Why Does The TV Lie To Me About Post Grad Life?

post grad life

As a child and teenager, everyone has a picture in their mind about how their life is going to look when they are officially a grown up. Of course, everyone imagines finishing school, getting their dream job, and living in a huge house decorated to reflect their personality. I don’t think any little kids pictures their future to be living in a shoe box sized apartment with three roommates, even though that is much more likely scenario. While of course our own optimism and imaginations are partially to blame for these misconceptions, here are few shows and movies that did nothing to quell our high expectations.

The Devil Wears Prada

Recent college graduate Andy Saks gets a job at prestigious Runway Magazine as an assistant to the Editor in Chief Miranda Priestly, and the struggles are astronomical for her to keep up with the always moving fashion industry. This movie actually gets a lot of things right. Oftentimes, your first job after college will be a lot of running errands, being bossed around by seasoned employees, and struggling to keep up with a brand new environment. However, the lies come into play when Andy receives this job in the first place. She has just graduated college, blatantly admits that she had never heard of the magazine until her interview, and clearly has no interest in what Runway is striving to be. It’s unlikely that any recent graduate would get offered a paying job at such a high profile company at all, even with loads of experience and an internship or two. A more passionate candidate than Andy would probably be offered an intern position and then eventually work her way up to the position featured in this film. While Miranda does mention at one point during the film the she hired Andy because she was different than the average applicant, the whole thing is still hard to believe.

Glee

This one’s a bit tougher to be strict on, as Glee was a show that was never meant to be taken seriously. Between the choreographed musical numbers, seemingly endless set and costume budget for a high school choir, and fantasy sequences, suspension of disbelief was a requirement to enjoy this program. However, even the most loony of shows has to have some boundaries and for the most part, Glee did. Sure, the One Directions won competition after competition and always managed to overcome the antics of that feisty Sue Sylvester, but it wouldn’t be the story of an underdog overcoming the odds without those type of plots. The problem comes when Rachel, the plucky center of the Glee universe, leaves high school behind and moves to New York City to attend an acclaimed performing arts school and less than a year in, is cast as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. This is a young girl fresh out of high school and not even a year into college. Obviously, education is not typically a requirement for a job in the performing arts, as long as the talent and commitment are there. However, it is beyond impossible to accept that any sort of casting director would choose an eighteen year old girl who had never performed on a Broadway stage in her life to revive an iconic role made famous by Barbra Streisand.

Friends

In this show about six twenty somethings navigating through life’s struggles in New York City, it’s not the employment that’s hard to swallow, but the surroundings of the entire show. Monica and Rachel and live in a massive two bedroom apartment with a balcony in Greenwich Village on the salary of a cook and coffee house waitress. In the very first season before Rachel moved in, Phoebe was Monica’s roommate and making the rent by giving freelance massages and the occasional gig playing her guitar. Across the hall are Joey and Chandler, who live in a considerably smaller two bedroom, but Joey is a struggling actor who is often without work at all. In the show, it is explained that both Chandler and Ross have decent paying jobs, but it doesn’t explain how the rest of the cast can afford to pay their bills and still be buying coffee continuously. Not to mention that they all seem to head to work around mid morning and get off around early evening every single day. Now, the characters on this show aren’t exactly right out of college, but at most they’ve been out of school for a few years and as such, is completely unrealistic.

Featured image: Pierre B.

Chelsea Matthews
I'm a wife, a recent English Lit grad, and an enthusiast of all things Disney. When I'm not reading, I can frequently be found at pro wrestling events. Aspiring to one day write the Great American Novel, but until then just following wherever my dreams take me.