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Students’ Favorite Fall Entertainment Choices and Why They Love Them
It reminds them of elementary school walks to the bus, crunching leaves underneath a new pair of sneakers, and cool nights with best friends.
Movie and TV shows are famous for evoking nostalgia. Those who watch their old favorites again and again typically do so because they associate it with something sentimental. This is likely why holiday movies are so popular, even if they are repetitive and predictable. People enjoy watching a film with an ending that they know will tie the characters’ conflicts up in a neat bow. In a similar way, fall usually brings the desire to watch reruns of favorite television shows and films. Students are no exception to this.
The popularity of “oldies” has become a noticeable trend. Students now watch the movies that premiered when their parents were teenagers. 80s and 90s films like Dead Poet’s Society and You’ve Got Mail are popular with today’s young people. Movies like these are fall into the “vintage” category. They have a sense of simplicity and an endearing reminder of the days of yesteryear- even yesteryears that were only three or four decades ago. Students use verbiage like “my comfort show” to describe series such as Gilmore Girls, the classic mother and daughter duo starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.
One of the reasons these viewing choices may increase in popularity during the colder months is due to their plots’ settings. For example, Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, and Ethan Hawke, takes place during the fall semester. Additionally, the storyline focuses on an English professor’s attempts to reach and mold the creativity of his young students at the all-boys boarding school, Welton Academy. This academic setting causes students to associate themselves with the characters, which is likely why it increases in popularity when school is in session. The autumnal hues and beautiful foliage are reminiscent of the cool breezes and falling leaves that this season brings. “In a lot of 80s and 90s shows, the clothes are layered, which I think implies fall. The colors in the film are all warm,” Gracie Oden, a freshmen English major, pointed out.
Gilmore Girls, which aired from 2000-2007, is popular among college students for similar reasons. It follows the life of single mother Lorelai Gilmore, and her daughter, Rory. Rory is a type-A student and avid reader of books- much like a modern-day Jo March. Those in the teenaged to young adult age demographic relate to the hustle and bustle of academic life because of this. Even though it cycles through multiple seasons of the year, many college students tend to associate it with the months of fall. “Gilmore Girls is the type of show you can curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and watch. It’s just close enough to being real life, that its comfortable, but its’ not stressful like real life, because you know it’s all going to work out in the end,” Megan Wells, a junior at MC, said.
Another beloved movie amongst young and old alike, is the 1998 rom com, starring one of the 90s’ favorite leading man and lady, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. You’ve Got Mail follows Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox, who are bookstore owners and business rivals. Unbeknownst to them, they are also online pen pals. The movie takes place in New York, which gives it a boost in the aesthetic department. “You’ve Got Mail is the literal perfect fall movie. I grew up watching it, and it would be getting cold outside, and was very nostalgic. It has very pretty cinematography, “Christy Raggio, a senior from Memphis, Tenn., said. This movie also takes place during the autumn, as proven by Kathleen Kelly’s famous quote about how the fall weather makes her want to buy school supplies.
Other movies that are typically associated with fall take place during the seasonal holidays, like Halloween. Hocus Pocus, The Zodiac, and Halloweentown are also amongst students’ favorite spooky comfort movies. “I grew up on Halloweentown and the sequels. The first one came out the year I was born, so I haven’t really known Halloween-time without it. It’s just so fun and reminds me of how my brothers and I would watch Halloween movies together growing up,” Liz Cox, a graduate Vocal Performance and Pedagogy student, said. “It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and it’s one of my go-to comfort movies, even outside of fall.”
This Disney channel original movie follows the story of 13-year-old Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) who finds out she is a witch. Regardless of students’ and young adult’s viewing experience of choice, there is no doubt that there is a crisp edge of nostalgia in the air, during the months of September through December. Maybe it reminds them of elementary school walks to the bus, crunching leaves underneath a new pair of sneakers, and cool nights with best friends.
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