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1

Should Season 2 of The Mandalorian Include Characters From Other Star Wars Properties?

The Mandalorian Season 1 has been a huge critical success for Disney . One of the key factors for the series’s success was the lack of prior Star Wars knowledge that was necessary for viewers of the series. The series was largely accessible to new audiences who may have never watched Star Wars film before, though it still contained many references and connections for long time Star Wars fans. For season 2 (which debuts October 30th), there have been many rumor circulating that the series will include characters from other Star Wars books and animated series. Rumored among the cast include characters from The Clone Wars and Rebels like Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan and former Jed Ahsoka Tano. While these characters are popular among Star Wars fans, their appearances may required more complicated explanations/exposition for those who have only watched The Mandalorian. Should The Mandalorian remain largely separated from other Star Wars stories, or it should it integrate characters from the wide Star Wars universe, at the risk of losing some of what made the first season so refreshing and distinct?

    1

    Film Adaptations Better than the Book

    In almost every ‘which is better, book or movie?’ debate, the book wins. For a plethora of reasons, from intense detail to unique character-building, books are almost always dubbed better than their adaptations.

    But what about the film adaptations that are better than their original book?
    Offer several examples of adaptations better than their original. Discuss what they do so correctly that allows them to win this battle.

    Do they take away the difficult language of a book to make an important story more accessible? Are the characters better rounded and more realistic? Does the film cut out unnecessary details that are included in the book? Is there a changed detail that improves a film — different setting, different main character, different conclusion, perhaps. Is it simply a case of visuals portraying the content better than words can (say, an intense action sequence for example).

    There could be ANY number of reasons and ANY number of films to be discussed.
    This topic does run the risk of coming across as too subjective though, so ensure that sound analysis is offered to justify your claims.

    • I like this topic, but I would hesitate to characterize any movie or book as "better" than the other adaptation, because that's strictly a matter of opinion. What I would do instead is, focus on how books and films are completely different mediums, as well as how and why certain books lend themselves better to film adaptations. I might start with longer-form books, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The books are great, but as someone who read them, I'd say they're also a slog. The movies definitely communicate the books' messages more clearly, and leave more room for discussion/exploration. – Stephanie M. 3 days ago
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    • I'm so glad you brought up this topic! I don't believe books are always automatically better than their film counterparts. Perhaps it is also a matter of upholding whatever came first. As you mention, there are many films which are based off of an initial written text. What about the case, though far less common, of films where a book was written in conjunction with or second to the film? For example, one of my favorite films is The Third Man. The screenplay was written by Graham Greene, who also developed a novella version. The book does a good job of illustrating certain details one might miss in the film, but the film is a masterpiece when it comes to "underplaying." It only says what it needs to, which makes it so memorable and striking. I also prefer the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's to Truman Capote's novella, despite the fact that the film departs quite a bit from the source material. One of the reasons is I found Audrey Hepburn's version of Holly Golightly far more vulnerable and sympathetic a character. Truman Capote lingered on the superficiality of his characters, which left me feeling uninterested by comparison. – aprosaicpintofpisces 3 days ago
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    • You managed to rehash a contentious issue among art lovers. As has been stated in prior posts, adaptations are analyzed ad infinitum. Yet in terms of this topic, I think you could argue slightly different, for a change of pace. All writing goes through drafting phases and all authors go through periods of productivity and delay or self-doubt. That said, how can we destroy a film adaptation that is merely going through a rough phase, on its merry way to the final version? Doesn't sound fair to the director. As far as adaptation goes, an author that is true to his craft and steadfast to the theme will inevitably produce the elusive masterpiece,followed by an equally acclaimed film adaptation, one may argue. Another incumbent will fumble the narrative by second-guessing the motive and the medium, failing to strike a vital chord with the audience in the process.Nevertheless, it's a valid concern. There is a documentary on The Virgin Suicides that makes the case for inclusion of the writer within the filming process. Of course, Sofia Coppola has the ultimate say over the characterization of the narrative. But the author of that novel, Jeffrey Eugenides, was a vital component behind the dialogue, the mood, and the setting. Also, it is not uncommon for the reverse to occur and achieve rather successfully. For instance, the Star Trek TV episode "All the Yesterdays" made a seamless foray into a series of acclaimed novel tie-ins by A.C. Crispin. The onscreen romance between Spock and Zarabeth translated into two compelling novels on time travel and a supposed offspring between the pair.A compelling factor in this debate is circumstances. The ancient Greeks wrote dramatic recollections of events that moved audiences of the time and to this day in practically every discipline that has emerged since then. But, in those times there were no motion pictures to reclaim those texts. Then, Shakespeare entered the picture with an equal fervor for shining light on the pressing matters of his day. Presently, we submit to the same appetite for literary escape with authors such as J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, probably as eagerly as the Greeks and the British did in the early days of the art. In those times as is today, the stage was the medium for the written script. I venture to guess that audiences had their preferences for certain actors and theatres when reading the written play was not a viable option nor a preference. Perhaps, it may be that reading the plot in the comfort of a familiar setting with pleasant music or refreshment is the reason why some people opt for this method of entertainment. Indeed, the pace of a book or the flash of color and splash of sound in a film is what draws fans to each particular venue. So, an author's style or an actor's appeal may be the reasons why people turn to different sources of entertainment, including the online variety. I suppose radio producers had the same challenges in their respective field that could be incorporated into this topic. – L:Freire 3 days ago
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    • I feel like this topic has been discussed over and over again over the past year. I believe there may be an article about this topic on the site over the past year. – Sean Gadus 3 days ago
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    2

