Comic books, back in the day, were the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest. They were painful narratives that made us think, that put our problems into the perspectives of a false world so a hero could show us they can be solved and the villains of our lives vanquished. Unfortunately, the solutions are solely on the page or on the screen, now with the Netflix series’ of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but does that erase the effect they have on us as viewers and readers?
Do the shows take some issues too far? Present them too blatantly or too straight-forward for escapism?
Are they too real and too relevant? Or exactly what we need?
Something else to consider would be whether or not the intention of comic books is still escapism. As entertainment becomes increasingly politicized, the escapism aspect may sit on a balance with a desire to provide political commentary. If you wanted to do that more broadly, too, you could look at the balance of escapism and commentary in modern comic books or their adaptations (like Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage), which I feel like is what you might be trying to do. There's an excellent article about Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing his run of Black Panther which touches on this --> http://kotaku.com/ta-nehisi-coates-is-trying-to-do-right-by-marvel-comics-1769418783 – Sadie Britton6 years ago
I think the subjective nature social consciousness makes this a hard question to answer. Comics have always run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to uncomfortably real but a lot of that is in the personal interpretation. Most comics aren't going to be as clear in their messaging as Captain America punching Hitler in the face. The X-Men arose as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement but not every white comic reader in the 60s was thinking "I see, this is like how we treat black people". However black comic readers may have connected with the story in a different way. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both seemed overtly political but technically were recreations of plot lines that were decades old. When Brock Turner is making headlines, Jessica's inability to consent holds more weight. When Black Lives Matter plays a large part in the political sphere, a bulletproof black guy (in a hoodie) holds more weight. Your environment and your gender/racial/sexual identity change whether you view it as a nice work of fiction or a very political one. – LC Morisset6 years ago
Whoever decides to write a piece about this topic, must keep the line about comic books being "the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest." Otherwise, no success will be achieved. – T. Palomino5 months ago
A new Netflix original movie has caused a bit of a stir in the land of social media. A story about a teenage girl that feels isolated because of her height, has faced criticism for its focus on what people think is a rather minuscule issue. Does Netflix owe it to its viewers to produce content that centers around oppressed societal groups? That gives its voice to people that need it? Or is content really just that, meaningless content?
I think something important to keep in mind whilst writing this would be the fact that there are two sides to this argument. Yes, it may seem as minor issue for most, but different situations affect people differently. No matter how mindless or meaningless this movie might seem to most of the general public, the general message of loving yourself for who you are is an important message for younger people in this day and age. I think Netflix producing "Tall Girl" and them needing to produce content that centers around oppressed societal groups are not mutually exclusive. Maybe it would be worth exploring more the idea of having all the content possible rather than this duality of if you have one, you can't necessarily have the other. – mariannelabrie3 years ago
Though this has been a topic on the minds of filmmakers for a few years, consider the effect an environment non-dependent upon ratings has upon visual storytelling. How did media service providers like Netflix and Hulu change the film and television industry when, in addition to distribution, they began dabbling in production?
I think services like Netflix focus on number of new subscribers, rather than ratings to evaluate their platform, so this might play into the way film has evolved for them. – Andi4 years ago
Netflix, AmazonPrime, and Hulu provide people with TV shows and movies that remind them of the good old days! Rugrats, Doug, Hey Arnold, The Sixth Sense, Casper, The Twilight Zone, Charmed, and more! Yep! Those were the days! – autenarocks4 years ago
To me, Netflix and these other online media servers have created a space where non-mainstream stories are developed and aired; some examples include international film/TV and stories with POC, LGBT, and/or disabled people as protagonists. – Paula R.4 years ago
This is such an important thing to research and stay interested in. These streaming companies are only getting more popular and continue to see revenue increases. I attended Sundance this year and Hulu swept the sales- an unprecedented move by a streaming service. This is becoming the new normal. A positive to be found is one that is perhaps best stated by Alfonso Cuarón, when speaking about his film Roma being funded by Netflix. He believes Roma would've never been able to reach the audience the film was meant to (lower-class people around the globe) were it not for the accessibility of Netflix. An interesting take I'd say! – NellGeer3 years ago
What’s interesting about these platforms is that they are both a major studio *and* indie platform rolled into one. Theoretically Netflix could air a major 100m blockbuster on one day and a 1m iPhone shot drama the next, and their model stays the same. Because they’re revolutionised by the pay model, for the fact consumers directly subscribe, they have much more freedom to both appeal to the masses & niche interests than a studio worried about the bottom line, who need bankable projects with huge returns to survive. The only thing that threatens streaming platforms now is the replication of the Netflix model in too many places, leaving consumers unable to subscribe to all of them. Their proliferation could be their eventual undoing. – A J. Black3 years ago
Should the response from a community influence a producer to continue a series or not? There is some precedence: Chuck was at risk of being canceled but was renewed after fans submitted their distress to the producers. I know of others also, but not well enough to name them specifically. However, recent cancellations of shows have resulted in outrage from communities of fans (Sense8) but these responses did not make the shows come back in the same way.
