Sunday, February 19, 2012

Academic-Themed TV Shows I'd Like to See

Academics rarely appear on television, apart from talking heads or the rare show like The Paper Chase. Our culture is so rife with insanity and foolishness that reality shows and sit coms should start taking the ivory tower as a subject. Here are a few ideas that I've had:

Undercover Dean
Each week a dean will have to go back to being a full time faculty member, and actually implement the nonsensical assesment regime that they crafted, and be forced to sit through the ten office hours they require of faculty.

The Job Candidate
Similar to The Bachelor, several grad students and adjuncts will compete for the favors of an academic search committee. The show will follow the candidates through each stage of the weeding out process and track the wreckage of broken dreams and stress-induced ulcers.

The Academic Apprentice
On this reality show, graduate students will compete to be chosen as their advisor's favorite. Brown-nosing, backstabbing, and theft of research projects will give this program the drama that most reality show producers salivate over.

Southern Exposure
Taking the only academic job available, a young scholar from the Northeast moves to a small Arkansas town full of quirky locals who would be a lot more likable if he could get past their myopic, narrow-minded, and outright bigoted outlook on life.

Law and Order: Academic Integrity
In this show a team of scholars works to crack the toughest plagiarism cases. Each episode ends with the satisfactory punishment of an insufferably entitled millennial, only after the protests of parents and administrators are overcome.

What Not to Wear: Academic Edition
This would just be like shooting ducks in a barrel, wouldn't it?

Survivor: AHA Edition
Watch as impoverished graduate students must find out how to scrape the money together to attend a conference held at an expensive hotel in a faraway city just so they can talk for twenty minutes with a bored search committee inside of a loud, featureless, and overcrowded ballroom with zero room for dignity.

Shit My Chair Says
The title pretty much explains it all.


Anonymous said...

Usually academics are portrayed as dunder-headed idiots with no common sense who get themselves killed (Law & Order), or vicious killers best preemptively arrested upon receiving their diplomas (uh, well, Law & Order). You've provided more character options than I've seen anywhere.

Steve Muhlberger said...

There are lots of movies about profs and students falling in love.