TheU: The Ivy League Meets After School Television

You know those useless but entertaining online translation programs? We’re starting to think the WB is like one of those, except for life. With the right combination of jump cuts, reverse video, Jimmy Eat World, and splashy cut-out freeze frames, they could make a Senate confirmation hearing look like an episode of Room Raiders.

So you can guess what happens when the WB decides to start producing hosting college tour videos. Behold theU, the cinematic lovechild that would emerge if Mischa Barton had relations with a Princeton Review handbook. TheU’s founder, 25-year-old Columbia pseudo-alum Doug Imbruce, says he got the got the idea while watching “MTV Cribs.” It shows. Here’s theU’s narrator on Brown University: “Brown is like the token cool mom of the Ivy Leagues.” Or her thoughts on the World’s Greatest University: “Harvard won’t reveal its selection criteria, but it’s clear that talent, ambition, and genius are key.” They even have the lovable Penn frat boy, caught on camera in his natural habitat: “I don’t remember Spring Fling. I’ve been told I had a really good time. I had relations with a tree. It might have been an elm, might have been a cedar. I don’t really know.”

There are some inspired moments, like when a narrator points out that “Princeton definitely isn’t a crazy hookup scene” as we watch boys and girls juggling pins on a lawn. We know TheU means well. Of course, it also means to do well, by making shit-tons of money off terrified, TV-happy high-schoolers for whom an endorsement from “Everwood”s Chris Pratt seals Brown as their first choice.

Brown tour:

Harvard tour:

Penn tour:

  • LL

    Doug Imbruce? the legend? of Ivy League Film Festival fame? oh my.

  • LL

    Doug Imbruce? the legend? of Ivy League Film Festival fame? oh my.

  • A Cornell Engineer

    You forgot the Cornell vid, with such great quotes as:
    “We drink more than the other Ivies, we smoke more pot than the other Ivies, and we have more sex than the other Ivies!”
    and of course, the last line of the whole thing:

    “…but can you get in?”

  • A Cornell Engineer

    You forgot the Cornell vid, with such great quotes as:
    “We drink more than the other Ivies, we smoke more pot than the other Ivies, and we have more sex than the other Ivies!”
    and of course, the last line of the whole thing:

    “…but can you get in?”

  • NAME (will not be published)

    You realize that your TheU link goes to your movable type login page, right?

  • NAME (will not be published)

    You realize that your TheU link goes to your movable type login page, right?

  • Brown

    theU.com has vids on every Ivy + a lot of popular colleges. They’ve been posted on youtube forever. This is hardly news.

  • Brown

    theU.com has vids on every Ivy + a lot of popular colleges. They’ve been posted on youtube forever. This is hardly news.

  • courtenay

    the columbia video is great. “columbia is perfectly safe…as long as you don’t venture above 125th street.”

    really? someone should warn the med school – it’s 40 whole blocks above 125th!

  • courtenay

    the columbia video is great. “columbia is perfectly safe…as long as you don’t venture above 125th street.”

    really? someone should warn the med school – it’s 40 whole blocks above 125th!

  • Christopher

    “Penn students always have time to party.” I don’t even really have time to be procrastinating on this site right now. I want to bitch slap whoever wrote the script for this video and half of the assholes in it. If I see one of them on Locust walk I’m going to flick my cigarette butt at them.

  • Christopher

    “Penn students always have time to party.” I don’t even really have time to be procrastinating on this site right now. I want to bitch slap whoever wrote the script for this video and half of the assholes in it. If I see one of them on Locust walk I’m going to flick my cigarette butt at them.

  • y08

    easy, dude, don’t jump off the gorge.

    oh, sorry. you just sounded like a cornell kid.

  • y08

    easy, dude, don’t jump off the gorge.

    oh, sorry. you just sounded like a cornell kid.

  • Another Brown Kid

    Now now, other Brown kid…not everyone has the Jolt to keep them up to date.

  • Another Brown Kid

    Now now, other Brown kid…not everyone has the Jolt to keep them up to date.

  • Scared of the Upper East Side

    As for the CU video and not going above 125th…if you think that’s unsafe, you clearly haven’t been to many cities.

  • Scared of the Upper East Side

    As for the CU video and not going above 125th…if you think that’s unsafe, you clearly haven’t been to many cities.

  • sid

    Is it just me, or did these videos accomplish nothing but reinforcing (arguably misleading) stereotypes about Ivy League schools? Seriously, Brown = potheads, Harvard = The Center Of The Universe, Penn = party all day, Columbia = don’t go past 125 st, Cornell = The Gorge, et cetera? Give me a break. I go to Penn, and I agree with Christopher’s comment above.

