Midnight Pub

"Stuck in a Room" Trope


I love t.v./movie trope where a group of characters is forced to stay in one room or just general space for some outside reason. I especially enjoy them in sitcoms, when the goal usually is to get the characters to realize that they really aren't that different from each other, share some of the same opinions, etc. Quarantine has certainly changed the way I think about this trope because if you live it for long enough it just becomes "Groundhog Day" or "Russian Doll". But, in short bursts, it can mold friendships that weren't there before. "The Breakfast Club" is a textbook example of this trope. It especially makes sense with teenagers because of how adolescence itself is something that they share. The t.v. show "Sex Education" does a really interesting twist on this when it has a group of women from different social groups at a high school write a paper together about what they have in common and they come to the conclusion that they share trauma caused by being sexualized by men. It's heartbreaking but also forms this bond that helps them rally behind one of the girls in a beautiful scene on a bus. When I was an R.A. we had a staff retreat every semester where we would go to some cabin or house in a neighboring small town for a weekend (really somewhere around 24 hours, but who cares). There was something exciting about how the group dynamic being to change once our boss went to bed, along with some of the more private R.A.s. It was understood that in the long hours of the night we would hang out somewhere and share our unfiltered thoughts about life. We'd talk about our futures, sexuality/gender, mental health, religion, politics, etc. Nothing was off the tables unless someone felt uncomfortable and didn't want to continue talking about a particular subject. Those nights hold such special memories for me because it felt like certain walls of professionalism and our lives back on campus were torn down. But the friendships would keep growing even once we were back-- some of us would hang out over and over again in the office late at night, always sharing a part of ourselves. Pre-pandemic I would find myself daydreaming about having these types of experiences with newer friends. I don't want to force intimacy, I just want to get to know my friends better. My partner and I have talked about how the past couple of years since college things feel kinda scripted, where we will have the same type of conversations over and over with people that we want to get to know, very rarely feeling closer to them. If some sharing does happen we are usually the ones to instigate it in the first place. I keep saying that we just haven't found "our people" yet, but we will. (Our older friends still matter a lot to us, it's just that the pandemic has stopped us from visiting them and those dynamics are already in emotional places we like.) I believe a lot of us here share this want to know others better and that's why we are here-- opening ourselves up and seeing what happens.


What does R.A. stand for ?



Resident Advisor, a student who works for Residence Life at a university dorm. At my undergrad we actually called the S.A.s, Student Advisors.



There's a copshow on Netflix called "Criminal: ${EUROPEAN_COUNTRY}" that sticks pretty close to the "stuck in a room" trope. The show seems to use three sets: an interrogation room, an adjacent observation room, and the hallway outside. All of the show's dramatic tension comes from whether the detectives will be able to get the suspect to incriminate themselves or outright confess.