Netflix is putting together a new show about academics and the chair of an English department which, to be honest, sounds like it could be about petty, trivial conflicts and excessive over-reactions after prolonged over-thinking, which could be exhausting. But then I learn that two of the people behind the show are those overpaid jerk-offs, Benioff and Weiss, who drove Game of Thrones into the ground, which gives me hope. Anyone who watched any of the featurettes at the end of each episodes knows that those two are dull, dry pontificating twits, and therefore they know the material that has to make up the content of any show about academia. Also, it means the show will feature gratuitous nudity and bloody violence, two things that tend to be lacking around university departments, but which would definitely elevate our appreciation of events. Who hasn’t dreamed of crushing the skull of the departmental chair, or silencing that bore who won’t shut up at the planning meeting with a crossbow bolt? (Note: I am currently the discipline coordinator for biology here, and I’m sure none of my colleagues have ever had such a thought.)
Right now, they’re at the casting stage, and they’ve got Sandra Oh and are trying to hook Scarlett Johansson, because she has to be in everything. I’m going to recommend when they’re scouting locations that they check out the University of Minnesota Morris. Imagine an academic dramedy that takes place in an isolated antarctic research station; we’re the closest thing to that you’re going to get, academic life enclosed in a tiny, remote bubble. We’ve already got a wild cast of extras to fill in the gaps, and all you need to do is add a CGI shapeshifting alien, and the story writes itself.
Except the ending. I have no idea how it would wrap up, but with Benioff and Weiss behind it, who cares? We’ll just kill a few faculty and go hang out at the Old #1 Bar and be done.