Third-year university student from Australia, majoring in English and history. I study literature to understand more jokes.
Junior Contributor III
The appeal of 'ensemble' tv shows
Friends, That 70s Show, Community, The Office, Modern Family, the list spans kilometres. These kinds of ensemble tv shows, where rather than being just one main character, the focus is on a main group of characters, are incredibly popular today.
This article should offer specific examples of TV shows and what it is about them that people enjoyed.
There is something about this TV show formula that just works, and an article offering an answer to ‘why?’ could be very interesting and insightful.
Escapism and The Sims
Arguably, any type of entertainment offers some form of escapism (which is why we are often drawn to it). However, The Sims seems to present a unique situation.
National Identity Portrayed in Film
Being Australian, I am more than aware that Australia gets depicted in certain ways in film, like in Crocodile Dundee, Australia is portrayed as being home to masculine men who fend for themselves in the outback, have ridiculous accents, are laid-back, etc. This has always fascinated me because its a caricature, not at all like the Australians I actually know.
So, my suggestion is an article that looks at your country of choice. Analyse a collection of films pertaining to that country and interpret how it is depicted. Is it truthful? Or is it only partially truthful? Are they creating a caricature, and if so, how are they creating that? Closely analyse the film here, making sure the article discusses the art in depth.
Do the people of that country agree with how they have been portrayed? Has that shaped the perceived national identity of that country? Do people from abroad stereotype them in the way films have? Is it just humorous, or does it have a more serious, political undertone? Are the stereotypes somehow convenient in the process of story telling?
Look at who makes these films, are film makers promoting stereotypes that belong to themselves, or are they made by people who have never experienced life in that country? What kind of statement does this then make? Perhaps, make an assessment as to WHY filmmakers have chosen to represent your country of choice in this way. Is it artistic, political, or a mixture of both?
The Popularity of 'Reaction' Channels on YouTube
Since the Fine Brothers found YouTube fame with their ‘React’ series (Kids React/Teens React/Elders React/etc.), it seems that channels dedicated to reacting to other media has become prolific on the platform.
Investigate what makes them so popular, is it because they are found genuinely entertaining? Is it because people enjoy having their opinions on a show/album/movie confirmed by someone else? Is it the charisma of the presenter that matters? Is it merely ‘easy’ content to create so it appears to be everywhere because it is just accessible for many creators?
Perhaps an article on this topic could look into the criticism of this video content – it has often been labelled as bottom-tier YouTube content, unoriginal and uninspired.
Can parallels be drawn between reaction channels on YouTube and, say, young adult fiction in literature or reality tv in the television industry? That is, within any industry there exists a hierarchy based on public opinion regarding what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ within that medium. Is reaction YouTube just another example of that? A guilty pleasure genre, perhaps?
I realise this is a lot of ideas thrown into one, so an article on this could be selective in which angles it chooses to pursue, however, ‘reaction’ channels are arguably a cornerstone of YouTube creation, and an article exploring this and its affect on the YouTube community would be an insightful read.
The Politics of a Single Photograph
Often, major historical events are retrospectively represented by a single photograph. Some examples that come to mind are Tank Man at Tiananmen Square, the numerous and harrowing photos that arose from the Vietnam War, or the photograph of the symbolic gesture of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring a handful of red dirt into Indigenous Australian man Vincent Lingiari’s hand.
The Portrayal of Small Towns in TV Shows
I’ve been watching That 70s Show recently and noticed that their small town has a bad reputation, the after-graduation goal is to get out of the dead-end town. ‘Being someone’ means moving away from home. Then, I got to thinking, there are elements of this thinking in many other shows I have seen, Daria, Gilmore Girls, Community.
Twenty-first century English Curriculum
High school English curricula are filled with classics from centuries past. But, in a hypothetical high school curriculum that could ONLY include novels published in the twenty-first century, what would you choose? What considerations would need to be taken into account? What purpose would each text serve? Which genres are best/to be avoided? Is it possible to give a comprehensive education of literature without studying past texts? If so, why/why not?
The phenomenon of seven-second videos.
Whilst video platform Vine has closed down, its legacy of short Internet videos has remained. Investigate the popularity of these short videos. Why are they so popular? What makes them popular? How can a short video reach success – what needs to be included within the short video to make it successful? Is this medium preferred over longer YouTube videos, for example?
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