Everybody has a favorite movie and TV genre. For some, nothing gets their blood pumping like a bloody horror film. For others, a cheesy sitcom is their favorite way to waste a few hours. While I enjoy pretty much anything I watch, I will admit that I do have a favorite. Science fiction and fantasy have always had a way of capturing my attention and imagination and reducing me to my natural state of a fan girl.

It all started when I was 8 years old on a YMCA trip with my dad, when he decided to show me Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope for the first time. From that point on, I was a goner. I wanted to grow up to be Princess Leia, I wanted a pet Ewok and, most of all, I wanted my very own lightsaber. These swashbuckling interstellar adventures played right into half of my greatest childhood ambition: to one day simultaneously be an astronaut and a dolphin trainer at Sea World San Diego. It never bothered me that I was the only girl in my class who liked these movies — the other girls were just missing out.

It may seem obvious now, but Harry Potter was equally important for my growing obsession with the fantastic. Imagine me and my younger sister in our footie pajamas — I’m in kindergarten, she’s in preschool — curled up in bed while our dad reads us the story of The Boy Who Lived and his battles against evil. Talk about formative childhood influences.

Then, in fifth grade, I stumbled upon what many consider to be the Holy Grail of fantasy: the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Was I a little young to be reading these incredibly complex books? I probably was, but it was not only a challenging read but also just the kind of fantastic story my young mind craved. It has grand adventures, fantastic creatures — basically everything I could ever want or need.

Science fiction and fantasy have become very much an addiction for me. Sometimes, I can’t help but feel like I am fulfilling a very sad stereotype when I start another Netflix binge. For example, during Hurricane Sandy, while my neighbors were taking advantage of cancelled classes to party like it was the end of the world, I was curled up on my bed for an 11-hour marathon of “Battlestar Galactica.” I got through the entire first season in one night. It’s almost like I have a personal collection of escapist goodness that I am always seeking to expand — “Star Trek,” “Game of Thrones,” “Doctor Who,” Blade Runner , Super 8, The Once and Future King — nothing is off limits.

Like eight-year-old me, 19-year-old me often finds that I am alone in my excessive enthusiasm for this genre. When I tell people my favorite show is “Doctor Who,” I am always met with eye-rolls and confusion. “YOU like that show? But it’s so weird!” Yes, as a matter of fact, I do, and the weirdness is part of what keeps me coming back for more.

I was thinking about why sci-fi and fantasy appeal to me so much, and I think I figured it out. I love these stories so much because they are so far removed from my real life. Why would I try to escape my problems by watching something relatable? I don’t need characters with realistic problems to worry about on top of my own. I need a rightful king leading an army of ghost warriors into battle against an enemy commanded by a giant flaming eye on top of a mountain. I need a madman with a blue box riding in a carriage pulled by a flying shark. I need Defense Against the Dark Arts and the King in the North. But mostly, I need to distract myself from my less-than-stellar history midterm.

Nicole Jarvis is a sophomore in the College. PARDON MY FRENCH appears every Friday in the guide.

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