  • sid

    Is it just me, or did these videos accomplish nothing but reinforcing (arguably misleading) stereotypes about Ivy League schools? Seriously, Brown = potheads, Harvard = The Center Of The Universe, Penn = party all day, Columbia = don’t go past 125 st, Cornell = The Gorge, et cetera? Give me a break. I go to Penn, and I agree with Christopher’s comment above.

  • Imbrucelover1

    Doug Imbruce is a tool. Almost as much of a tool as the two schmucks running this blog.

  • Imbrucelover1

    Doug Imbruce is a tool. Almost as much of a tool as the two schmucks running this blog.

  • Columbia

    Imbruce is the man. Don’t be a hater

  • Columbia

    Imbruce is the man. Don’t be a hater

  • Brown

    To “another Brown kid”: Well, that still doesn’t change the fact that this is old news & irrelevant.

    “Sid” is right. These videos do nothing but reinforce pointless, dated stereotypes about each school. What a great way for prospective students to understand what makes each school interesting & unique! ::sarcasm::

  • Brown

    To “another Brown kid”: Well, that still doesn’t change the fact that this is old news & irrelevant.

    “Sid” is right. These videos do nothing but reinforce pointless, dated stereotypes about each school. What a great way for prospective students to understand what makes each school interesting & unique! ::sarcasm::

  • John

    Kudos to the team at Penn for only interviewing white people. I imagine the Princeton trustees would be envious.

  • John

    Kudos to the team at Penn for only interviewing white people. I imagine the Princeton trustees would be envious.

  • dear chris and nick

    hey guys. why don’t you post some new articles? i am running out of ways to procrastinate for finals. and clearly you guys don’t have to take them.

  • dear chris and nick

    hey guys. why don’t you post some new articles? i am running out of ways to procrastinate for finals. and clearly you guys don’t have to take them.

  • ANP

    The U was in my office pitching for some ad revenue. Doug is friends with the actor who played Ephram on Everwood, a show that ended last season.

    The upside about this — not that some of the snarkier commenters, likely in the throes of collegiate adolescence, would care to note — is that it’s the only three dimensional glimpse that some prospective applicants might have of each school.

    Sure, as in all quickie overviews, they are reductive and simplistic, but look at the vid for IU (the alma mater of my brother and older sister) and the vid for Yale (mine). You can’t tell me that the vids gave the same vibe.

    (And yes, for the pitch, I did have to sit through practically every video for practically every school.)

    It’s an interesting concept — the democratization of information re: undergraduate programs — but the execution is kinda bunk. Better to aggregate the student-produced content that you can find on YouTube to get a true flavor for the social life, but not sure how to solve for the problem of helping the kid in the middle of farm country who can’t afford school visits to figure out which schools might be closest to his personality type.

  • ANP

    The U was in my office pitching for some ad revenue. Doug is friends with the actor who played Ephram on Everwood, a show that ended last season.

    The upside about this — not that some of the snarkier commenters, likely in the throes of collegiate adolescence, would care to note — is that it’s the only three dimensional glimpse that some prospective applicants might have of each school.

    Sure, as in all quickie overviews, they are reductive and simplistic, but look at the vid for IU (the alma mater of my brother and older sister) and the vid for Yale (mine). You can’t tell me that the vids gave the same vibe.

    (And yes, for the pitch, I did have to sit through practically every video for practically every school.)

    It’s an interesting concept — the democratization of information re: undergraduate programs — but the execution is kinda bunk. Better to aggregate the student-produced content that you can find on YouTube to get a true flavor for the social life, but not sure how to solve for the problem of helping the kid in the middle of farm country who can’t afford school visits to figure out which schools might be closest to his personality type.

  • Columbia

    I watched the Columbia video and I don’t see how this was any more informative or useful than any other materials out there, such as review.com or college prowler. The only thing this does differently, I guess, is cater to the ADHD set which requires lots of flashy pictures and shit in order to maintain interest.

  • Columbia

    I watched the Columbia video and I don’t see how this was any more informative or useful than any other materials out there, such as review.com or college prowler. The only thing this does differently, I guess, is cater to the ADHD set which requires lots of flashy pictures and shit in order to maintain interest.

  • h’alum

    Did anybody see the camera zoom in on a kid at a computer terminal in the Harvard bit, right when that annoyingly peppy announcer said the word ‘genius’ while referring to candidates for admissions? That’s pure editing genius right there. Damn! What school is this, and where do I go to apply?

  • h’alum

    Did anybody see the camera zoom in on a kid at a computer terminal in the Harvard bit, right when that annoyingly peppy announcer said the word ‘genius’ while referring to candidates for admissions? That’s pure editing genius right there. Damn! What school is this, and where do I go to apply?