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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics


    The 100 and the Importance of Social Issues

    The television show, The 100, had come under controversy and intense scrutiny over social issues during its third season. Issues such as the treatment over LGBTQ characters and rape culture. However, the 100 has tackled social issues in earlier seasons and those issues were not scrutinized nearly as harshly.

    Some of the earlier social issues tackled by the show were mental illness (Jasper has had two accounts of PTSD) and the roles of women. Some of these portrayals are well done and generate positive discussions. Other times the show delves into tropes and goes against its self-proclaimed progressive stance.

    The show would not be under such critical eyes if the show runners had not promoted it as a progressive show.Therefore, the show must be looked at through a progressive lens. It would be interesting to see an article tackle how The 100 portrays various social issues and how these portrayals are perceived by viewers. It should also note the importance of these portrayals and the discussions they generate. The show is targeted at teenagers and young adults and it is interesting to see how this show has generated discussions online. Explain why these discussions matter. The response to certain aspects of the show have been negative, but the discussions afterwards have led to positive insights. The show has only aired 3 seasons but it has tackled various social issues that can be explored in further detail.

    • I hope that in future seasons they don't box Clark into strictly female relationships just because it's an easy way to show lesbian relationships without introducing a new character. They did a fine job with the common-place reactions of everyone in the show to the gay guard's relationship so they should be equally fluid representing Clark as bisexual. – Slaidey 8 years ago

    The Psychology Behind Shipping

    "Shipping", a term used to describe fans’ desire to see two or more people engage in a relationship romantically or platonically, is a phenomenon in all media. There are many types of "ships", such as canon, cargo, or crack, that fans desire and actively engage with in the community. This engagement includes fan fiction and fan art. The "shipping" phenomenon can lead to conflicts within a fandom. This is the case with "ship wars", where fans actively argue, harass, and belittle other fans in a fandom over preferences in "ships".
    The question is why do people engage so passionately with the notion of "ships?" What is the psychological basis for "shipping?" Why do people fight over which fictional relationship is "OTP" (one true pairing) and which is not? Is "shipping" more prevalent in a certain demographic and why?

    • "Why do people fight over which fictional relationship is "OTP" (one true pairing) and which is not?" An audience's desire for an OTP perhaps stems from the notion of a "soulmate." It is obviously more romantic to think that there is one person on Earth (and in some stories, in all the universe) that is uniquely suited to be with the protagonist. The existence of another person similarly suited to be with the protagonist threatens the notions of "true love" and "destiny," so said person must be removed. – Edwardss4 8 years ago
    • I think most of time shipping is caused by wish fulfillment on the part of the fan. For example, on the show Arrow, the Olicity pairing stemed from a mostly female fanbase projecting their desire for the unattainable, sexy Oliver by using the nerdy, awkward Felicity. – frannybello 8 years ago

    The History and Impact of the Cliffhanger

    The cliffhanger has become increasingly common in television as a means to sustain an audience’s interest. Explore the history of when and how the cliffhanger originated. Also analyze the impacts of the cliffhanger? Does it engage an audience and make them want to continue watching the show to see what happens? Does a cliffhanger’s impact depend on the duration of wait time between episodes or seasons? Or is the cliffhanger losing impact and resulting in frustrated viewers?

    • I believe with most trends in television show narratives they are designed to manage flow across (extended watching in a daypart) and through (continued watching in a week), which are programming principles. Ratings data is more powerful when there are "blocks" of programming, so networks (used to) bundle a series of new or anchor shows in primetime in the hopes of branding things like "Must See TV" for example. Sadly, I wish there was something more interesting afoot with cliffhangers, but they really are the oldest trick in the book that dates back to radio serials of the 30-40's. – Jason052714 8 years ago
    • No, no please don't dis the cliffhanger. As long as the conclusion is satisfying and delivers then it is okay to use it. Maybe the writer of this topic could look at the some of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. Remember "24"? The solutions were as Byzantine and created more questions than answers. – Munjeera 8 years ago
    • Maybe talk about why cliffhangers effect us and how they effect us. What is the science behind why they make us want to watch more or why they anger us so much. Look at how fans reacted to cliffhangers and why they reacted in this way. Even maybe explore why writers of the show use cliffhangers and if they are useful to keep people interested in show. – Mel 8 years ago

    Musicians and Alter-Egos

    Many musicians have adapted alter-egos throughout their careers. Famous examples include Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter and Beyonce as Sasha Fierce. Explore the appeal behind musicians adapting alter-egos, what function an alter-ego may serve for a musician, and analyze possible psychological reasonings behind the decision to adapt an alter-ego.