I do believe that in some instances fans can help make networks and the like sit up and take notice of what the fans what. Take for instance the tv series 'Lucifer', it was cancelled by Fox but fans started an uproar on social media and Netflix was the one to renew the show. But other times even if a series is amazing to certain viewers, the networks and higher up concentrate more on business side of things and film and television are a business these days. If they don't get the viewers or the ratings, sometimes even with all the outrage and petitioning from fans, it can't help. There is one particular film which comes to mind, 'Vampire Academy', which is based on a series of novels. I am a fan of this film and signed all the online petitions and tried my best to help get the second film made, but when it comes down to it, the fans couldn't help even though I think it would have been amazing.
This is an idea I do think society should expand on because fans are sometimes what can keep a show from continuing or not and outlets such as social media can help bring light to cancelations. – ambermakx4 years ago
Since 13 Reasons Why Season 2 was released on Netflix a few days ago, there has been many conflicting opinions on the show. Some say it is informative and applaud it for raising awareness in ways no other show dares to do while many find the show extremely offensive, saying it glorifies and misrepresents mental illness as well as showing graphic scenes concerning matters such a suicide and rape that can be incredibly triggering for those suffering. What are your thoughts?
I've watched both seasons of this show and as a fan, I admire that it's tackling serious issues that teens struggle with in high school. I personally find that it raises awareness of those issues. It's one of those shows were some people will enjoy it, while others might hate it for exposing too much. – nomfyrocks5 years ago
I have to agree with nomfyrocks. I think a lot of people judge 13 Reasons Why too harshly, and are too critical of what it brings to the table. Yes, there are absolutely things which could have been done more sensitively, more politically correct, more appropriately. However, I think the people critiquing the show are not bothering to understand the entire purpose of a show like 13 Reasons Why in the first place. It is not a show everyone will be comfortable watching, but it is a show that brings awareness to a difficult topic and teachers viewers a wildly important lesson. Many of the people who originally watched and took issue with the show are individuals who have suffered from mental health or considered suicide, or at least individuals who already understood mental health and what it is like to be bullied to some extent. Meanwhile, many of the people who praise the show also suffer from mental health or have considered suicide. I think it really depends the lens you the view the show in, and how you interpret the meaning and purpose of it. In my opinion, the major purpose of the show is to teach people (who maybe do or do not understand/suffer from mental health) that their actions have consequences, and that all people will react and feel differently to the things they do. The major theme they are contending with here is that people kill people (or drive them to death) with cruelty and ignorance. The purpose of the show is not to teach individuals suffering with mental health or individuals being bullied how to cope or what to do. The purpose is to teach people to be more considerate and aware, and not to do things which will eventually make people feel they have no other choice but suicide. Obviously individuals who already understand mental health and what it is like to be bullied may have different responses, based on their individual perspectives and experiences. However, although the show can be interesting or beneficial to those people, it is not intended to those people. It is intended for the people who have or could become the reasons why someone else considered suicide, to make them accountable and aware of their actions. I think when faced with the prospect that your cruelty or ignorance could result in driving someone to suicide, majority of people will rethink the way they behave. The show might not be perfect, but I think some of the more difficult scenes to watch might actually drive this message home to people who are or could become one of the reasons why. – nicdanex5 years ago