    Analysis of the "Very Special Episode"

    In past decades, situation comedies and dramas were often known for their "very special episodes." These stories took a break from more lighthearted fare to discuss serious topics or issues, often those facing young audiences of the day. Special episodes could often be categorized thus:
    -Featuring "special" characters (often disabled), who rarely if ever appeared again but existed to educate audiences and teach the main characters lessons about compassion and tolerance
    -Analyzing the dangers of teen life (peer pressure, drugs, drunk driving, child/teen molestation)
    -Focusing on particular current events (the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, the AIDS epidemic, 9/11, etc.)
    -Teaching young audiences when and how to give or seek help in serious situations (eating disorders, abuse, CPR, etc.)

    Pick a few "very special episodes" to focus on from sitcoms or sitcom/dramas (Diff’rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, Seventh Heaven, Full House…) How has the "very special episode" evolved? Why are they often mocked, even by those who enjoyed their affiliated shows? Is the "very special episode" still around now, and what does it look like?

      6

      Touchable Art in a Time of No Touch

      My article investigates touchable art and introduces artists who recover in their practices the bodily needs for physical contact. Amongst the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 are ‘no touch’ policies and the closing of art institutions for unlimited periods of time.
      But our crave for touch grows with the passing of time, and so does our need for seeing new, beautiful things.
      My article suggests different ways in which the public can soothe their desire for physical contact by experiencing art in the virtual space. It engages with the works of British artist Lucy Clout, Berlin-based Americans Claire Tolan and Holly Herndon and American artist Julie Weitz. Most recently, Australian artist Michelle Vine was awarded a residency with Museum of Brisbane for which she produced work that brought together touchable art and participatory art forms.

      • Very intriguing and topical idea! You seem to already have artists and/or touchable artworks in mind, though. Perhaps you could mention them in the topic already, to guide the reflection? – Gavroche 3 months ago
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      • A query, Crisia. Is this a topic suggestion, i.e. for other writers to consider writing about, or are you announcing your intention to write about this subject? – Amyus 3 months ago
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      • Thank you for your notes!I'm announcing my intention to write about this subject :) – Crisia 3 months ago
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      3

      Will living through a pandemic change the depiction of disease in movies

      Besides HIV/AIDS, there has been no wide-reaching pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Influenza and, from a movie point of view at least, it’s pretty boring to live through. Despite what zombie movies might suggest, viruses are relatively slow moving and the deadlier a virus is, the less transmissible it tends to be. And the vast majority of people remain uninfected. It doesn’t make for great storytelling. However, up until now, the majority of people had no firsthand experience of living through an epidemic / pandemic and so could more easily suspend reality while watching these types of movies. But what happens now? Will the genre move away from the thriller type movie towards to personal suffering, either in lock down or the loss of loved ones?

