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TV shows to visit Notre Dame

Sam Stryker | Wednesday, October 10, 2012


For those of you who have been holed up in Club Hes studying for midterms, I have an exciting announcement for you – ESPN’s “College GameDay” is visiting campus this weekend as the undefeated Irish take on the Stanford Cardinal. While the excitement for the game is palpable, and students can’t wait to cheer on Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and the “GameDay” gang, I can’t help but think, shouldn’t Notre Dame be thinking bigger than just a football show on ESPN? After all, this is a school that has spawned such television luminaries as Regis Philbin, “SportsCenter” anchor Hannah Storm and that guy who played Ethan Rom on “LOST.” Notre Dame likes to be the best at everything, so here is a list of TV shows the University should shoot for visiting campus.

“The Bachelorette”

Everyone knows if you don’t find your future spouse at Notre Dame, you’re a failure at life. Whether it takes a walk around the lakes or a kiss under Lyons Arch, you better get that ring by spring, baby. In that spirit, why not invite ABC’s smash-hit dating series “The Bachelorette” to campus? Dating challenges for potential spouses could include graduating with the highest GPA in Mendoza (got to bring home the bacon) and making the best fro-yo sundae. If contestants won challenges, they could be rewarded with special dining hall dates (just not at North, duh). As for the Rose Ceremony, I imagine it being held in the 24-hour social space of the contestant’s dorm. After all, we want to respect parietals. Naturally, the winners would receive an all-expenses-paid Basilica Wedding.

“The Real World”

Alright, so MTV’s formula for “The Real World.” Basically pick a random city, choose seven stock characters, put them in an apartment and let the hijinks ensue. But it’s time to change the recipe, Notre Dame-style. Here’s the premise: take an architecture student, a football player, a girl from Saint Mary’s, a freshman, a law student, an RA and an engineer and throw them into a house on Notre Dame Avenue for a semester. It’s the ultimate Notre Dame social experiment. Who wouldn’t watch this? If the house didn’t burn down by the end of the semester, the ratings could top “Jersey Shore.” Romance, drama and Fighting Irish pride: It’s all there. I’m just not sure MTV would get the housing deposit back.

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians”

By now, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and the rest of the Kardashian clan are starting to get on America’s nerves. What better way to improve their PR image than a trip to America’s heartland? Club Fever may be no Studio 54, but can’t you see Kim throwing down in the Cage? And after all the drama she’s underwent with Scott Disick, wouldn’t it be nice to see Kourtney settle down with a nice Catholic boy? The Kardashians need to be brought down to earth, and I can think of no better way than filming a season of “Kim and Kourtney take South Bend.” 

“Game of Thrones”

Work with me here. I realize unlike the first three shows I’ve suggested, “Game of Thrones” is a scripted drama, not a reality series. But come wintertime, tell me Notre Dame does not feel like it is north of the Wall. Plus, I think the Stark brothers would be a huge hit with the ladies on campus. My only concern is all the beheadings and nudity might get in the way of Notre Dame’s mission of being the preeminent Catholic university in the world. Then again, if you’ve experienced the “Bun Run” in the library or LaFortune during finals week, Notre Dame may seem right at home in the hedonistic world of Westeros and Essos. And who wouldn’t want to watch University President Fr. John Jenkins match wits with King Joffrey.


Notre Dame may be a Catholic school, but that doesn’t mean students are above a little cutthroat competitiveness. Let’s put our values to the test with a season of CBS’s flagship reality competition. Challenges include a sprint up and down South Quad in the middle of winter, a quarter dog-eating challenge and climbing Stepan in Uggs or Sperrys. We can even divide the tribes by college: Mendoza (the “real-world experience”) against the rest of the field (the “academics”). Last tribe member standing wins a full-ride scholarship to the University.

While a visit from “College GameDay” is exciting, here at Notre Dame we don’t settle, we excel. So cross your fingers and pick up the remote. Here’s to hoping Notre Dame is featured in a more exciting television series soon.

Contact Sam Stryker at [email protected]