In tonight's post, I will be discussing what is known as the "college conundrum." What's the "college conundrum," you ask?
college conundrum- n- a situation a tv show finds itself in after their characters have graduated high school and they don't know what to do next. Tonight we will look deeper and see which shows have successfully solved the "CC" and those who should have just opted out.
1. Dawson's Creek: Oh beek from the Creek, I love you (and your new show b.t. dubs!), but Kevin Williamson should've done something else besides send you guys to college. Time jump (see #2 One Tree Hill), ended the show, or the cheesy 'everyone attends the same college magically' storyline (see #3 Saved By the Bell). Instead we have Dawson across the country at film school (doesn't last), Joey at some made up Massachusetts school, Pacey God knows where, and Jen and Jack (and Grams, actually-odd?) at the same made up school as Joey (I think? If not they go to another made up Massachusetts school). This situation just leads to boredom and stupid storylines (i.e. Mitch dying-GASP-poor Gail) and drags out the Dawson-Joey thing another 2 years. This storyline also leads to Busy Phillips's character, who I could do without. (No offense, Busy, you're great and I'm glad you got on the show so you and Michelle Williams could be bffls and everything, but the only time I have use for you is when you drive Pacey's fancy car in the Leery household at Christmas-so great). Other than the epic Christmas drive-through, I usually get bored watching season 6 (haven't attempted season 5 yet), which leads me to say that Dawson's should have opted out of the whole college thing.
Final Verdict: FAILED
2. One Tree Hill- MS actually chose right here (love you, Mark!) and decided to skip the whole college thing. We get to relive it through flashbacks, with Nathan, Haley, and Lucas sharing an apartment amidst raising baby Jimmy-Jam. Brooke used the time to create the C over B empire (still don't know if she went to school or not), while Peyton hid out in California and continued to be emo at a record company or something. This was the perfect scenario because we know what happened in those years but got to miss the dull storylines that could have ensued. #winning . Plus we get to skip to Jimmy-Jam age 4 and meet the adorable Jackson Brundage (heart you, Jack!)
Final Verdict: PASSED
3. Saved By The Bell- Don't judge me, but I enjoy SBTB The College Years. Don't get me wrong, its no Bayside High, but the fictional school all of these characters magically all attend together leads to a rabble-rousing good time. The first episode is worrysome, but then Kelly Kapowski herself shows up and saves the show for the rest of the season. Meaning the will-they won't-they between Zack and Kelly saves the show for the rest of the season. We also get the lovely additions of Alex and Leslie, who are enjoyable in the small doses of screentime they get. I also enjoyed the absence of Jessie "I am an extreme in your face feminist" Spano, although I did miss Lisa the fashionista.
Final Verdict: PASSED
4. The O.C.- I haven't seen that much of this show, but the parts of the "college years" I have seen have not made me want to jump on the O.C. bandwagon or anything. I do know that Marissa is gone (dumb, move Mischa), and that there is pointless Seth and Summer long distance drama. Should've done a time jump because the best episode is the finale in which there is a time jump and we get to see the happy Jewish wedding of Seth and Summer and Ryan help a mini version of himself.
Final Verdict: FAIL (ish)
5. Gilmore Girls- GG was able to work with the college years by having Rory go to school only 20 miles away from home. This was really the best of both worlds, because it didn't really change anything about the show (except add the hott and adorable Logan-BRAVO!). Lorelai and Rory continued to have separate storylines (like when she was in high school), but they also were able to share some storylines still, too, which made it work. The show stayed true to itself (minus the Christopher-marrige horribleness...UGH...so dumb! But, another story for another blog, I digress) and reminded us all that the mother-daughter relationship was the core of the show. Great job, GG!
Final Verdict: PASSED
So what have we learned here? There are many ways to approach the college conundrum, and creativity is key. Don't try and be realistic and send characters who are friends all off to different schools, because while that is what actually happens, it unfortunately makes for bad television.
Thanks for reading!