I would like to start off by asking what does a glorified and misrepresentation of a mental illness look like? What does a accurate representation of a mental illness look like? I personally believe that season 2 of "13 Reasons Why" would have not had a better time to be released. The "glorified representation of mental illness" was shining light on issues that are present in someone's life. The great thing about art is, it brings awareness to a bigger picture, awareness that people don't seem to get when watching the news or reading a news paper. Art is the only way to get peoples attention, to show that we are more alike then we know, to show not to take life for granted even if you're dealing with similar circumstances as the characters. There was a reason why "13 Reasons Why" had its warnings before explicit scenes showed, to give audience the choice of following through with the program and shunning away from it. Everyone should have an option, because I understand why people may feel uncomfortable to watch it. But I don't find the season offensive because there is no right or wrong way a person with a mental illness behaves. Everyone has their own triggers and circumstances. – Arispeaks5 years ago
Netflix has become enormously popular and universally used thereby opening doors to many new series and even having series exclusive to it such as Daredevil, Mindhunter etc… Netflix has revolutionised our watching habits because of this and has made the concept of ‘binging’ a television series more commonplace. Discuss its impact on not only our viewing habits but in the entertainment industry as a whole.
My initial reaction is to say that the "binge" culture that Netflix contributes too is negative because it can reinforce the need for instant gratification, but I also see the benefits of streaming services for the entertainment industry in general. Prior to Netflix, premium channels such as HBO and Showtime seem to be the only outlets for for a new series or comedy special with fewer content restraints than basic cable channels. Shows like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things found homes with Netflix, securing funding and meeting few restrictions on graphic content which has led to some amazing viewing. My question would be - is there any accurate data that suggests binging shows is contributing to more of a need for instant gratification? And if so, is it worth it to receive great content through Netflix and Hulu originals? – Aaron5 years ago
I think the biggest impact that Netflix has brought into our society is that you can download, stream and play anything from their massive list of content anytime, anywhere. Think about it. We used to wait everyday to 8PM to watch our favorite shows, and had to wait until the next day for the next episode. We do not have to wait anymore, and we can even be watching at home, in the bus, in the train, in the car, in the patio, really anywhere. We do not have to wait for anything, we do not have commercial breaks, and we can stop a show halfway in because we did not like it, and switch to another one in a matter of seconds. Our viewing habits in 2017 can be summarized into one sentence, "we have complete freedom on our viewing habits". – andresfett5 years ago
I literally just submitted a topic regarding this! I think it is beyond interesting and many people seem to be completely divided on the idea. Sure it's a great idea on paper but what's the affect in reality. – Emily5 years ago
Analyze the depth and breadth of shows ranging from various genres that Netflix as a platform has facilitated. On the whole, the cultural products emerging from this Netflix Originals platform are daring and experimental with a progressive bent. Discuss this choosing a particular set of shows or genre. For me it is striking how many fantastic documentaries they are facilitating. Documentaries that otherwise wouldn’t be produced or would be extremely obscure. The recent documentary on the 13th amendment is amazing, also the recent one covering the minimalist movement shows interesting aspects of countercultural realities.
You could also explore where this counterculture comes from and why. Many of the shows are British, but are they more inclusive, less? Is it based on creators? Age? Or even sex? This could all be explored in a study of the counterculture. – TheSwampThing6 years ago
It would also be interesting to look at the politics of such shows in connection to ist audience. Who watches which Netflix prodcut? Who is reached by Netflix/ Who can enjoy ist content? – Laura Jungblut6 years ago
While it can be said that TV has slowly progressed to tight, more concentrated storylines in the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the uses of drama and suspense with the recent surge of programs that are written for an audience that is expected to digest them all in one sitting. One big troupe characteristic in these binge shows is the steady, unrelenting increase in stakes, giving little time to breath and let tension or peace linger. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Can made-for-streaming shows still be considered TV, or are they moving towards more extended movies?