      • I feel like there's a lot of potential here. For my part, I'm someone who thinks this particular virus has been blown way out of proportion, and that various unscrupulous actors are trying to use it to spread fear for their own gain. So, with that in mind, I think the idea of disease as a tool of social control would be a fascinating plot line that I hope someone tackles at some point. – Debs 1 week ago
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      • Debs: So I'm not crazy! Whew! I'm with you...but I am curious as to how COVID-19 will affect creative industries. For instance, I'm a fiction writer, and my fellow writers and I are getting tips like, "Don't come to agents/publishers with pandemic-centered material." It's too soon, apparently. But in a decade or two, who knows? I'd also like to see a comparison/contrast between COVID-19 and, say, the influenza epidemic of 1918. We still don't have much entertainment material about that...I wonder why? – Stephanie M. 5 days ago
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      • Stephanie M: I'm currently working on a research assignment regarding the influenza pandemic of 1918 (more pertinent to my research, it didn't reach Australia until 1919). From what I can understand, the pandemic arrived at the conclusion of the First World War and so, amongst that, it was forgotten. Many simply perceived it as the final, deadly battle of the war. That could potentially answer your question regarding why it isn't covered in entertainment media. But that then raises the question, will today's pandemic be forgotten by the film industry amidst 2020's other significant events - bushfires in Australia, wildfires occurring currently in the U.S., mass protests in the U.S. and other Western countries, etc.? – Samantha Leersen 3 days ago
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      • I really like the questions at the end of you post: "But what happens now? Will the genre move away from the thriller type movie towards to personal suffering, either in lock down or the loss of loved ones?"If someone chooses to write on this topic, I hope that person will either avoid making blanket claims about pandemics or will take some time to understand the topic and to support all of the major claims with good sources. We already have all sorts of distortions and misinformation out there; we don't need to add to the pile.I'm really not sure about the truthfulness of this claim in your post, for example: "the deadlier a virus is, the less transmissible it tends to be." There are specific terms found in most any serious, informed discussion of a specific virus: virulence (deadliness), replication rate (or growth rate, which I understand to be ultimately tied to the ease of transmission, the length of the contagious stage, etc.), and so on. At least one credible source says there's no certain connection between a pathogen's deadliness and its potential to spread: "contrary to common assumptions, virulence and replication rates can evolve independently, particularly after the initial spread of host resistance." (https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16927)I'm also a little unsure about this claim: "Besides HIV/AIDS, there has been no wide-reaching pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Influenza." The 1957-1958 H2N2 pandemic probably caused some 1.1 million worldwide and some 116,000 deaths in the United States.– JamesBKelley 2 hours ago
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      14

      Memory as a Narrative Device and form of Expression

      With films such as Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Marjorie Prime exploring the concept of memory and how they seemingly define us. I’d like to suggest a further investigation into the use of memory in film as a narrative tool. How have writers/directors effectively used this device to engage viewers. Are there consistencies within the more successful examples? How could we look to utilise memory as a concept in future films, or even other forms of media.

        5

        The Portrayal of Women in Gothic Literature

        Look at the portrayal of women in Gothic literature. What tropes do they often fulfil?

        There’s the shrieking heroine of The Monk or The Italian (written by Matthew Lewis and Ann Radcliffe respectively). Even modern day Twilight has this.
        Bram Stoker’s Dracula shifted things by having Mina as the ‘new’ woman – the only reason she was respected is because she supposedly had the brain of a man. Even then, she was viewed as someone who needed protecting.
        Even texts like Jekyll and Hyde make a statement about women’s place in society by simply NOT including women in the narrative.
        Modern Gothic texts tend to favour the cool and powerful female protagonist, which in theory seems empowering, but can also be problematic.

        What is the effect of each portrayal of women? Are the women in each given text empowered or powerless? Is historical/social context important in how the female characters are portrayed? Do any texts defy their time period? Is there a difference between texts written by men and texts written by women?
        An article on this should analyse a wide variation of texts, from different time periods.

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          Historical Texts that Captivate Readers

          Writers of history usually receive the bad reputation of being boring and uninspired storytellers, for the events of history aren’t designed to be page-turners. On the other hand, there are histories that embellish for the sake of storytelling but compromise accuracy. This is also criticised.

          Thus, an article exploring histories that are both accurate and educational whilst still captivating audiences would be a great read.

          Offer examples of good histories, and give reasons as to why they are effective as both works of popular literature AND educational history resources. Jung Chang’s Wild Swans or Ten Days That Shook The World by John Reed are two good examples.
          Some factors that make history writing ‘good’ include: the inclusion of personal stories (not mere objective facts), prose that is accessible to all, not just academics, and the formation of a chronological narrative that, while remaining accurate, sparks interest and excitement.

          There are some wonderful examples of written history that tend to get lost amongst the ‘boring’ stuff. So an article highlighting examples of good history, and analysing why that is, would be interesting and perhaps even helpful for those looking to write public history.

