Their parents' favorite sitcoms keep showing up as movies, and rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties. At least that's how it seems to the incoming college class of 2014, according to an annual survey of college freshman.
Wisconsin's Beloit College, which has released its "Mindset List" each August since 1998, also says that the new freshmen — most of them born in 1992 — were still in their cribs when the big three networks started to lose their dominance of TV news.
Put together by English and humanities professor Tom McBride and the school's former public affairs director, Ron Nief, the survey was originally created to remind professors to avoid dated references.
Among the other TV and pop-culture references the class of '14 knows (or doesn't know), according to the list:
- Oscar-winning filmmaker Woody Allen has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.
- Fergie is a pop singer, not British royalty.
- Dr. Jack Kevorkian has never in their lifetimes been licensed to practice medicine. But students may know him because of his portrayal by Al Pacino in the HBO biopic directed by Barry Levinson, You Don't Know Jack.
- Clint Eastwood is better known as an Oscar-winning director of smart, sensitive films than as an iconic tough guy in spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry movies.
- Buffy has always been hunting down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High. (The original feature film starring Kristy Swanson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, came out in 1992.)
- Ice-T is the 52-year-old star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — not the rapper who did "Cop Killer."
Noting that grunge rock phenom Kurt Cobain, who died in an apparent suicide in 1994, can now be heard on classic oldies stations, the study says: "The college class of 2014 reminds us, once again, that a generation comes and goes in the blink of our eyes, which are, like the rest of us, getting older and older."