I like this idea, but I have to say that I am a little worried about how you are going to prove any of these ideas. For example, how will you tangibly prove that binge watching is either bad or good? By what metric will you judge the circumstances? These are factors that need to be considered... – agramugl6 years ago
Agree with agramugl that proving whether or not binge watching is good or bad will be challenging at best, however perhaps this can be compared to potential effects it may have on the way people watch films? Most binge-worthy TV shows are more or less extended films, as you said, particularly with their high production values. Perhaps this could be likened to how a lot of drama/suspense/action films nowadays have a run time of around or over 120 minutes - any less, don't we feel they're not giving us enough? Would anyone bother going to the cinema to watch a short mediocre film, when they can watch something epic on Netflix? – Sonia Charlotta Reini6 years ago
Does YouTube see Netflix as competition? How do they compare and contrast as online streaming video services? Pros and cons of each? Thoughts on which company will likely be more successful in the near future? Will they ever come head-to-head in a pricing war in any of their services?
Um, I'm confused. How do these two streaming services have anything in common with each other? Netflix offers large amounts of movies and TV shows on an unlimited basis for $8 a month. While Youtube charges $2.99 on rentals for all of the films and TV shows they offer, and yet even with Youtube Red now available, they still don't have a pay by monthly streaming service. Amazon and Hulu on the other hand, do, and they would be in much more direct competition with Netflix. Also, something that none of these other services do that Youtube does is allow every day people to upload their own content, no matter how high quality or low quality it is. And that has made Youtube completely its own unique market that only a handful of other smaller sites have attempted to compete with. – Jonathan Leiter7 years ago
I have to agree. Unless youtube changes their model and content or has plans to that I'm not aware of, I'm not really seeing it. – Tatijana7 years ago
Yeah, I agree that YouTube offers a creative platform while Netflix does not, and though Netflix is an extremely popular streaming site, people will use other platforms. Though I know there are sites like Dailymotion, YouTube seems to be way more prominent than other sites that operate as primarily hosting videos. Maybe comparing Netflix to the sites Jonathan Leiter suggested, Amazon or Hulu, would be more compatible and easier because the services are similar? – emilydeibler7 years ago
I disagree with the other posters. I DO think these two services are rapidly approaching each other. First, all entertainment venues are competing for eyeballs. Traditional broadcast TV will often point out that now not only is it in competition with cable TV and video games, but ratings are also down because the market is further fractionalized by streaming services. As for these two big companies, Youtube has begun offering full length movies, both free and for rent on a pay-per-stream basis. Netflix, once primarily the domain of feature films has been moving toward shorter, episodic television as its bread-and-butter, even going so far as launching its own original series. Some of these are hour long programs, some are shorter, half hour programs, many are even shorter than that. It's first success story was reviving Arrested Development at an average runtime of less than 20min per episode. While Netflix is more directly in competition with Amazon and Hulu at this time, Youtube is not to be discounted. – Eric7 years ago
Netflix stands by its method of releasing an entire season of a show at once; House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are all successful shows that have used this method. How will this change the television series model? Will cable television shows lag behind due to the extra space between each episode’s release? Without the concept of screen time on a network, will we see more series produced exclusively for the web, where we have unlimited space and time for television shows? How will this change the structure of each show? Will dramas continue to end each episode with suspense to ensure the viewer’s return, or save the big twists for the end of the season? And, as an afterthought, will cable shows garner more fans when they are released online for streaming, versus their original premiere on a network?
Netflix is taking advantage of its model and that's that people watch Netflix to binge. If they were to release an ep once a week, it might disinterest viewers and look for another completed show to watch (one that has multiple seasons). Broadcasters release an episode per week to get viewers to come back, and leave cliffhangers to tease them. It's simply understanding your structure and using it to your advantage. – YsabelGo7 years ago
Live television will always have its place, for the background noise or the effect of experiencing something with thousands of people at one. However, I do believe the quality will go down. We'll see less drama that relies on you watching every week and more comedy. People come to live television to watch for a bit and then walk away. Why watch a drama on television in the coming years when you can watch the whole story from beginning to end by losing a day? Netflix will change television styles to a mixture of suspense at each episode's end and saving the big twists. They've proved that both are excellent models for television. It just depends on what kind of show you're presenting. – casswaslike7 years ago