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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

My college experience, told through movies and TV


Aggie writer reflects on experience as arts journalist

As an arts writer, movies and television have made a huge impact on my life. While at UC Davis, I expanded my knowledge of the two mediums drastically. For instance, I’m known for watching at least two movies a day. Freshman year, I believed that taking a nap was a waste of time; it could instead be used for watching a show. As a senior, I now love naps — though I still agree with my freshman year mentality. So for each year of college, here is one television show or movie that defined my experience.


Freshman year: “Criminal Minds”

This was the year I learned what my binge-watching endurance was. I discovered this show early on freshman year and it quickly took over my life. I would watch six episodes a day and managed to finish all 10 seasons by the end of the year. It also helped bond the people living in my dorm. We would watch this show together for hours, allowing us to experience something together.

For those who don’t know, the show is about the behavioral analysis unit of the FBI which is dedicated to catching serial killers all around the U.S. I was known as the girl obsessed with “Criminal Minds,” which made getting me a gift for secret Santa very easy. I ended up receiving two Criminal Minds calendars and a mug which said, “BAU Quantico, Virginia” that Christmas season. The summer going into sophomore year I went to an event in Los Angeles where I met Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia. I told her that Criminal Minds got me through my freshman year of college, to which she replied, “I don’t know if that’s a good thing.” But it was; I found a lasting group of friends from it.


Sophomore year: “Big Fish”

Exhibiting storytelling at its finest, Big Fish made me realize how much truth and fairytale mean to each person. The vibrant colors and stories that are told throughout the movie made me realize the beauty of Davis. The cinematography stood out to me the most, especially the way the scenes came alive. This was achieved through the whimsical characters and the colors on the screen. I looked at the world in a different light. What was once simply a path in the arboretum now represented the future adventures I would be having over my next few years at Davis.


Junior Year: “The Truman Show”

Junior year solidified my love for media and journalism. When I watched The Truman Show for the first time, I fell in love with the novelty of having someone’s entire life being filmed. This movie was released before the reality TV craze began, making it ahead of its time. The Truman Show also demonstrated that someone could live in a false reality, but still have a rewarding life. I related to this because in college it often feels like you are isolated and your life is planned. However, you actually have the ability to make it exactly what you want. Junior year was the year that I finally realized of what I wanted to do with my life. After discovering this, I made it happen, just like Truman did after discovering he wanted his own life.


Senior Year: “The Newsroom”

This is my all-time favorite television show and I have watched it too many times to count. Ever since high school I loved the world of journalism and everything behind-the-scenes of making a broadcast show. When I was a junior in high school, I spent the summer studying journalism at Oxford. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to even call myself a writer, but by the end of the summer and with the help of my amazing teacher, Paul McClean, I felt more confident.

Cut to sophomore year of college when I joined The California Aggie (or as I like to say, the best decision I ever made in college). I felt as though I found my place in college. Whenever I feel down or have a block in my writing, I put “The Newsroom” on. It reminds me why I love this job. Our role as journalists is to inform the general public. I love being a journalist and I hope to bring that love with me wherever my career goes.



Written by: CaraJoy Kleinrock — arts@theaggie.org



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