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TV Shows/Movies About Grad School
June 17, 2014 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Are there any TV series or films with a college setting where the main characters are graduate students? Difficulty: No law schools or medical schools. Thanks for any tips!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Welllll...in the beginning of "Alias," the main character was a grad student (in English, I think). But it was just SO ridiculous that they dropped it at some point. Grad student by day, special agent by night? Hilarity.

There's PhD: The Movie, which is probably way more realistic. Haven't watched it yet myself.
posted by wintersweet at 6:07 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Are the students in Wonder Boys MFAs? They might be undergrads.

Also, this Straight Dope thread reminded me of The Last Supper.
posted by box at 6:17 PM on June 17


One of the main characters in Orphan Black is a grad student.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 PM on June 17


The obvious one is Big Bang Theory. As a grad student I have often bemoaned the lack of a better representation!
posted by oinopaponton at 6:20 PM on June 17


The Addiction is about a philosophy graduate student.
posted by leahwrenn at 6:26 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


There's My Sex Life...or How I Got into an Argument. I only made it halfway through as the stuffy melodrama of their silly, tiny world annoyed me even more than grad students in real life.

The tv show Felicity had several grad student characters over the course of the seasons, but I don't remember if any were a core character (there were a large amount of new revolving characters in that show, however).
posted by Blitz at 6:36 PM on June 17


Candyman.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:36 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


The movie Answer This! I'm not sure to what extent it's about graduate school in general though, I haven't actually seen it.
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:40 PM on June 17


Marathon Man, with Dustin Hoffman in jeopardy. Weirdly, it makes me want to go to grad school.
posted by deliriouscool at 6:42 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


There are a number of options listed in this straight dope forum question, including Creator, Possession, The Last Supper and several more.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:51 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


The Rite is about a seminarian. It's also terrible.
posted by Jahaza at 7:22 PM on June 17


The character Amita Ramujan is a graduate student for the first two seasons of the TV show Numb3rs.
posted by Jahaza at 7:25 PM on June 17


Graduate students from MIT and Harvard figure in Good Will Hunting.
posted by Jahaza at 7:31 PM on June 17


One of The Five Year Engagement's main characters is a grad student (post-doc?) in psychology, and the stresses of grad school are a major plot point.
posted by lunasol at 8:00 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


IMDB keyword search for graduate student contains lots of movies/TV I've never heard of but might fit the bill.
posted by wondercow at 8:04 PM on June 17


Real Genius has a mix of undergrads and graduate students, but they're doing grad school-level work (not counting the popcorn).
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:08 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


the tv show "numbers" involves grad school stuff.
posted by nadawi at 9:39 PM on June 17


oh crap just reread, main characters aren't grad students but it still figures pretty prominently.
posted by nadawi at 9:42 PM on June 17


There's a spoof on the Simpsons called "Hannigan, M.F.A."
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:53 PM on June 17


There's a Channel 4 (UK) show called Campus that has some grad school characters and some professors. Excellent underrated comedy series that sadly wasn't picked up beyond the first season.
posted by guster4lovers at 12:21 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


The central characters in the TV series Boston Common were undergrads, but there were some recurring graduate student characters too, I seem to recall.
posted by bertran at 1:57 AM on June 18


One of the main characters in Possession is a graduate student in English literature. I can't say how well it portrays the graduate student life, though — the novel did a good job of it, but the movie (which I haven't seen) may be different.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:57 AM on June 18


"Dark Matter" -a 2007 film about graduate students with Aidan Quinn & Meryl Streep & based on true events - ticks all your boxes!

imdb's clunky plot summary: Liu Xing is a scholarship boy from China, newly arrived in Salt Lake City, a graduate student in cosmology, in Utah to study in Professor Reiser's prestigious program. Back in China, Liu Xing's parents are proud of him, and he dedicates himself to fulfilling their hopes. All the graduate students in the program work on projects that extend and further Reiser's model of the origins of the universe. Liu Xing does well until his own theories move him away from Reiser's. Will Reiser and the department recognize Liu Xing's brilliance? Can the young man's benefactor, Joanna Silver, intercede?


This is one of those movies where the imdb rating (6.2) seems nuts. I saw it just once, probably on cable, a few years back & thought it was utterly gripping (Quinn & Streep are both fantastic as is Lui Ye, the lead).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:35 AM on June 18


Welllll...in the beginning of "Alias," the main character was a grad student (in English, I think).

Education, IIRC. Not that it mattered to the plot.

Another one to add to the list, though, is Primeval, which features a paleontology PhD student as one of the leads.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:20 AM on June 19


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