Topics: Joseph Cernik

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Canned Laughter: A Critical Analysis

A British scientist explained the function of canned laughter used in TV shows as, “adding laughter to a joke, increases the humour value, no matter how funny or unfunny the joke is.” I Love Lucy (starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Farley), originally released in 1951, used canned laughter. The Honeymooners (starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows), which was originally released in 1955 also used canned laughter.
M*A*S*H (starring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr), which was originally released in 1972, had the creators of the series wanting no canned laughter which was rejected by CBS, although there are episodes where there was no canned laughter. In addition, it was agreed that in surgery, no laughter would be used. When M*A*S*H was released on DVD, the option was added to watch the series with and without canned laughter. One person who commented about watching the series without laughter in the background said, “Hearing each and every one of these words for the first time was a treat.”
With COVID-19 eliminating fans from baseball and football stadiums, canned cheering and boos are used. This seems a derivative of canned laughter
A critical analysis of canned laughter should address the following: 1) Does it add to or detract from a series, and; 2) Can there be an “artistic” way of evaluating when it seems too much or inappropriate from being just the right amount.

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    The Quiet Man and Domestic Abuse

    The Quiet Man (1952, starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and Ward Bond) won the Academy Award for Best Director (John Ford) and Best Cinematography. The Library of Congress selected the movie in 2013 to be included in the United States National Film Registry.

    The basic theme is boy moves back to Ireland, boy meets girl, boy meets girl’s brother, boy fights girl’s brother and, in the end, everyone is happy and friends for life. It is an enjoyable movie that presents Ireland in a quaint way, although the film is filled with stereotypes of the Irish.

    The issue is that there are some uncomfortable moments throughout the film that raise the issue of domestic abuse and present it in ways that somehow they can be glossed over as simply entertaining and appropriate in their settings. At one point Wayne (Sean Thornton) pulls O’Hara (Mary Kate Danaher) off a train and drags her (as his wife) five miles to her brother’s farm, where Wayne throws her back at her brother and tells him to keep her. During the lead up to this scene, a woman in the crowd that has been following Wayne drag O’Hara from the train to the brother’s farm, anticipating the fight that will culminate in the film’s big scene, steps forward to give Thornton a tree branch and the woman says, “Here’s good stick.” The point is he can use it on his wife.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in domestic abuse, with one Irish mental health authority saying it has reached “epidemic levels.” Ireland may not necessarily have a more heightened level of abuse than other countries. In addition, the issue of domestic abuse predates the pandemic. But, in focusing on Ireland, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in November 2019, a study placed the number of Irish women who suffered at the hands of domestic abuse at 23,000—so before the pandemic.

    Someone agreeing to write on this topic can address films, such as The Quiet Man, and how they may have glossed over domestic abuse and what changes have taken place since this film’s release in 1952. In addition, the impact of films and domestic abuse should be addressed. Did, for example, The Quiet Man, provide a way to rationalize domestic abuse which allowed it to be “swept under the rug” and be treated on a lesser level than other crimes?

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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 year 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 year ago
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      • There are also shows that people simply aren’t interested in. Those shows tend not to be missed, no matter what the ending or none at all. – J.D. Jankowski 1 year ago
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      • It depends... When the producer knows how to prepare each session artistically then the audience might be satisfied of the work even if it's without an end... When the producer hasn't enough expertise then the series without an end just would be a waste of time... – Gerald Mann (P. Ghasemi) 1 year ago
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      B-Movie Actors and Movies: Where do We Draw the Line?

      Defining a B movie is not necessarily easy to do. Generally, a B movie is considered a low-budget production. There have been certain movie studios that were associated with the production of B movies, Monogram and Republic Pictures among them. B movies might be training platforms for directors who subsequently moved to more well-known works (Edward Dmytryk) or actors who moved on (John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart). The term associated with more modern-day B movies is direct-to-video, which is an indication a film is not good enough for theatrical release. Direct-to-video has, in some ways, replaced films that were shown only at drive-in theaters in an earlier era.

      Bruce Campbell ("The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," and "Evil Dead") wrote "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Actor." There is a site titled "bmovies," where one can get their fill of B movies (interestingly "Hillbilly Elergy" is listed along with "Sky Sharks"). One Internet site lists "The 100 1 Best ‘B Movies’ of All Time." Another site lists "1000 Cult B-Horror Movies." Where is the line between B actors, actresses, and movies and whatever is not in that category? "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," or "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead," might be easily considered as B movies and never in contention for an academy award, but how do we categorize these movies and who acts in them?

      Someone agreeing to write on this topic should address: 1) What characteristics distinguish B movies (and those acting in them) from whatever is on the other side; 2) What changes have taken place in B movies since there are movies as far back as the 1930s, and even earlier, that can be categorized as B movies, and 3) How might B movies be understood regarding their impact on both Hollywood and American culture.

      • This enhances my conceptualization of B movies. Great job – AmeerShash 1 year ago
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      Amos ‘n’ Andy: African-American Stereotypes and the Impact of the NAACP on Television

      "Amos ‘n’ Andy," began as a radio show in 1928. The show was set in Harlem, a section in New York City predominately African-American. The radio show was a spin-off from a minstrel act that involved two white actors in black face. Protests by African-American organizations against the show began in 1931. These protests were unsuccessful, and the show eventually became a television show beginning in 1951 (CBS) with the lead characters being black actors not white in black face. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began protesting the show and wanted it removed almost from when it first appeared on television. One of the main characters (the Kingfish) was portrayed as a con man, another was presented as a dim-witted cab driver. The language spoken by the characters was a gutter form of English meant to convey a stereotype of all African-Americans. CBS cancelled the show in 1953, but it lived on in syndication until 1966. There were episodes of the show produced that were not shown at the time CBS cancelled the show and those episodes lived on. American television was slow to eventually remove the show, in contrast with CBS sending reruns of the show to Kenya in 1963 where it was banned almost immediately.
      Someone agreeing to write on his topic can address several issues: 1) How was the show received by both white and black audiences when it first appeared on television, and; 2) the protests to remove first the radio show then the television show can focus on how effective or ineffective these protests were and what they say about African-American influence, and the NAACP in particular, on radio and television content regarding portrayals of black America.

