Grab the slippers and junk food. TV nights are still a favorite way for students to spend time together.
By Mary-Margaret Dwyer ’20
Christina Schuppert ’21 was in kindergarten in 2005 when Meredith Grey and “McDreamy” first debuted on ABC’s award-winning “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Fourteen years, 16 seasons and 345 episodes of medical drama later, the show is still popular, even with a new generation of audiences. Schuppert, now 20 years old, tunes in weekly with her closest friends for the current episodes.
Every week since freshman year, they have grabbed some vanilla-Oreo milkshakes and Goldfish crackers at Letchworth Dining Hall and hunkered down in Allegany Hall to immerse themselves in the lives of the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
“It’s nice to just sit and talk,” Schuppert says, “and catch up with each other.”
When “Grey’s Anatomy” premiered, most fans watched episodes as the network aired them. Now, according to a study by the Consumer Technology Association, 18- to 34-year-olds spend 55 percent of their TV time watching previously aired television shows, either through streaming or on-demand services such as Netflix and Hulu. While the flexibility of TV viewing has changed, friends coming together over a favorite series has not.
Ashley Adams ’09 used to gather with friends to watch “Grey’s” in their Ontario Hall common room. “It was important to me,” she says, “because it was a set time to spend with friends when everyone is busy.”
Others, like Sean Gunderman ’13 devoted many weekday evenings to TV. He and a large group of friends ate dinner at Mary Jemison or Letchworth, then religiously watched “Jeopardy!” at 7:30 p.m. They yelled out their answers and kept scores on a notepad. They even watched during Geneseo finals.
“We’d all just meet in the room and hang. We got to know each other better,” says Gunderman, who recently attended the wedding of a fellow “Jeopardy!” watcher from his Geneseo days.
TV nights have always been about friendship.
“The importance isn’t so much the show. It’s getting together,” Schuppert says. “I’ll look back on this after we graduate and remember having time carved out to spend with my friends while we were all so close.”