          • Seeing this topic has reminded me of Lucy Worsley's recent PBS documentary series Royal Myths & Secrets. In it, she explores how the public images of famous figures such as Elizabeth I, Queen Anne, and Marie Antoinette have been heavily distorted from their flesh-and-blood counterparts. Details such as when these historical accounts were written, the relationship between writer and subject, differences between national propaganda/mythical storytelling and textual evidence/alternative accounts, etc. all play a role. Like you said, it raises ethical questions over what "the truth" is in the pursuit of a good story. Do the ends ever justify the means? – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 month ago
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          • This something that I struggle with as a student of history; what is a historian's vocation? Is it just writing just what happened as Leopold von Ranke put it so long ago? Or is it telling a tale about what happened as Herodotus did in his masterful work? Or should a historian try to craft laws of history in the vein of the early and post-War Annales School? Is he/she a scientist, a writer or a philosopher? I'd think it was a mix of all three. – RedFlame2000 4 weeks ago
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          “Dropping the Story” in Fiction

          Buddhism teaches that we can let go of illusion by letting go of “our story,” i.e. letting go of our insistence on seeing reality our way. Many literary classics teach us the same lesson, sometimes through characters metamorphosing by undergoing evolutionary cycles including tragic moments. We see this struggle and more or less successful letting go performed by protagonists such as the Buddha, Oedipus, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Henry James’ Maisie, Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome,” Ishiguro’s characters in The Remains of the Day, Toni Morrison’s Sethe in Beloved, and Murakami’s un-hero in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle who learns to let go of all his stories by sitting in a dark well for a long time.

          The common theme in these fictions as well as in many others is letting go of illusion by letting go of one’s story, all unfolded in fiction. What sort of fiction must one invent to not add to the world of illusions? Does something distinguish these fictions in addition to the theme, something that makes them resist becoming part of our illusions? Or is it impossible not to add to the illusory? Where do commonalities between letting go of one’s story end and differences in consequences thereof open up, according to whatever works of fiction we decide to look at? What do these fictions have to say about what stories we rarely let go of? How does this theme of letting go of story in story speak to the story-telling during the global pandemic in 2020, specifically about the stories we tell of the “before-the-pandemic” world? Are we, like Murakami’s character, in the well, or are we emerging? How can we tell? Tell us.

            6

            Are comic book movie and TV adaptations more realistic than the source material?

            It seems as though, when comic books (Japanese or Western) get adapted into movies or TV series, they become less over-the-top and stylized. The visuals may be toned down, for instance, and some of the characters may talk, act, or even look more like real people would in their situations. For instance, many of the characters in the "Deadman Wonderland" anime talk and act much more realistically than their manga counterparts did. The Netflix adaptation of "The Umbrella Academy" is also supposed to be more realistic and restrained than the original comics, and makes more of an effort to flesh out the characters’ personalities and motivations. Are most comic book adaptations like this, or does it depend on the individual adaptation? If indeed it is a trend, what are some of the factors driving it? For instance, do characters simply have to become more realistic once a real person is charged with bringing them to life?

            • This would be a good topic to write on. However, the perspective of the reader/viewer should also be included to lay emphasis on the change in expectation level if any when a comic book is adapted into a movie or TV series. Also, if there is much difference when an animation adaption of a comic book is compared with anime adaption of a manga. – Abhilash Roy 4 weeks ago
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            • It's a good topic, definitely! For me, the term "realistic" needs to be defined. Obviously the characters are usually going to be depicted more realistically, if they're actors being filmed rather than figures being drawn, but that's not the meaning of "realistic" that you have in mind here. Do you mean something like "round" (in the sense of round characters versus flat characters), "developed," and "psychologically complex"? – JamesBKelley 1 week ago
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            Morality and Disclaimers

            This is a topic that could apply to either movies or television. Disclaimers range in purpose. Sometimes they exist in order to lessen chances of physical discomfort in the audience (and thus potential lawsuits), as with seizure warnings for flashing lights (i.e. a scene in Incredibles 2) or motion sickness warnings with 3D or IMAX films. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was flagged for its graphic depiction of Jesus’s crucifixion. However, disclaimers have extended their reach beyond the physical realm into the psychological.

            For instance, the ratings system that differentiates between what is appropriate for certain age groups can sometimes be misleading. Often in preface to cast and crew interviews, there is a text that states “the views and opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not represent those of [insert company name here].” When the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why first premiered, there was controversy it would romanticize and therefore increase the likelihood of suicide in tweens and teens. When Joker was released, there was a fear that burgeoning mass shooters would be emboldened by the film’s protagonist into taking the law into their own hands. Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange was banned because of its depictions of hedonistic violence.

