Acamedia: Which Degrees Suit These TV Character Classics?

Carly Horne takes us through which TV characters would take which degree.

Carly Horne
1st October 2021
Credit: IMDb

Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey): Psychology

Credit: IMDb

Portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith, Violet Crawley (The Dowager Countess) first graced our TV screens in 2010 with the show’s release on ITV. Ever since, the Dowager Countess has become iconic around the world for embracing quintessential Englishness, her desire to preserve the aristocracy, but mostly, for her clever one-liners. 

But what degree would Violet have studied (if such a thing was suitable for a lady of such high standing)?

Not only is The Dowager Countess incredibly witty, but her ability to understand human nature, to read the people around her and even her compassion (reserved for those she loves) is beyond reproach. Coupled with her ability to solve the most complex of problems and how she isn’t fazed by a challenge – she would definitely have studied psychology.

Malcolm Tucker (The Thick of It): Public Relations

Credit: IMDb

Malcolm Tucker, the antihero of BBC’s ‘The Thick of It’ makes renowned Labour Party spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, look like Mother Theresa. Portrayed by Peter Capaldi, Malcolm Tucker is quick, clever and embraces all the rage expected from a Glaswegian dealing with the amount of incompetence Tucker seems to on a daily basis.

So why public relations if he is so good at his job?

Malcolm Tucker is such a good spin doctor because of his penchant for “graphic sexual imagery” (his own words) and his strong superiority complex – not because he is particularly good at public relations. By studying this to degree level, Tucker could fine tune his abilities in the area, he could learn to stay on the right side of the law and might learn how to do his job without making incredibly violent (though creative) threats at everyone he works with.

Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls): Communications

Just as iconic as the show itself, Lorelai Gilmore is everything anyone born in the 2000s wanted to be: fashionable, fun and seemingly able to eat ridiculous amounts of junk food without gaining a single pound. Lorelai will always be TV’s most iconic mum (at least in my books).

Bound for a liberal arts program at Vassar College (New York), her family’s plans for her were abandoned when Lorelai got pregnant at 16 years old. Though she later returned to study business at a local community college, Lorelai would have been much better suited to a communications degree.

Extroverted in the extreme, frequent to quote obscure popular culture references and incredibly bright; Lorelai would have made a great events planner or social media manager. Though it’s difficult to imagine Lorelai scrolling through Instagram in the corner of Luke’s diner, her creativity alone would have made her a fine choice for any brand’s social media manager.

Joey Tribbiani (Friends): Classical Acting

Credit: IMDb

Of all of the popular culture references that can be made from NBC’s ‘Friends’, it is Joey Tribbiani’s “How you doin’” that will go down as iconic in sitcom history. Though his lack of formal education is sometimes mocked by the rest of the group, Joey can be incredibly insightful and perceptive, as well as confident and charismatic.

Thus, his decision to pursue acting was a good one.

That said, while Matt LeBlanc’s portrayal of Joey Tribbiani is fantastic, his character’s own acting skills are constantly reminiscent of that which one might see on a soap opera. Joey Tribbiani did star on the satirised version of ‘Days of Our Lives’, a real-life soap opera set in Illinois. Undertaking formal training, such as that offered at Julliard or LAMDA, would allow him to better bring his characters to life and to get jobs out with soap opera and theatre.

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