I used to be under the impression that I had grown out of the style of comedy where people take turns delivering comedic banter about various social topics. However, a newly established Stags TV web series called “The Syllabus,” created by sophomores Atdhe Trepca and Stan Grunder, is a refreshing relief from the unquantifiable amount of student-made YouTube sequences that do nothing for the viewer other than give them second-hand embarrassment for those involved in their production. “The Syllabus” maintains a witty commentary throughout all 16 of their videos, which outline many of the bizarrely amusing realities associated with being a college student.
What really separates “The Syllabus” from other poorly made student videos, and what immediately stood out to me, is the quality of the video editing. It is constructed in a way that the commentary segments flow seamlessly from one to another, letting the jokes play off each other. They also have a consistent panel of students who critique college life as they themselves have become accustomed to it. This consistency is crucial to its ability to actually make its viewers laugh because after a few videos, you begin to feel familiar with the individual style of comedy that each panelist brings to their commentary.
My biggest complaint with “The Syllabus” has to be that I had no idea that it even existed. I didn’t notice advertisements on campus; and, while I am actually familiar with some of the students who helped construct this video, I had still heard nothing via word of mouth. The obvious amount of effort and creativity that is put into each video only makes it that much more frustrating that the video with the most views is only at 1,800 when it has had over three months to establish itself.
The only episode that I decided to refrain from watching after exactly 46 seconds was “How to Use the Bathroom,” because my personal take on this is that if I am watching these videos by choice, for a laugh in my free time, then the last thing I want to be doing is updating myself on other people’s bathroom habits. However, if that kind of humor is up your alley then have at it.
The vintage video clips used in a few episodes, such as “How to Party,” were definitely a nice touch and are something that I would like to see more of. A slight break from the general commentary with a personal story or even a story heard through the grapevine could also enhance the humorous rhetoric.
The aspect of “The Syllabus” that gives me hope that it could possibly experience significant success is that the topics and examples given do not just pertain to Fairfield students, but to all students in college. These videos have something for every kind of college student to relate to. For those who are reading this, in the many hours of procrastination that I know are to come in your near future, I would suggest giving a few of these videos a try. They are definitely good for a laugh and it’s always good to support your fellow stags.
Although it’s hard for me pick, if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be “The Morning After” because I know we’ve all been there. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/thesyllabusshow.