            Just recently, the classic Gone with the Wind was briefly removed from HBO Max and then reinstated with disclaimers for fear of its depictions of the antebellum South. Disclaimers step in as “gatekeepers” of sorts, where films or T.V. shows must pass a certain purity “litmus test” to gauge not only their potential offensiveness to audiences but their ability to corrupt their audience’s minds. In what ways does this “moral panic” manifest itself in the form of media disclaimers? The threat of exploring or even simply acknowledging so-called “dangerous ideas” is oft-treaded territory, such as with George Orwell’s notions of ”groupthink.” How does the struggle to protect an unsuspecting audience devolve into a form of thought control? In what ways have such disclaimers proved beneficial?

            • So would some of these cases (like 13 Reasons Why) deal directly with the idea of having trigger warnings? Also, I feel that the controversy surrounding Joker was completely overblown. Much of the controversy/discourse occurred before the film had even been released, where many were reacting to trailers, rumors, and pre-release descriptions. Once the film was released, I think the reality of what the film was about/what content was in the film, it was vastly less controversial than what many reported it to be. – Sean Gadus 1 month ago
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            • That's such a great point, Sean! Thank you. Yes, I think people often jump to hasty conclusions when it comes to trailers or pre-release speculations, which can be quite misleading by nature. Trailers and press rumors are designed to build hype in advertising, alert audiences to genre specifics, and entice audiences with just enough information to get them interested. The final film released in its entirety can often be a bit different from how its originally portrayed. – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 month ago
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            • Oooooh, juicy topic indeed! There's a lot you could get into here. Just the question of what's offensive and what isn't, and the dangers of groupthink, could net you a whole article alone. But there are so many other factors. For instance, you could talk about disclaimers meant to protect people with epilepsy and similar conditions, vs. ableism and people who claim the disclaimers ruin the 3-D experience (jerks). You could discuss the fact that Christians will willingly watch Christ brutally flogged, or watch a war movie because "that's how it was," but still frown on violence in other genre films (oh, what I could say...) – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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            • I agree, Stephanie. The whole notion of "trigger warnings" and what is considered offensive is quite prevalent now. Even more recently, HBO Max has flagged Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles just as it did with Gone with the Wind, despite the fact that Blazing Saddles is considered an overtly satirical comedy. – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 month ago
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            Disability Representation in the Screen Industry

            Is it significantly harder for disabled actors to gain roles in films or television shows? How many disabled characters in film/TV are portrayed by disabled actors, and is their portrayal realistic/accurate? What do disabled people in the screen industry think needs to be done to improve disability representation/equality in the screen industry?

            • Hi Serena, There was a disabled actor named Quentin Kenihan who grew up in the city I currently live in, who was a local celebrity for his role in 2015's Mad Max Fury Road. Quentin had the bone disease osteogenesis imperfecta but often spoke on how he did not let it hold him back. He said in an interview that he is 'the only disabled person in an academy award-winning film'. I have linked a youtube video from Casey Neistat where he interviews Quentin about his acting career. Hopefully, this helps you. I found that Quentin's experience opened my eyes to how challenging it must be for people with disabilities to make it in the film industry.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3s0--LcgQw – EdwardMcCarroll 1 month ago
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            • HOLY GUACAMOLE, THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS TOPIC! Less than 10% of disabled characters are portrayed by disabled actors, and don't get me started on accurate portrayals. Someone needs to write this, and we have GOT to talk about it more, through writing and otherwise. – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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            • As someone who is on the autism spectrum, I’ve become aware of the fact that shows within the last decade have featured characters with autism played by non-autistic actors (The Good Doctor, Parenthood). I find it a little insulting that studios don’t cast people who actually have autism (part of the ongoing stigma). But the Freeform series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay gives me hope for actual representation. There’s a girl with autism, Matilda, who’s played by an actress who actually has autism, Kayla Cromer. So far it’s the most accurate depiction of ASD I’ve seen on any medium. – Tanner Ollo 1 month ago
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            The New Classics

            What can be considered a new classic? Writers like John Green and Stephan King boast quite a large fan base (and literary output), but will they go down in history? Does fame equate to immortalization in literature? After all, many writers were unbeknownst while they lived, but others (such as Shakespeare) received wide fame amid their careers. Whose work can be considered literary? Are they losing ground in the shadow of these modern, famed "genre writers"?

