The Birth, Death, and Soggy Afterlife of Ivy Soaps

ivysoapThe recent lathering of attention received by Ithaca College’s Cornell spoof, Ivy, puts the short, sordid history of Ivy League soap operas into perspective. For about a decade and a half, students inside the gates have been making soap opera-style parodies of their wild Ivy lifestyles. After most of the shows died off or went into Vimeo-shaped retirement homes, Ivy churns on and shows that non-Ivy students can not deal better insults but frankly better operate cameras.

The Ivy League soap fad started up with Harvard’s Ivory Tower in 1994 when Chrysler still made the LeBaron and students still watched TV. The show stuck around until about the Y2k scare and probably featured Zack Morris types with plaid shirts tied around their waists. Then word got beyond the Georgian brick walls and Northwestern started a show too, evidently scaring the Ivory Tower crowd back up Rapunzel’s braids. (Insert bad 90s Dave Matthews joke here. Actually, don’t.)

Since the Interweb was still pretty infantile then, it’s probably best to skip ahead to 2006—the golden year of Columbia’s The Gates, the sort of re-arrival of Ivory Tower, and the national media hit The B.C. (We’ll give you three guesses where that one’s from. Hint: It’s not an Ivy.) Basically, each show had one good episode that featured either (a) a lesbian sex scene, (b) Harvard kids, you know, hangin’ out and tryin’ not to act like they go to Harvard, or (c) getting a free trip to Hollywood to meet the real cast of The O.C. (Alright, we didn’t actually watch The B.C.—we just read the Times coverage of their dope junket in LA.)

Read more and watch clips from Ivy Soap purgatory after the jump.

As Ivory Tower continues to mix amateur porn-caliber acting with high school video-class directing, the other shows all died after a handful of episodes. Meanwhile somebody had told the kids in Ithaca about HD. A clever if unoriginal show The C.U. started up the Ithaca soap scene with a Harvard guy gets kicked out for drugs only to be wooed by Cornell:

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All the Ivy soap scene needs now are the other four schools. Dartmouth’s soap would do well to feature a retired admissions officer writing a book on Ivy League admissions. Brown’s will probably need to be made by all RISD students. Princeton’s should feature some sort of violent foray into Trenton—probably made by Rutgers students. And Penn’s should really just have a lot of information about how they’re definitely not a state school. Not even joking.

  • Anonymous

    NYU has one as well. I think someone actually picked it up for online production.

    http://gawker.com/news/nyu-students-should-be-banned-from-life/nyus-laguna-beach-drugs-and-sluts-under-the-arch-319605.php

  • Anonymous

    NYU has one as well. I think someone actually picked it up for online production.

    http://gawker.com/news/nyu-students-should-be-banned-from-life/nyus-laguna-beach-drugs-and-sluts-under-the-arch-319605.php

  • OMFG THESE SHOWS RAWK
  • OMFG THESE SHOWS RAWK
  • D04

    Dartmouth did have a soap in 2001-2002 – “Kiss and Tell.”
    http://thedartmouth.com/2002/01/22/arts/first/

  • D04

    Dartmouth did have a soap in 2001-2002 – “Kiss and Tell.”
    http://thedartmouth.com/2002/01/22/arts/first/

  • Pffff

    No one lives in Risley. While their busy with their “internet TV series,” we’re off bangin’ their girlfriends! ATO RULES GO BIG RED!!!!!1

  • Pffff

    No one lives in Risley. While their busy with their “internet TV series,” we’re off bangin’ their girlfriends! ATO RULES GO BIG RED!!!!!1

  • Anonymous

    Dude, IVY blows these other fucking shows out of the water. The Ivy League should be ashamed of themselves for letting some crap school like Ithaca College pull the pants on them like this.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, IVY blows these other fucking shows out of the water. The Ivy League should be ashamed of themselves for letting some crap school like Ithaca College pull the pants on them like this.

  • Crimson05er

    You should try and track down the “Ivory Tower” episodes from 2004 and 2005 — the first and second seasons of the revival. Unintentionally hillarious stuff. Were floating around youtube for a while. Worth breaking down in a post, MST3k style.

  • Crimson05er

    You should try and track down the “Ivory Tower” episodes from 2004 and 2005 — the first and second seasons of the revival. Unintentionally hillarious stuff. Were floating around youtube for a while. Worth breaking down in a post, MST3k style.

  • Anonymous

    Crimson05er – I just watched Ivory Tower, the ones from 2004-2005. Can’t believe you think that shit is hilarious. Not only is it poorly shot, but my god – no one can act.

    I still stand by my previous statement. Everyone in the Ivy League should be ashamed of themselves for letting this Ithaca College outshine them like this.

  • Anonymous

    Crimson05er – I just watched Ivory Tower, the ones from 2004-2005. Can’t believe you think that shit is hilarious. Not only is it poorly shot, but my god – no one can act.

    I still stand by my previous statement. Everyone in the Ivy League should be ashamed of themselves for letting this Ithaca College outshine them like this.

  • H11

    Is it just me or does that guy from the CU remind you of Andy Bernard from The Office?

  • H11

    Is it just me or does that guy from the CU remind you of Andy Bernard from The Office?

  • H09

    Is the CU some kind of joke? Ivory Tower is better than any of these shows!

    And yea – that guy DOES look like Andy Bernard!

  • H09

    Is the CU some kind of joke? Ivory Tower is better than any of these shows!

    And yea – that guy DOES look like Andy Bernard!

  • Y Ashe’11

    Why was the Harvard-Yale episode of Ivory Tower removed from YouTube? Are there any working copies left?

  • Y Ashe’11

    Why was the Harvard-Yale episode of Ivory Tower removed from YouTube? Are there any working copies left?

  • BigRed11

    I really liked the second season a lot better than the first. That new character Will was pretty awesome, and I’m glad to see they shed some light on engineer majors.

    All in all, great show, especially Luda in episode 2. That was sick.

    However – YOU DIDN’T HAVE ANY ASIANS! How can you make a show about CU if you don’t have any asians???

    As always, Keith, my fav character gives the best lines “I was having sex before you had your first wet dream. Tell your mother chocolate k says hi.” Love it.

  • BigRed11

    I really liked the second season a lot better than the first. That new character Will was pretty awesome, and I’m glad to see they shed some light on engineer majors.

    All in all, great show, especially Luda in episode 2. That was sick.

    However – YOU DIDN’T HAVE ANY ASIANS! How can you make a show about CU if you don’t have any asians???

    As always, Keith, my fav character gives the best lines “I was having sex before you had your first wet dream. Tell your mother chocolate k says hi.” Love it.

  • CUfan

    So – I finally caught up on the new season of IVY – how come IvyGate didn't cover it at all? I was really impressed with the second season. The first season was good, but this one definetly took it to another level.

    I missed that Emily girl though. She was the best part of the show. I wonder where she went.

    Is this going to be a continuous show? Like the hills? I absolutely fucking loved it.

  • CUfan

    So – I finally caught up on the new season of IVY – how come IvyGate didn't cover it at all? I was really impressed with the second season. The first season was good, but this one definetly took it to another level.

    I missed that Emily girl though. She was the best part of the show. I wonder where she went.

    Is this going to be a continuous show? Like the hills? I absolutely fucking loved it.