July 17, 2011


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NYC Prep
Vassar begins to appear on reality television. This show follows the lives of wealthy prep-school kids in Manhattan, and one admits (on a tragically bad date) to applying to Vassar.  For a fictional treatment of New York City prep-school kids, see Gossip Girl. (Sorry about the quality; I shot it with a digital camera as it played on the computer; haven’t found a proper copy yet.)

The Rebound
A direct-to-DVD romantic comedy has the male lead occasionally job hunting; this brief scan of his resume reveals him as a Vassar grad.

Thanks to Brandon Impastato '20 for the tip.

Taking Woodstock
This Ang Lee film focuses on a poor Jewish family in 1969 who are neighbors to Mr. Yasgur—whose farm hosted Woodstock. In this scene, son Demetri Martin with his immigrant parents are trying to extend their bank loan...and Vassar’s freak flag flies high.

This series is about a couple of brothers who hunt demons. In this scene, some kids are trying to summon a demon who can give them everything they want—a part of which appears to be getting in to Vassar.

Thanks to Joel Ferat ’97ish and Eric Black ’94 for the swiftly delivered tip.

'Til Death
Another sitcom, another Vassar-girls-as-whores joke, this one more random than most. Sitcoms have become pretty strange.

Rules of Engagement
The sitcom jokes keep rolling in, here with a very strained joke about Vassar girls being drunk and easy.

Thanks to Mads Vassar for the tip.

United States of Tara
This Showtime original series is about a woman with DID—dissociative identity disorder, colloquially known as multiple-personality disorder. Here, she’s recently constructed a new identity of a Jewish, New York-y psychotherapist, after having read a book by the therapist. Guess who went to Vassar?

Thanks to Allison Ross ’09 for the tip

An indie teen romance, somewhat dark and better than average, has a trio of teens exploring their sexuality and determining the next step in their lives.

The New Adventures of Old Christine
Another sitcom reference and an old, old trope on how feminists (here telegraphed by being a women’s studies “doctoral student” at Vassar) are unattractive...

Thanks to Rebecca Tuite, whose forthcoming book, Vassar Style: Fashion, Feminism and 1950s American Media, looks in depth at some of the same ideas as this blog.

After so many Vassar associations with The Simpsons, it’s nice to see a Vassar joke on Matt Groening’s other show! On the 2010 holiday special, Bender the robot describes his favorite holiday, a robot version of Hannukah. The punchline puts a new spin on both the oversexed and prim-and-proper tropes.

Thanks to Joe Schuster ’86 for the tip

Disaster Date
An MTV reality show where someone sets up their friend for a terrible date; the actor playing the date knows everything the poor friend hates and works those things hard. This girl apparently hates being taken for stupid just because she’s pretty, so our actor creates a know-it-all personality.

Gossip Girl (3 episodes)
The iconic rich New York prep-school show, a chance encounter at the “Millbrook Inn” in Poughkeepsie finds some characters having had a romantic date that involved Vassar.  Two seasons later, it seems Blake Lively has disappeared somewhere in Poughkeepsie, and Michelle Trachtenberg is on the case.
Thanks to Mads Vassar blog and Colleen Fox Slack ’99

In Treament
HBO drama, drawn from an Israeli series, with therapist Gabriel Byrne meeting patients in weekly sessions - running episodes four nights a week to follow the journeys of four patients. He also has scenes with his family; here daughter Rosie is applying to colleges.

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