U. Maryland likes its WB

Thanks to my friend Ang (Okulaja Fan) for sending this in.

U. Maryland likes its WB

Updated 12:00 PM ET December 1, 2000

By Leslie Flint
The Diamondback
U. Maryland

(U-WIRE) COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The phones stop ringing, the textbooks close
and the away messages are put up on AOL Instant Messenger. No, it’s not nap
time, or even dinner time, but rather “Dawson’s Time,” a weekly hour break
that causes college students to scramble up to find the coziest spot in
front of the TV and emerge themselves into the romance and drama of
adolescent love.

“Dawson’s Time,” is not merely a sickness shared by a few students; it is a
symptom of a much larger disease: A WB obsession.

Many University of Maryland students said that while they do not watch a lot
of TV, they follow at least one show on the Warner Bros. network.

Sophomore communication major Lauren Tafflin watches Dawson’s Creek every
week with her roommate. Tafflin, who likes to analyze the show, gets annoyed
when her roommate talks during the good parts.

“Sometimes she will start talking on the phone right during one of the
feeling moments,” Tafflin said. “You know, during one of those moments’.”

Dawson’s Creek is just one of the many shows airing on the WB. Other shows
popular among students include Felicity, Popular, 7th Heaven, Roswell, Buffy
the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Sophomore elementary education major Kim Towner said no matter how much work
she and her roommate have, they always find time for their favorite WB
shows.

“We call Wednesdays ‘no work Wednesdays’ because all we do is watch Dawson’s
and Felicity,” she said.

Sophomore neurobiology and physiology major Kieran Coughlin has been
watching Dawson’s Creek since its premiere in 1998. She said when she was in
high school she used to get together with her friends and have “Dawson’s”
parties.

“We all went to someone’s house and ate and talked,” Coughlin said. “It was
the typical slumber party atmosphere.” Now that she’s in college, Coughlin
gets together with the girls on her floor in LaPlata Hall every week to
watch the show.

Freshman letters and sciences major Beth Hafer said she watches Dawson’s
Creek because the “plot is more interesting.” Her friend, listening to the
conversation, raised her eyebrows and looked dubious at Hafer’s use of the
word “plot.”

While the WB network has a host of shows aimed at a young audience, many
students realize the shows offer more escapism than reality.

Freshman letters and sciences major Lindsey Urbaniak said she enjoys
watching the show, but she questions how accurate it is.

“I don’t think it’s realistic, it’s just fun to watch. No one’s really like
that,” she said.

Several students said the vocabulary of the characters is much more advanced
than that of typical teenagers. Freshman chemical engineering major Zach
Tillman said that turns him off to the shows.

“I would watch it because it has an interesting story line, but the dialogue
is a little too over the edge for me,” he said.

Realism aside, many students expressed appreciation for the network’s
offering of programs about people their age.

Shaida Shirmohammadi, a senior decision and information technologies major,
said she regularly watches Dawson’s Creek and Felicity, but she prefers the
latter because it is about college students and the show’s issues are more
realistic than Dawson’s.

“Dawson’s is a little storybook and young,” Shirmohammadi said.

Men on the campus have failed to embrace the network as passionately as the
women.

When Shirmohammadi and her male friend were asked if they watched any WB
programs, Shirmohammadi immediately offered up Dawson’s Creek and Felicity,
while her friend simultaneously wondered “what shows are those?”

It seems the disease may not be infectious.

Whether it was the advanced vocabulary or not that turned viewers off,
Dawson’s Creek does not get the highest rating for shows on the WB.
According to WB Web site statistics, 7th Heaven has the highest ratings for
persons 13 to 34, women 12 to 34, teens and female teens.

(C) 2000 The Diamondback via U-WIRE