By Grace Ghee and Mackenzie Kokal, Loyola Sophomores
Stuck in the house with nothing to do because of COVID-19, Loyola students’ lives changed drastically going from bars and clubs to watching Netflix in their pajamas.
While many businesses and companies failed to stay open, Netflix subscriptions continued to grow due to the ongoing battle with the pandemic.
From January to the end of March of 2020, Netflix gained almost 16 million subscribers, despite new streaming services arising. By the end of the year, Netflix surpassed 200 million subscribers.
With college students being a huge target market for Netflix, they took advantage of the quarantine and released shows to fill the free time of students.
From “Tiger King” to “Bridgerton,” students found themselves significantly changing their watching habits. Many starting with easy to watch comedies to intense and attention grabbing shows.
Loyola students shared how their taste in TV genres developed throughout the quarantine.
Isabella Martirano (18), a freshman, said, “before quarantine I wasn’t a big TV person, but ever since we went to quarantine, I started watching a lot more TV like documentaries.”
Many students relied on the comedic release that these shows provided in order to bring some laughter and happiness to their lives. But, as time went on some found it too difficult to focus on happiness and instead were overcome by the constant tragedies of the pandemic.
One sophomore, Isaac Villegas (19), said, “I used to watch a lot of funny shows on TV like ‘South Park,’ but now I watch a lot of documentary shows on Netflix. I thought that the sense of humor of the shows like ‘South Park’ helped outweigh the reality of what was happening in real life.”
From comedy to drama, students found this shift in genres to be common as quarantine dragged on.
Sophomore Niko Modeas (19), said “I started watching more in depth series because of all the free time I’ve had on my hands which allows me to really focus on a show like ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘Peaky Blinders.’ Before quarantine I would have watched shorter sitcom type shows like ‘Friends’ because I had less time to invest in a plot line.”
While many enjoyed sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation, other students shied away from intense shows in fear of triggering anxiety that the pandemic had brought upon them.
Sophomore Maggie Christy (20), said, “I think I’ve watched less ‘thriller’ shows or shows that mentally scare you since the pandemic already does that. I kind of watched a lot of Disney-Plus and shows from my childhood to feel something.”
While many changed their tastes as the pandemic grew, there were students who felt that it was important to find some normalcy in a time of uncertainty. Finding an escape of reality generally seemed to be the number one goal.
Peter Didomenico (20), a Loyola sophomore said, “I’ve watched the same couple shows for the entire quarantine, I’ve just watched them over and over again because it helped me stay in my comfort zone. When everything was so crazy and unexpected watching the same shows helped make some things feel normal.”
As expected, the COVID -19 restrictions has caused students to turn to Netflix to escape the reality of the pandemic. Many found comfort in shows when there was a lack of happiness in the world surrounding them. Using Netflix as an escape proved to be a key part of many students’ lives.
Zach Brandle (19), a sophomore, puts it best as he said, “I actually started watching shows to give me something to do.”