Common Ideas: A College Snapshot

One of the great things about going to school at Emerson is that my peers always seem to be working on their own personal projects. I know WLP majors who are self-published, actors who have gone out for Broadway audition, and VMA majors who are shooting films and web series. It’s inspiring to constantly be around creative people who are immersed in their own projects outside of school work.

Last semester, I wrote a post about a web series called “Common Ideas,” which a friend of mine, Trevor Howell, wrote and directed. This was just a preview of the series, since at the time there were no episodes actually out yet, but now a few months later, the last episode is out, and it’s time to bring the series to an end. I found the series funny, enjoyable, and relatable. Maybe it was because I knew a lot of the people involved in the making of the project, but I found myself getting excited every time a new episode was uploaded.

Without giving too much away, here is a brief overview as well as my opinion on each episode.

Episode One: “Sleep is for the Weak.”

The pilot of “Common Ideas” is bound to be relatable to almost anyone watching, especially if the viewer is a college student. The episode revolves around the main characters as they procrastinate doing work and complain and how all they want to do is sleep. Last year, I had a friend group a lot like this one, where we would all hang out until late at night in the common room. We would often go to bed later than we ever planned to, so this episode definitely hits close to home.

Episode Two: “The College Triangle.”

The plot of this episode centers around an article the characters find on Buzzfeed. They then use this article as the source of their procrastination. I know that sometimes I’ll sit down to do homework and then without even knowing it, I find myself distracted on Facebook or Twitter.

Episode Three: “Procrastination Theory.”

A web series about college has to have an episode about procrastination. While the series itself is mostly about procrastination, this episode is completely dedicated to the idea of it. In fact, it’s probably the perfect episode to watch when you have that five page paper due the next morning.

Episode Four: “Highdeas.”

This episode is, in my opinion, the funniest of the series and it’s one I’ve watched multiple times. One thing I like about this episode, is that before they filmed this, the actor who played Ben broke his hand, so they were able to use this episode to explain why Ben was in a cast. I thought that was creative.

Episode Five: “Origins.”

This is probably one of my favorite ones as well. It was very relatable. From playing video games and Cards Against Humanity, to the awkward small talk that ensues when you first meet new people, I was able to find a situation in my actual life that paralleled to this entire episode. Plus, there was even a name drop to the series title, which is always fun to point out.

Episode Six: “Finals.”

This episode just came out recently, so it was released pretty far away from the others. I think it’s good that this episode came out when it did (whether it was intentional or not) because this episode about finals is right in time for our actual finals week. As I watched this, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of having two stacks of half-finished flash cards that I need to study for my own finals.

While I wasn’t actually involved in this web series, I was able to follow it from an idea to a script to unedited footage, and finally, to the six episodes we have today. Sometimes it can be stressful to be a student at Emerson, because you feel like you always have to be doing extra projects to be successful, but sometimes just watching your fellow peers create something they’re proud of is success enough.

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