"IVY" Previews Bring a Thoughtful, Artistic Perspective to Harvard Student Life

Ivy screenshot
Courtesy of YouTube

“Most of what we do is fulfill other people’s expectations. You just have to meet them, and you win,” muses a young, female voice. “When what you expect of yourself changes, that’s when things get tricky.”

Harley, played by Juliana Sass '17, muses on the complications of her own expectations.

The voice belongs to Harley, one of five fictional Harvard students to be profiled in the upcoming student-produced web series “IVY.” The series, created and directed—as well as co-written—by Eli Wilson Pelton ‘16, will explore “the intricacies and hilarity of the Ivy League experience” through the lens of five sophomore friends. To promote its upcoming pilot episode, “IVY” has released five short character sketches to give us a taste of what we can expect from the season premiere. In the short clips, friends Harley, Oliver, Luc, DK, and Layla can be seen happily yet pensively meandering together down Dewolfe Street, occasionally pausing to throw snowballs, smoke, and play with an Elmo balloon.

Luc, played by Matthew W. G. Walker '16, contemplates the metaphorically-rich numbing effect of early-morning swimming.

“Have you ever gone out swimming early in the morning? Not in a pool—actually swimming, in the ocean,” ponders Luc (whose parents picked a more artsy way of spelling “Luke”), as the camera alternately blurs and refocuses on his furry pink tiara. “The sun’s not out. The waves are choppy. It starts in your toes and moves its way up until, before you know it, you can’t feel anything. But you keep going, struggling stroke by stroke, to make the break.”

If the high production quality of these short clips are any indication, “IVY” promises to be exciting addition to the Harvard student-produced television landscape--perhaps the soul-searching HBO drama complement to On Harvard Time’s SNL-esque silliness. In the coming months, we can look forward to seeing how “IVY” will explore the archetype of the Harvard undergraduate bildungsroman from a refreshingly uncynical perspective.

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