The 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:
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.