Buffy vs. Breaking Bad: A faculty survey

Photo by Ariel E Barry Used under Creative Commons license
Photo by Ariel E Barry
Used under Creative Commons license

James Tunnell, Staff Writer

   In ye olden days, a person most likely would be extremely limited in their options for entertainment media. Sure, books have been around forever, but the 20th century brought about new ways to get through the day with the advent of the movie industry, television and, most recently, the ability to access any type of music a person could dream. In a culture that is defined by consumption, even the most elite among us are susceptible to the beckoning of entertainment media.

    Every person has their preference as to which TV show is their favorite, which music album they love the most or what is the all time greatest romance novel (right?). A survey was put out to a few prominent SNU faculty members asking them which movies, music, TV shows, etc. they like best and here are the results. Remember now, there’s no shame in getting addicted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix or putting off a paper because Pokemon Y is burning a hole through your desk.

   The first survey went out to the fearless leader of SNU, President Loren Gresham. Admittedly, he said that he doesn’t listen to a ton of music or watch much TV other than sports (the Thunder, presumably) and network news. As far as movies go, his favorite types were historically based, such as Steven Spielberg’s 2012 biopic, Lincoln. Dr. Gresham did make this concession in regards to television, “If I do watch TV other than the news, it would be attempts at real life persons living in unusual circumstances. Examples would be ‘Survivorman’ or the Alaska backwoods families who tough it out in difficult circumstances. Nature programs are another type that I enjoy.” Other than that, Dr. Gresham’s preferred form of entertainment media is a good book, though he did not say which ones (The Hunger Games, perhaps?).

   The next faculty member surveyed was Dr. Lee Turner, Chair of the Department of Mathematics. When asked about his musical preferences, Dr. Turner said that his radio dial is tuned to the classical music station, KCSC, all day, which he said makes for great background noise. Dr. Turner admittedly has a penchant for television crime dramas, listing Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Castle (an affinity he shares with Dr. Lewis, Chair of the School of Music) and Psych as a few of his favorites. He said he rarely gets out to actually see movies in the theatres, and that he is content to wait for them to come out on Netflix or Amazon.

   One final survey went out to Dr. Peggy Poteet, Chairperson, Division of Cultural and Communication Studies. Dr. Poteet says that she enjoyed the first season of The Office, but her go to for laughs nowadays is The Big Bang Theory, about which she had this to say, “Admittedly, the newer episodes overplay the ironic sexuality of the socially-challenged characters, but the role Sheldon plays amazes me.” Her other television interests mainly consist of across-the-pond programming like Doc Martin or Masterpiece Theatre. A particular favorite of hers is Downton Abbey. Her favorite Downton character is Violet Crawley, the sardonic Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith. Her list of musical interests includes the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Bach-Beethoven-Chopin types, hymns by Charles Wesley, the later Beatles and Bob Dylan. She has also been known to enjoy Jingle Cats during the Christmas season, though not for prolonged periods of time.

   Entertainment is something that all humans enjoy; it’s inherent in our DNA. One of the things that makes this world so interesting is that there are so many different types of entertainment to enjoy, and the shared interests we have serve to bring us closer together. And remember this the next time you sneer at your roommate’s Netflix queue: one man’s Buffy is another man’s Breaking Bad.

  1. I know you just overlooked me on this survey…and you wanted to have other voices in the paper…but when it comes to media consumption, I’m your guy. Well, now that I think about it, maybe I’ll write about it one day., HAHA

  2. She also loves disco…has a mirror ball in her office…you should hear her belt out “Love to love you, Baby.” It’s goose-bumply.