Winter is not just coming, winter is here — well, in its own fluctuating, New England, under global warming and pre-solstice sort of way. The roads are salted, the wind tunnels are biting and my corduroy Uniqlo jacket is decreasing in utility, no matter how many long sleeves I layer underneath.
Over the pasteight columns, I’ve pondered many memorable shows, exploring what works and what doesn’t, which characters are interesting and which aren’t and why I — or you — should even care. Reflecting back, I’ve identified key criteria for evaluating what makes a show both subjectively and objectively ‘good,’ in no particular order:
My housemate Nyssa’s most underused fun fact is that she auditioned for the role of Devi on Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” (2020–), a YA-esque Netflix series about a first-generation South Indian American high schooler intent on improving her social status. The role, though, went to Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (You’re still a queen, Nyssa).
For a brief period in high school, I would end the school night by watching a web series on Facebook Watch before bed. There’s an image evoked by these private moments: laying sideways, my cheek pressed against the pillow; leaning into my horizontally-held iPhone, the short charging cable restricting my mobile radius; my glasses pinching against my nose, eyesight worsening by the minute.
Fashion can hint at flash frames of a current generation, marking social media-inspired trends or cultural shifts in attitude. On an individual level, experimenting with personal style often goes hand in hand with understanding oneself, and for some students at Tufts, clothing emerges as one of many mediums to explore and represent their identity.
Like most people, I’ve daydreamed about my likelihood of surviving in apocalyptic or suddenly traumatic situations like "The Hunger Games" (2008–10), zombie attacks or being marooned on an island. While I lack any evolutionary faith in myself to successfully perform DIY outdoors survival, as a member of Tufts Wilderness Orientation, I’m sure I could finagle my way around a tarp, if given the proper rope, stakes and moral support.
Although I work at the Career Center, the best job fair I’ve ever attended is 20 years’ worth of television watching. “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005–) briefly made me reevaluate my lifelong rejection of my mother’s lifelong dream that I become a doctor. Rory Gilmore coerced me — as did probably every other liberal arts girl near a tree — into romanticizing journalism. And, lowkey, “Psych” (2006–14) genuinely made me question if my own self-supposed clairvoyance was enough to support a psychic detective business. While the American political drama “The West Wing” (1999–2006) did have me pondering the life of a speechwriter, the most important takeaway I discovered is that working in the White House is primarily about walking fast and talking faster.
Strolling through the Mayer Campus Center is like scrolling through a Pinterest board of Tufts style, where a hodgepodge of students’ aesthetics mix and mingle, collide and collage. Across a campus of over 6,000 people, Tufts fashion can’t be confined to exact archetypes. This series simply means to capture a glimpse of “Tufts style” or, perhaps more precisely, share what style means to Tufts, through the reflections of students in the ‘fashionable’ era of 2021.
I want to preface this week’s column by saying yes, I have seen Netflix’s talk-of-the town “Squid Game” (2021–), and yes, it did fracture my heart in many ways that I’d love to unpack. However, I also do believe that there are few worse things than a show spoilt, so for the sanctity and integrity of the series, I shall instead address a less devastating but still emotionally compounded competition: “Top Chef” (2006–).
I’ve only recently reconciled with the fact that I’m a member of Generation Z. Beyond being a Sagittarius born in the Year of the Dragon, I’m not quite sure where I expected to lay in the generational matrix; though, one viral tweet did confirm that I’m an honorary member of the Black Eyed Peas.