What do we have in common anymore? See Liberty’s entertainment favorites

Allison Stucky, Entertainment Editor

“When attributing a quote in the newspaper, always use the format “‘that’s what,’ she said.’” our editorial staff announced. That’s supposed to be a clever, funny way to remember the rule, and it’s been the class example for years. But this year, the joke fell flat. There was little amusement or recognition on the faces of the 33 Patriot Press writers. I mean come on guys–it’s an “Office” reference, I thought. Everyone has seen “The Office.”

Wrong. When asked who had seen the popular sitcom, only a few students raised their hands. The idea that “The Office” was not known by all at Liberty shook me more than it should have. This just didn’t sit right with me; “The Office” was possibly the most basic, quotable, and universally beloved comedy. 

Maybe it didn’t matter that Liberty didn’t consume all the same media, but I couldn’t help but wonder why these connections were drifting. Over quarantine, many of us devoured any content available to fill mundane days and break us out of our mental-bubble: a top-trending Netflix series, a premiere on Disney+, and an aimless scroll through social media. 

Even as we found ourselves falling into similar patterns, it seems that our entertainment picks were quite diverse. It is becoming more apparent over time that individuals have less and less in common when it comes to their media intake–not just between different generations, but within age groups. Simply put, the media universe is vast and ever-growing, with limitless options and limited time. 

I’ll never get around to watching the new season of my friend’s favorite reality show, I don’t have the time to start six seasons of “Breaking Bad,” and I don’t subscribe to the streaming service that houses the docuseries my teacher keeps recommending. We can never keep up–and we probably shouldn’t try.

Executing the perfect pop-culture reference isn’t so easy now. But don’t fear: next time you’re looking to land a joke, appear relatable and “on-trend” to your students, or get on board with your friends at a lunch table discussion, I’ve got you covered. Here are Liberty’s own entertainment picks for the most prominent and favored content of the year.