    • I am immediately drawn to this idea. It would be a great theme to explore. The idea could possibly extend to include or reference the use of "masks" in public spaces, like Sia's hairpieces or Karin Dreijer Andersson's use of makeup to cover her appearance. – Lady Cinephile 8 years ago
    • Do these really work? Rappers have attempted this i.e. Old Dirty Bastard, Osiris, Dirt McGirt or but never seem to stick. Artists reinventing themselves like Garth Brooks seem to be a much more publicized effort, yet tend to bomb commercially. – Jason052714 8 years ago
    Write this topic

    The Rise of YouTube

    Explore the history and growth of YouTube. What is the cultural and societal impact of YouTube? YouTube is now more than memes and funny videos, it is a career for certain individuals. There is a plethora of YouTube celebrities whose main job is to upload viral videos. Their fame in different than that of a movie star. Explore the reasons as to why this has come to be and what does it say about culture and society?

    It may also be interesting to look at popular viral videos. Viral videos tend to be popular for a short period of time (Harlem Shake) and then the fad fades. How do these videos impact YouTube in general, and what it may say about our evolving society?

    • I feel that this topic is a good one, and is relevant, but perhaps this topic could be better with some analysis on the personality of such YouTubers and how they influence their viewers to make a difference in the world. – BethanyS 9 years ago
    • I would definitely read this, but I agree that narrowing it down would be helpful. There are lots of differing things that have shaken up the youtube community, such as the sexual assault accusations of multiple British you tubers, break-ups, stars coming out, etc. Maybe balance the scandals/more surprising revelations with your original positive topic. – Taylorsteen 9 years ago

    The History of Tomb Raider

    With the recent release of "Rise of the Tomb Raider" Lara Croft is once again thrust into the spotlight. Explore the history of the Tomb Raider series. Highlight the highs and the lows of the series, and how the series changed gaming. There should also be an exploration of how the Tomb Raider herself changed the face of gaming and became a new gaming icon.

    • I very much agree with this. Maybe it's just my opinion but I'd like to see the older storylines adapted into the more recent developmental models and gameplay. – TheBrunette77 6 years ago

    The Pros and Cons of Exclusives

    Compare the pros and cons of exclusives and the effect of exclusives on gaming. Exclusives may promote a console, but it also alienates gamers who do not have a certain console. Also, look at the effect of time exclusives, as well as third party exclusives. Should exclusives be limited to new IP’s, such as ‘The Last Of Us’, or already established series? ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ got a lot of negative feedback when it was first announced as an Xbox One exclusive (now known to be a timed exclusive) since the rebooted ‘Tomb Raider’ was already established on PC and PlayStation consoles.

    Are exclusives a hindrance to gaming, a benefit, or both?

    • When it comes to exclusives, often promoting their own system is the idea. But at the same time too, if every game was available for every system, most people would just port it to the PC. That's often a common criticism of most Xbox games since its microsoft. Another possible point to bring up its just the cynical attitude of console exclusives to such extremes. One perfect example I can think of is that one person actually petitioned Nintendo to bring Smash Bros 3DS to the PS Vita because they didn't want to play it on an "inferior" console. I am NOT kidding. So for me, maybe talk about how the complaints can be very one sided given today's high expectations of game availability. – Ryan Walsh 9 years ago
    • This may slightly branch off from your topic, but one other idea to look into when looking at exclusives is content in videogames reserved for specific systems. Much like how Microsoft bought timed exclusivity for Microsoft or PlayStation bought permanent exclusivity with Street Fighter V, companies like to make deals with developers to have content playable only on their systems to encourage gamers to pick their consoles. On another note more close to your topic, it might also be important to look at how many original IPs are being made compared to old franchises. Most developers prefer to continue existing franchises (Gears of War, Halo, Uncharted, Mario, etc.) rather than create new ones, which also makes companies bank on the success of previous successes to continue to bring back gamers to their systems. – Seth Childers 9 years ago

    Female Empowerment in Game of Thrones

    Game of Thrones has constant controversy surrounding the female characters of the show, especially in terms of rape and female oppression. However, the show also has many elements of female empowerment that tend to get overshadowed by the negatives. Examine how the female characters of Game of Thrones personify female empowerment in not just a physical sense (Brienne of Tarth and Arya Stark) ,but also in regards to mentality (Sansa Stark).