            • Genre shouldn't matter re: enduring quality of a piece of literature.It's a little risible to suggest the likes of Shakespeare might be losing ground in the shadow of John Green!Fame doesn't equate to immortality in history, but obscurity tends to mean you're not even in the mix for future consideration.One of the biggest problems nowadays is the general disconnect with "things past", losing touch with history i.e. self-censoring art and literature and creative content based on its date of creation. It not only makes it harder to source new classics but means - for most - the canon of older classics is shrinking. Contemporary fame matters but originality and lineage and breadth of vision should matter more.Also there's a growing parochialism, especially in the Anglosphere - facilitated in part by the net and social media bringing together 'communities' in large enough numbers so they satisfy the 'interaction' instinct most of us possess. If people don't feel the need to step outside their echo chambers, their horizons narrow and their creative output follows suit, eventually becoming mere placebo. All this is a path of least resistance and any book worthy of "new classic" should either transcend this reductionism by scope or scale; or burst the bubble of whatever tribal boundaries might seem to appropriate or contain it.John Green is a sweet guy with a nice turn of phrase but none of his novels yet will be "classics" except maybe for future social historians; and not for the literary merit of the books themselves. Stephen King is different. He's a Balzac type: quantity over quality to such an extent the sheer quantity actually becomes a quality. – magisterludi 2 years ago
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            • Terry Eagleton (literary critic) wrote in his book 'Literary Theory: An Introduction' that if something is deemed to be 'literature' it is done so because the text is highly valued by society, and those value judgements are made based upon societal ideologies and historical context. I think the same could apply here - what do we value in a classic text? That is at the crux of this. – Samantha Leersen 1 month ago
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            • the original and well known authors or artists such as Shakespear, Mozart etc, will likely never be replaced. However many consider people like Charles Bukowski and his poetry as 'classic' and exquisite. A more modern example could be someone such as Billie Eilish. she is known her her originialy and voice. ultimately, its the people who negate societal expectations within their generations that tend to become more well-known. – annaegan 15 hours ago
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            How Satisfied Are Viewers of TV Shows That Just Stop Without An Ending?

            Pitch (2016, one season) starring Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. This series focused on the first female major league baseball player. A good series that just suddenly stopped. What happened after she was injured as she had the opportunity to pitch a no-hitter? The series just ends with no conclusion. Graves (2016-17, two seasons) starring Nick Nolte and Sela Ward. This series focused on a former two-term Republican President and how he wants to now correct some of the "wrongs" he was responsible for. Suddenly, the series ends with his arrest and we never find out if his wife, the former First Lady, is elected as a Senator. It is frustrating to see good, well developed, well acted series, just end. Are viewers satisfied with what they watched? Is there some way to complete these series, as well as others, to bring them to some conclusion in a one or two part episode? Maybe Netflix, Prime, or Hulu can take up the cause.

            • Granted it doesn't detract from the main point the article is trying to make, perhaps a comparison could be made between shows that just stop and shows that remain running for too long when, perhaps, they should have stopped. – Samantha Leersen 1 month ago
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            • In the same vein than Samantha Leersen and with the same caution, maybe adding a comparison with shows whose last season has been cut short (Person of Interest is the first example that comes to my mind, though it isn’t that famous – sadly)? (And/or a comparison with endings that may have felt rushed to some viewers (Game Of Thrones, for instance)?) Also, in the same vein than your last point, maybe the article could mention the role of fanfictions to conclude such shows with no proper ending? Anyway, very interesting topic! – Gavroche 1 month ago
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            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.
            Is this prolific enough in TV shows to be considered a trend? Is there reason for this? Does the same ‘I need to get away from here’ thinking occur in characters born and raised in the city? Is this specific to American TV shows, or other countries’ shows too? Perhaps an article on this topic could offer a suggestion as to why the city is so romanticised?

