September 1, 2023 | ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT | By Katie Rowley

For some reason­ – maybe it was the off-campus lease I signed last winter or my slight promotion as Captain of Admission Ambassadors for the Office of Admissions – I decided to stay in Colorado Springs this past summer. I am not sure what I expected: parties every weekend or downtown bar crawls, but the combination of fewer CC students in The Springs and the fact that I am still not yet 21 created a very quiet summer.

Well, quiet for most of the campus; if you found yourself in the basement of my off-campus house, you would’ve heard the cacophony of various TikTok live streams, TV shows, feature films, and fan-made edits, all echoing from myself and one of our subletters, Lexi Kaer ’24.

Before we get too far into our journey through some of the best pieces of media that exist, we need to backtrack to the days following spring semester last year. I had 10 days before my lease started, so I packed up my things and traveled home. Once I arrived, instead of spending time with my parents or friends from high school, I spent the 10 days binging all four seasons of “Succession.”

I began my journey through the twisted and convoluted business drama a week before the series finale was released on May 28. My goal was to catch up so I could watch the premiere with the rest of the world; I streamed like I had never streamed before. Despite my best attempts, I was unable to finish all 28 episodes before the Sunday release. But, within that week, I consumed some of the most riveting and heartbreaking television I have ever witnessed.

Once settled back in Colorado Springs, I tried to convince Kaer to watch the show, but, despite real effort, we decided to switch to a happier series: the hit comedy “Ted Lasso.” It took us just under a month to work our way through all three seasons. We laughed. We cried. We spent too much money on Domino’s cheesy bread and pizza while watching the ever-charming Jason Sudeikis coach many attractive soccer players.

Together, our media consumption summer would continue, but like all good things, our binging of “Ted Lasso” had to come to an end. We spent the month of July keeping up with the weekly released episodes of“The Summer I Turned Pretty.” Our streaming bled into August before culminating in a watch party for the season finale. The watch party was complete with other CC students arriving back to campus, a drinking game, and a “Team Conrad” cake.

The nights we weren’t watching “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” or rewatching the previously aired episodes (something we did a lot), Kaer and I always found ourselves watching one of the movies from the “Hunger Games” trilogy. And when I say always, I mean always.

You might be asking yourself, how many times can someone rewatch the “Hunger Games” movies over one summer? I don’t have a specific number for you, but, if I had to guess, we probably watched “Catching Fire,” the sequel and best book-to-movie adaptation ever made, at least 10 times.

We’d switch on the film as background noise to conversations, endless scrolls through Facebook Marketplace, internship work, and online shopping. Occasionally looking up to appreciate the brilliance of Peeta when he drops the baby bomb or marvel at how attractive Finnick is. Or, we would spend our night fully invested in the film, phones and computers nowhere to be found, remarking on every scene and how amazing the movie is.

Most nights, our viewing of “Catching Fire” would be followed by the commencement of“Mockingjay Part 2,” the second best movie in the series – we were usually too tired to finish it, though.

Our nights almost always ended on TikTok, either watching a livestream of the surprise song set of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour or watching edits of one of the pieces of media we had just been watching. Kaer would airplay her phone to the projector screen and we’d sit in silence as Swift played some of our favorite songs at shows we weren’t attending.

Although my expectations for the summer were different, I could not have found a better way to spend my time in the quiet heat of Colorado Springs. There is very little I have loved more than spending my nights on a mattress one of our previous tenants left and consuming maybe too much media with Kaer.

And I look forward to everything we’ll watch this year.

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