Plenty of students in graduate school probably aren’t seeing the entertainment and fun parts of it all as they just start getting the workload for this semester. Yet, we have plenty of examples in pop culture from the big screen to the small that show us characters who may be a bit more entertained with their grad school experience than the average student.
Everyone loves a feel-good chick flick, or at least I know I do. When we look at a movie like “Legally Blonde”, of course, the first thought isn’t going to be remembering that the whole thing is set during Elle Wood’s grad school experience. In Reese Witherspoon’s performance, we forget that Elle is living the graduate school life at Harvard Law.
Reboots seem to be all the rage in Hollywood nowadays, so we have not just one, but two movies based on a group of students going through med school. In “Flatliners”, we have a film set around aspiring doctors who are going through the graduate school experience while dealing with some effects of the afterlife in both the 2017 and 1990 versions.
Going back to the 90’s era, one character that you may have forgotten about is Ross Gellar from “FRIENDS”. He may have been your sixth favorite friend, but the man was educated all the way to have a Ph.D. and being a paleontologist– which was a running joke on the sitcom. Though his actually earning of the graduate degree wasn’t discussed throughout the series, at least we know Ross has been through it.
A slightly more modern sitcom with yet another grad school character is the classic How I Met Your Mother. Ted Mosby was an architect and a professor at Columbia University, so it was safe to say he was well educated. There are open internet forums discussing the logistics of Ted’s degree and career, saying that he only ever got a BA and somehow managed to become a professor, but there is plenty of
I personally have not seen every season of this show, but my mom and her friends are quite the fans. If you know about Orphan Black, then you’ve heard about how actress Tatiana Maslany portrays fourteen different clones with different personalities and backstories. One of the clones played is Cosima Niehaus, a grad student completing her Ph.D. in Experimental Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Even though this isn’t a part of the show’s main plot, it’s essential to her character and makes this clone more relatable to others going through the graduate school process while watching.
As far as real life as we can get, we have next “The Social Network where Jesse Eisenberg plays a genuine person, Mark Zuckerberg. In the time of which the movie is set, Zuckerberg is actually going through graduate school. Granted, his experience as an up and coming tech and social media genius may make his experience differ from the average grad student; it’s still a realistic enough portrayal on Hollywood’s end.
College overall is seen on the screen as one big party: where you’re always hanging around with your friends, and for some reason, no one is ever really in class. While that may be accurate for some students, it doesn’t always seem that lighthearted when you step into the real world. Sometimes it is helpful to get a taste of characters having it easier than you, and sometimes it’s just downright dissatisfying. Nonetheless, there are so many stories about life in grad school out there in the world, and these actors and actresses have definitely lived that experience on screen and in real life.