aeqbal

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The appeal of watching hot people find relationships

    Love is Blind. Love Island. Too Hot To Handle. The Bachelor/ette. These are just some of the examples of shows that have loyal followings even though they have nearly identical set-ups and very similar premises: can people find love in a short period of time, removed from their everyday lives? What I find most interesting about this show is, what drives people of all backgrounds to watch it? What makes people sign up for these shows in the first place? How do these shows maintain viewership over the years even though it’s become very clear that these relationships never pan out? Are people less jaded/cynical about love than they profess to be? Or, is it enjoyable to watch them fail? I’d love for someone to share their thoughts on what makes people come back to "reality" TV shows about love/dating, time and again.

    • I think an interesting aspect to cover is that these kinds of reality shows are often guilty pleasures. There are a lot of people who watch these shows but would not ever admit it. That could open an interesting discussion: if they're so popular, why are people so ashamed to admit they like them? – Samantha Leersen 4 months ago
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    • I'd love to hear people's thoughts, because I hate reality TV dating. :) – Stephanie M. 4 months ago
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    • The very few times I spent a moment here and there watching this stuff, I assumed the idea was get beyond the physical looks to obnoxious personalities. – Joseph Cernik 4 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    So happy to see this article! While Disney deserves much of the praise it gets, it’s important to remember that it’s not the be-all-end-all of animation or musicals. I’m most familiar with Anastasia on this list; I love that movie because its themes and characters hold up even today. And, the animation is enchanting–I love that they didn’t shy away from a bit of gore with Rasputin, and made Anya a worthy adversary. I’ll have to check out the other ones on this list!

    Five Animated Musicals That Are Not Disney

    I initially wasn’t going to watch Into the Spider-verse because, while I’m a fan of superhero movies, and MCU/Spider-man ones in particular, I didn’t think it was a film made for me (a girl who’s never read any of the comics). I am so glad I did; I remember telling anyone who would listen in the weeks after that the creators of this movie truly re-invented the wheel with this one. I had never seen any animation style like this one, or frames like the ones in this film; it was simply stunning from beginning to end. This essay did a great job of contextualizing just how great a feat it was; thank you for filling in the blanks!

    Into the Spider-Verse Provides Hope for Mainstream Animation

    Loved reading what you had to say about this! Your identification of the three models of cult films really resonated with me; it made a lot of movie-watching experiences make sense in retrospect. I found the part about the movie being misrepresented by its advertising particularly fascinating. It called to mind this article about the marketing for Jennifer’s Body (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/louispeitzman/jennifers-body-diablo-cody-karyn-kusama-feminist-horror) I read a while back that really provides a case study for exactly what you’re talking about here. Thanks for this!

    The Journey of Cult Films

    This essay does a really thorough job of explaining the philosophy behind the show in a digestible way–admirably, just like the show does! To that point, I think it’s important to address how well the show balances accurate education with entertainment value, as you point out. As the show itself says, it’s not as if everyone loves moral philosophy majors, but seemingly everyone I know who has watched this show likes it, which I think is a testament to the writers’ ability to take a hefty academic topic–moral philosophy–and distill it into tangible actions and relatable stories that resonate with people more than simply reading theory ever could.

    The Good Place: Philosophically Sound?