    • It would be good to compare this to the period itself-- many people forget that this is a period piece that represents people in a certain time period (that happened to be very oppressing towards women). Even though this occurs, there are very strong female characters. Are the instances a woman has achieved something that a male could not? Or a time in which a character broke out of her "place?" – Nicole Wethington 9 years ago
    • Game of Thrones isn't a period piece, it's a work of fantasy. Excusing the commodification of women's bodies on the show and excessive use of violence against women as plot devices for realism doesn't make any sense. I don't think you can make an argument that women are empowered when they are raped, abused and used excessively for shock and narrative thrust. The books are a different story though. – Emilie Medland-Marchen 9 years ago
    • There's female empowerment in the show, but HBO is not as interested in that as they are interested in their exploitation. The books walk that line very carefully, and because sex sells, the show does not. – Kathleen Lassiter 9 years ago
    • I think it should also be noted that it does not matter if a female is physically or emotionally or mentally strong in a piece of art in order for the character to be strong. A female character is strong if she isn't a trope, and if she is human. And Game of Thrones in my opinion, has some of the strongest character developments for male and female characters alike. (However, character analysis aside, I still stand by my point that GoT has failed in their portrayals of female rape). – HeatherDeBel 9 years ago

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    Latest Comments


    I remember when my friend handed me the first volume of The Walking Dead while we were eating lunch in the cafeteria. That singular moment got me hooked on a series which, in turn, had just premiered on television. I loved The Walking Dead in all mediums. Now, not so much. The comics I still keep up with but I don’t purchase monthly; I wait for the compendium that goes on sale at my local comic book shop. And I’ve cancelled subscription to AMC since the end of season 6.
    Season 6 was a drag. It was all build up to a despicable cliffhanger. The deaths weren’t even a surprise anymore given social media spoiled it the minute season 7 started filming.
    And I’m not even going to talk about Carl because you articulated everything wrong with what they did. My friend had to tell me about Carl and it was the only episode of the season that I watched because I could not believe they would butcher the already downhill series like that. Carl was the coffin being lowered into the ground but Andrew Lincoln leaving the nail that is keeping it shut. There is no reviving the show from this. No second coming as a reanimated corpse of what the show once was. It is a shame, really.
    I first started noticing problems with Beth’s death. It was pure shock value. Her death added nothing to the show. Maggie only remembered her sister in time to mourn for a bit. Daryl continued to grunt, albeit perhaps more sadly. Nothing changed though. It was such an odd choice. Spending so much time on the hospital arc for no meaningful payoff.
    It is such a shame that such a must-watch series became what it is now.
    Although, the show did provide one of my favourite episodes of television with The Grove. It is just unfortunate that there is no way for the show to regain its former shine at this point.

    The Walking Dead: What Led To Its Jeopardy

    Very interesting article. And I appreciate the Incredibles 2 tie-in. That was a movie that surprised me since I was in the minority of not really liking the original Incredibles all too much, but thoroughly enjoyed Incredibles 2.

    I agree with your overall theme presented in the article, especially since I’m in the camp that after this MCU phase there will be a shift in how their superheroes are portrayed.

    True Superheroes Should be Replaceable

    The indie game INSIDE presents many philosophical questions as well. The ending message is still not definitive and everyone I’ve talked to has different interpretations of it.

    Also, I never did finish Bioshock Infinite. Perhaps I should.

    Video Games That Ask Deep Philosophical Questions

    I, personally, very much enjoyed Infinity War. I didn’t find the lack of grieving time to be a hinderance because, ultimately, I understood the movie to be Thanos’ movie. The only death worth grieving in retrospect is Gamora’s in this sense. And her death had its moments of grievance. So, for the movie, I thought it was done really well. 10 years of build up is difficult to compress into 2 x 2.5 hour movies and since this is really only part 1 of 2, it might not be fair to judge the entire thing until next year. But as a stand alone movie, I thought it was good and consequences were felt. Although, if the rumours are true about time travel in the next film then all of these “consequences” would be for moot and, although better for the MCU to not have the Thanos snap happen, it might feel a bit disingenuous in the long run.

    However, the interconnectedness of the MCU movies and television is going to be the tricky navigation part and I worry, too, that the TV Universe is going to feel even more disconnected than it already does.

    Infinity War: Consequences and The Times In Between

    I appreciate the in-depth analysis of each film and it is clear you thoroughly thought about which films to include in your list. I can’t say I agree with your analysis, mostly because I haven’t watched any of the films mentioned. I feel a bit out of the loop now…
    One of my personal favourites that I would consider to go down as a classic is Pan’s Labyrinth. I’ve seen the film multiple times and I still learn something new every time I watch it.

    The 21st Century Films Prepared For Classic Status

    Interesting article. I find myself being selective in my re-reading of books depending on how much I enjoyed it the first time and how interested I am in the topic. More often than not, the books I do re-read are novels I read when I was younger.

    Why Reread Books? The Pros and Cons of Rereading

    Wonderful read. The research and effort you put into this subject really shows. This topic is very relevant and I hope to see more intimate friendships on television because friendship relationships are equally as important, or arguably more important, as sexual romantic relationships.

    Relationship Entertainment: Navigating the Struggle between Romance and Friendship on TV

    The statistics presented in the article actually surprised me quite a bit.

    I applaud you for tackling such a controversial and sensitive topic in an informative, eloquent way.

    How TV Depicts Abortion: From Maude to Miranda