            • "I'm gettin' out of this hick town!" Yes, I think this is an interesting phenomenon in film and TV. That 70s Show is a good example because I think it was much more prevalent to make those statements back in the 70s, 80s etc. The forces of urbanization meant that better jobs could be found in cities, but also there were lots more cultural waves going on that were focused in cities. If you wanted to be a punk or a hippie or anti-establishment like Hyde for example, that was something that you couldn't find many like-minded people for in small town America. Many high school and college movies of the last few decades had a dynamic that set the "interesting, alternative" type main characters against the jocks and cheerleaders of small town life. (Juxtapose this with something like Riverdale which only slightly criticizes jocks and cheerleaders, and ultimately upholds them as kind of the social rulers of high school). I think the 21st century has maybe seen a re-romanticization of small town life, in contrast to urban life which isn't idolized so much anymore. – Claire 4 months ago
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            • Another tidbit: I think, to make this a more recognizable-sounding topic, you should frame it as something like "Leaving Small Towns as a Coming-of-age Milestone for American Youth." – Claire 4 months ago
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            • Not sure how far back you want to go with this, but you could also do some research on the Industrial revolution as well since it caused one of the first big population shifts in history. It might be worth looking into as a short paragraph before you get into everything else as it frames the mindset a little. – MaeveM 4 months ago
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            • I feel like some of this has to do with the cultural biases of the content creators, who usually live in big cities like Los Angeles and NYC. People in those kinds of places tend to look down on small towns and consider them "boring" or "old-fashioned" and that comes through in the stories. – Debs 4 months ago
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            • I feel like everyone has the American Dream to some extent, and probably especially those in small towns. Boredom, bad entertainment, dull nightlife... of course they'd want to escape and live it up somewhere culturally (and literally!!) rich. Cities are centers of progress and wealth. Maybe it's easier for people in small towns to believe that that wealth is accessible/available to everyone. – Sophia Tone 4 months ago
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            • Nice topic. You might also want to check out The Middle, where living in the fictional town of Orson, IN is central to how and why the Heck family does a lot of what they do. Narrator and mom Frankie is very up front about the fact that Orson is *not* romanticized, that her family is just doing the best they can.Additionally, you might check out some older sitcoms like Family Matters and Full House. They take place in cities--Chicago and San Francisco, respectively--but there is almost no sense of urban life except in select episodes or arcs, such as FM father Carl Winslow being a cop. The "small town," cheesy feel is very much still existent. Just a thought. – Stephanie M. 3 months ago
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            Modern Literary Language

            I’m really interested in the evolution of language across literary movements. We saw the quickening and shortening of literary language during the Beat era, and I’d argue the lengthening of language in the decades before. How are we writing today? What will become of modern-day style? I think it’s interesting to try and interpret our tendencies in real-time, rather than decades after they’ve happened. Have we even further shortened words/sentences as a result of the fast-paced digital moment we live in? Is there a niche that has done the opposite (ie. tend toward longer, flowing sentences as a kind of reaction to memes and media)? Have we changed the way we speak and write in some other fundamental way?

            • I think this is a really interesting topic to explore. Modern language is definitely interesting, though I think an article on this topic would definitely need to look at where we have come from. Explore (if only briefly) the history of the development of the English language, earlier eras/movements that saw the way we use language change dramatically. It is easier to see change retrospectively than while it is occurring, so having some previous point of reference would help with accessibility to this topic. Also - clearly defining what is considered 'modern' is crucial. – leersens 4 months ago
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            • I would be interested from the stand point of modern scientific writing and if it does/doesn't translate well into the broader readership. Are there any alternatives? Ways and forms that will make it more readily applied and enacted into policy etc? How can scientists (and hopefully audiences as well) change to accomodate space within the dearth of literature available for consumption today? – DrBax 4 months ago
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            The Importance of Travelling to Creative Writing

            Analyse the importance of travelling to experience other cultures on the creative writing process (either your own experience or an author you are familiar with).

            • I think it would be good to include the aspect of travel as not necessarily only the aspect of exploring other countries and cultures, but to use 'travel' as a metaphor for stepping outside of our comfort or familiarity zone even in everyday life, and thereby creating more depth and experience to draw upon in our writing. – MonicaGrant 1 year ago
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            • Stepping outside of the world you know and into the unknown or the other worlds we’ve only read about is essential to unclogging writer’s block. As MonicaGrant said it’s also about getting out of your comfort zone, mentally. Traveling allows you to open up to these new spaces in your mind. It gives you new perspectives and issues to expand upon. Traveling gives you the opportunity to tell the people’s story of them that may not have a voice. – Jailel 1 year ago
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            • I agree with the sentiment that "travel" us a metaphor for stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Furthermore, an author travelling and exploring the unknown lends proper authenticity in regards to escapism, a trait that so many, if not all creative pieces, aim to have readers experience. – TahliaEve 1 year ago
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            • I'm wondering if this relationship might be more reciprocal than the suggested topic allows. What if creative writing is what encourages people to travel? – kelseyodegreef 1 year ago
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            • I definitely like this idea as I think many on this site could relate to the ideas expressed and would be interested to hear another's input. Especially when analyzed through the work of a few great authors of the past. – RJSTEELE 10 months ago
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            • Travelling I always feel can be taken both from a figurative and literal perspective as what one does in promoting their individual growth. The individual experiences of every writer play significant role in how their works turn out, and as such exploring not only the literal notion of traveling from one place to another, but also the mental traveling one endures when dealing with day to day life would be interesting for discussion. – ajaymanuel 9 months ago
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            • An example that could be drawn upon is Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America. – EJSmall 8 months ago
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            • W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn is an interesting read that could tie in will here – Samantha Leersen 1 month ago
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            Books by Black Authors and Why You Should Read Them

