Common Ideas: A Student Created Web Series

Imagine that it is 1 a.m. and you walk into the common room of your floor, expecting it to be empty, but instead find a group of students hanging out as if it is late afternoon. They’re complaining about how much work they have to do and how they just want to go to sleep. Yet, they make no effort to do either of those things. This is one example of the kind of situation that inspired the web series, “Common Ideas.”

Trevor Howell, a freshman here at Emerson, is working on writing and directing a web series called, “Common Ideas” this semester. The web series follows the adventures of a few typical college students who spend their nights procrastinating in their common room. The characters are supposed to represent stereotypes that a lot of college students can relate to. The characters, as described on the “Common Ideas” Facebook page, are as follows:

  • Ben: the heart of the common room. He will do anything and everything to avoid work and sleep and is played by Brian Tolep.
  • Lizzie: the logical one. She’s the mom of the common room who likes to be right and hates to be wrong. She is played by Kelly Hutt.
  • Katie: the concerned, confused and sensitive complainer. She is played by Evy Oliverio.
  • John: the angry gamer. He’ll do anything to win at League and is played by Kyle Madigan.
  • Kristi the RA: the stereotypical RA. She does her job or so she thinks. She is played by Morgan Capodilupo.
  • Kevin: the cheerful coffee addict. He enjoys kicking butt at video games and is played by Jack Hobbs.
  • Dante: the stereotypical stoner. When he’s not high he’s well, that’s quite uncommon. He’s played by Trevor Howell.

Each of these characters reminds me of either myself or someone I know. I spend a lot of time in the common room on my floor and am no stranger to the late night shenanigans that occur when a group of college students are willing to do just about anything they can to avoid their responsibilities. Trevor told me some of the web series’ plot was based off of real life experiences he’s had hanging out in common rooms with his friends. The all-nighters or desperate attempts to procrastinate and avoid school work, though pulled from Trevor’s real life experiences, are relatable enough that many college students will be able to see bits and pieces of themselves in these characters. Even if they don’t spend a lot of time in their common room procrastinating, they can certainly relate to the anxiety attached to having a paper due in a few hours and the struggle to choose work, sleep or social interaction.

“Common Ideas” is going to be broken up into six episodes that will be spread throughout the rest of the semester. The teaser trailer for the first episode is already out, and the first episode is due to be released soon. This episode is titled “Sleep is for the Weak” and follows the events that occur when the characters recognize that they should be sleeping but decide to do just about everything else besides going to bed.

When I asked Trevor if he had plans to continue “Common Ideas” beyond the six episodes he has already planned, he told me he has more ideas for future episodes and, if the circumstances allow it, he would be more than happy to continue the web series next semester.

If you’re interested in watching “Common Ideas” you can visit the Facebook page for more information. The first episode is due to be up on the YouTube Channel soon, so stay tuned.

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