Opinions, Column

A Return to TV Time: The Case for Escapist Television

Since returning to school for the spring semester, I’ve caught myself indulging in a new guilty pleasure. But unlike the typical guilty pleasure, I’m more than happy to share it with all of you. Usually, my drug of choice is candy, ice cream, or anything that has enough sugar in it to kill a small horse. But now, I have a new favorite substance: escapist television.

It started with Euphoria. Sunday mornings, I would wake up and without fail, my first stream of consciousness would be something along the lines of “it’s Euphoria Sunday.” With this in mind, I would kick my productivity into overdrive all day Sunday in order to ensure I was done with my homework before the clock struck 9 p.m. In the hours leading up to 9 p.m., I was manic and giddy at the same time. At the library, my thoughts would wander away from my course work and all the way toward Twitter memes about last week’s episode. At dinner, all of my conversations surrounded episode predictions, character analysis, and, of course, what snacks should be acquired in order to satiate stress-induced munchies. Without fail, at 8:55, I was seated on the couch ready for whatever the episode might entail. Drugs, sex, tears, heartbreak, agony—anything was possible. My roommates and I relished the scenes where Lexi and Fezco exchanged stolen glances and grimaced at some of the more infamous plot lines. The experience was euphoric (ha, ha, ha). 

To speak plainly, the Euphoria ritual was the best thing to ever happen to my college Sunday evenings. There is something very grounding and wholesome about spending an hour with your friends, bonding over a shared interest after a chaotic week. Although the subject matter of Euphoria may not be wholesome, the hour spent together indulging in ice cream, hot chocolate, and popcorn most definitely was. So, once Euphoria ended—with a few too many plot holes and cliff hangers might I add—I was distraught. My favorite Sunday evening pastime had vanished suddenly (I was expecting 10 episodes, not eight), and I was left with what felt like a gaping hole in my social calendar. 

Now, over a month since the season finale of Euphoria aired on HBO Max, I have stumbled upon a new obsession: season two of Bridgerton. A completely different show, I must admit, but equally entertaining and consuming. Who will be the diamond of the season? What is the difference between a viscount and a duke? Will Eloise unveil and expose Lady Whistledown? Instead of teenagers, drugs, and glitter, Bridgerton engages its viewers with a chorus-style cast of British nobility and ornate costumes. Frankly, the two shows couldn’t be more different. 

Although Netflix released the entirety of season two of Bridgerton at once, this has not stopped my roommates and I from allowing it to totally consume our conversations and free time. Instead of gathering together in the common room every Sunday evening to watch an episode, my roommates and I have been left to binge in our alone time and report back to each other to discuss major plot points, making sure not to spoil anything for those who are behind. Since the release of season two of Bridgerton, there have been memes shared, tears shed, and popcorn consumed. What more could a girl ask for?

Whether your choice of show is more along the lines of Euphoria or Bridgerton, I plead with you all that you give escapist television a chance. If you’re lucky, you too might get to disassociate from the Boston College bubble for a brief hour and escape to 19th century England or present day California. Although all episodes of Euphoria and Bridgerton are now available to stream at any time, and I am guilty of binging my favorite shows mid-week, I am still a strong proponent of Sunday night viewings. Think about it—is there a better, more relaxing way to end your weekend and start the academic week? I would go so far as to say, no. Cult-favorite television shows make great conversation topics among roommates and classmates alike. So, whether you’re looking to disconnect from reality or spice up dull conversations, give escapist television a try. I promise you won’t regret it. 

Featured Graphic by Liz Schwab/ Heights Editor

April 10, 2022