            In the wake of recent global uprisings on the Black Lives Matter movement, people have turned to books about and written by black people to further educate themselves on the subject. Perhaps the article could talk about a list of books that sheds light on the topic, and why the book is relevant today. While I can think of a list of authors such as Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and a few others, it might be interesting to see a list of both classic and contemporary books that are worth reading and why. It might also be interesting to do a research on lesser known authors or books/short stories published by anonymous sources and look into why you think they were anonymously published or why you think the author/the work did not recieve as much attention as it should have.

            • Good topic! I'd add some recent YA offerings by black authors or featuring black characters. Actually, you could probably write a whole article on that genre alone. – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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            • As a Black writer, especially of speculative fiction, I would love for a piece like this to shed some light on some of the hidden gems of Black speculative fiction that would be of particular value in this historical moment. I'm sure just exploring this singular angle would be more than enough for a piece on its own. – therisingtithes 1 month ago
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            Stories of Creation

            Analyze and compare the various stories of creation through various parts of the world. The stories examined will include Genesis, Aztec Mythology , Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology, Eastern Mythology, African Mythologies, et cetera. Specifically how are they similar? How do they differ? What sort of message do they impart?

            • This is a very interesting topic that would involve a lot of scholarly research! This could be an extensive article so perhaps picking three to four mythologies would allow the most room for detailed research and reflection. – Scharina 6 months ago
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            • I agree that is might be good to narrow it a bit. For example, comparing the flood in Gilgamesh to Moses with the Great Flood of Gun-Yu.Instead of contrasting several of these religions, could one perhaps write it on the religious commonalities? – ruegrey 6 months ago
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            • This does need narrowing, but I don't blame you for wanting to explore every possible religion and mythology. Perhaps exploring in subgroups might help? An example might be monotheistic creation stories vs. polytheistic, or Middle Eastern (Torah, Bible, Koran) vs. European or African? – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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            • Perhaps the focus could be created in one of the following ways: 1) focus on historical influence, e.g. how the Babylonian creation story influenced at least one of the Biblical creation stories; 2) thematic focus with a Nietzschean twist, e.g. how is creation achieved in creation stories, and for what purposes? Who benefits from the creative acts and who gets excluded? Whose agendas are asserted? "Cut bono?" Who benefits? 3) focus on narrative purpose: why do we tell creation stories? W hat purposes do we aim at in telling them when there are so many other kinds of stories we can tell? At what point in our story-telling cycles (sacred or not) do we reach for stories of creation? For instance, the Jewish people may have finalized their version of the creation story when they found their story in competition with the Babylonian version, and the Jewish people wanted to show their god was superior by showing their god cared more. 4) focus on relationship between creation "entities" and representatives of fate.I'm sure this will be a fun topic to delve into. – gitte 1 month ago
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            How Has Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Impacted The Video Game Industry?

            Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a huge public health topic that has affected many facets of human life this year. One of the entertainment industries most affected by the virus has been the video game industry, which is a global, interconnected industry. A variety of conferences (like E3 and GDC) have been cancelled or postponed, cancellations of major E-Sports events and even game delays (Virtuos Studios recently delayed the Switch Port of Outer Worlds) due to complications related to the virus. Other thoughts would be to explore how Coronavirus disease will impact the production release of Next Gen consoles that are currently on the horizon.

            • Great topic. If I were writing an essay on it, I don't think I'd be able to resist somehow bringing at least references to at least one video game about epidemics or infestations. – JamesBKelley 6 months ago
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            • Oh, so timely. Love it. I think it would also be interesting to see if there have been any other big events in recent history that have impacted the video game industry -- natural disasters, other crises, etc. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but it would be interesting to see if there's any point of comparison. Definitely want to read this! – Eden 6 months ago
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            • This would be a good topic to write about. – OkaNaimo0819 4 months ago
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            • In addition to the cancellations, I'm interested in hearing how playing games has changed in the face of COVID-19. Who's playing more, or less? Who's discovering new games? What do gaming audiences want now? Why? – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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