted by The Hatchet, the answer is that there is no answer. The shows students look forward to watching are just as diverse as GW’s student body.
Nineteen percent of students are watching HBO’s Sex in the City. This devoted fan base can be attributed to the fact that the show has already begun airing new episodes.
I will never miss my `Sex in the City,’ junior Anastacia Stathakis said.
Tied with HBO’s successful drama at 19 percent was WB’s ever-popular Dawson’s Creek. Many students, especially females, launched into shrieks and cries when prompted by the question and began to contemplate Pacey and Joey’s future together.
Sophomore Blair Moreland compared it to the obsession many people had with Beverly Hills 90210.
You just get really involved with the characters, Moreland said. I really think the characters are realistic high-schoolers.
Sixteen percent of surveyed students said they are looking forward to the perennial favorite, Friends – the show that began the theme of hip, beautiful people hardly working while living beyond their means and obsession over mostly inconsequential problems.
People living like they do is totally superficial, but at the same time it’s what everybody wants to have, freshman Katelyn McGrail said.
Sophomore Kelly Holtmeier said the show is like an addiction. Once you get into it you can’t stop, she said.
Holtmeier admits that Friends cannot stay on top forever.
Like all shows it’s going to deteriorate and (script writers) have to search for more material, Holtmeier said. It used to be just a comedy but they had to start adding drama to it to carry the audience.
There is no clear victor aside from the top three. Votes were split among a number of different shows. Family Guy, a Fox show whose time slot has been juggled around, came in at 10 percent. Frasier, Jeopardy and 90210 all tied at six percent of the vote.
Fox’s 90210 ended last year after a ten-year stint, but some fans remain loyal. Sophomore Jess Demure said her friends watch 90210 religiously.
We cannot survive without (90210) because it’s a show we all grew up with, Demaree said. It’s every kid’s dream to become part of that popular crowd. Some of the story lines were so cheesy that you just felt compelled to watch them even though you knew they were just so ridiculously stupid. It’s like a cult following.
Demure said watching television shows like 90210 is a healthy distraction.
Instead of smoking marijuana together we’d watch nine-O, she said. It’s a healthier way of bringing people together.
An eclectic mix of TV shows, including Law and Order, Spin City, ER, The Simpsons and The Practice, received three percent of students’ votes.
Some shows that surprisingly did not make the cut include Will and Grace, the NBC sitcom about a gay man and his female best friend, and NBC’s realistic White House drama, The West Wing. Both shows received several Emmy nominations and awards this year.
However, many students have different opinions why people watch certain shows. Sophomore Dave Schaffer thinks students’ viewing habits are related to their personalities.
`Seinfeld’ was really an every man’s show, Schaffer said. `The Drew Carey Show,’ on the other hand, is for the working bum – you know, someone that does not really want to be there. `Freaks and Geeks’ is for, well, freaks and geeks. `That 70’s Show’ is for hippies, and all those `Melrose Place’ and `90210′ shows are for the drama queens. It’s for the ones that can’t watch daytime TV.
Whatever the reason students have for watching their favorite show, and whether or not they agree with Schaffer’s theory, people are watching in droves. There is a show for every interest. Television dominates our lives and, once again, the tribe has spoken.
This article appeared in the September 14, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.