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        Mrs. America: Feminism Means What

        Mrs. America (9 episodes on Hulu) has been praised for both the quality of the acting as well as the storyline. The series has addressed what can be described as focused on two different women’s movements: The movement that pushed for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the movement that fought against it, led by Phyllis Schlafly and which centered on what can be seen as a culture war.
        Gloria Steinem was overly critical of the series, seeing it as too focused on Schlafly and not centered on what she saw as the real opposition to the ERA which was the insurance industry as well as other economics organizations.
        A writer deciding to address this topic should: 1) focus on the these two different women’s movements and how they interact as well as clash; 2) address where Schlafly should actually be placed in ranking her as a factor in contributing to preventing the passage of the ERA, and; 3) What does this series say about how we should look at what these opposing women’s movements have meant to contemporary America and to women specifically.

        • I think there's real value here in illustrating the ways in which the discussion surrounding feminism pits women against each other, by dividing them into "good" feminists and "bad" anti-feminists (or the other way around). It always struck me as a breeding ground for attacks on women, and that would be extremely dangerous. – Debs 1 year ago
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        • After seeing the Mrs. America series, and Gloria Steinem's autobiography turned into a movie (with Julianne Moore), I think one aspect of such an essay can be highlighting Steinem and Schlafly, two media personalities but quite different from each other with different goals in mind. Odd to consider that what began as what might be seen as a feminism movement (if that term is correct) with certain goals, should see a counter-movement arise. Is it possible to bridge the two in some way? Are there issues that they may have in common? Mrs. America did not present Schlafly in anything but a manipulative way, but it also seemed to present the supporters of ERA as ignoring the forces behind Schlafly, which, I think, was a wrong thing to do. In the series there is a moment where a friend and supporter of Schlafly's (Sarah Paulson) raises the issue of finding something in common and then it is just gone. – Joseph Cernik 1 year ago
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        The Crown and The Future King of the United Kingdom

        The Crown (Netflix) is in its fourth season. With the fourth season, more modern era events are addressed. The courtship between Charles and Diana (what there is of it) is addressed, as well as his inability to move on from Camilla (who now is his wife). At some point Charles will become the King of the United Kingdom, unless he decides to pass on it and, his son, William takes the crown. British tabloids have questioned whether Charles will, in fact, become King. How will the Netflix series play into the public perception of Charles? A poll that was conducted in 2018, said that only 36 percent of the British thought Charles was a positive force to benefit the monarchy. In 2014, a similar poll was conducted, and, at that time, 60 percent saw Charles as a positive force. Charles and Camilla married in 2005 so the 2014 poll was several years after they were married. The fourth season of The Crown does not make Charles look like anything but a person with emotional issues—not mental problems, just removed from showing a caring and emotional side. But, for the matter, each of the four children of Queen Elizabeth II do not come across well in the fourth season. Someone who decides to write on this topic should address how the British public comes to understand the monarchy through this series and whether the series can have some impact on how real-life figures are seen and judged. It may be too much to expect that the series can play into any decision regarding Charles or William becoming King, but a writer can speculate.

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        Do Culturally Sensitive Notices at the Beginning of Certain Movies Matter?

        In June 2020, HBO removed Gone With The Wind (1939) from its films available to be shown. A spokesman stated, “[The film was] a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society." Two weeks after it was removed, HBO brought it back with two video clips that address the stereotypes of slaves depicted in the film and how the film downplays the horrors of slavery.

        On the Disney network, the movie, Mr. Magoo (1997) contains a statement, before the movie begins that partially states, “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” Do these videos or statements matter and in what ways?

        The Birth of a Nation (1915), a silent film originally called The Clansman, depicts the Ku Klux Klan in heroic ways. The film is available for sale on Amazon but not found online easily if at all. Somewhere there seems to be a line that can and cannot be crossed. A warning label allows one film to be shown online but is not sufficient for another.
        Addressing culturally insensitive and disturbing issues in movies from previous eras will, no doubt, be an ongoing issue for years to come. Someone choosing to write this essay can address these issues and even might speculate about if or which current films might need warning labels and why. It may be difficult to be completely free of grievance by some group that feels a film has offended them in some way. Is cultural sensitivity in films a goal that can be completely achieved? Several questions and issues are raised in this proposed topic and an essay can address them.

        • I personally have mixed feelings about the warning labels and removal of films. As a black man, I'm used to seeing racist depictions of people of color. And I don't believe removing these movies fixes the situation. I believe having an actual discusion about what is being shown is far more important than censoring. Censoring doesn't change the fact that the people who made these movies or see nothing wrong with them still hold these ideas. While adding the caption at the begining of the movies does help (Toon heads a cartoon anthology series on did something similar in the late 1990's for early merry melodies cartoons) I still think more should be done. It's a very difficult conversation to be had, as where the line should be drawn is difficult to determine. More recently, people have been critcizing Quinton Tarrintino for some of his more questionable decisions on how he depicts race in films. People Like Samuel L. Jackson have defend him, but that doesn't mean Tarritino hasn't made a mistake in his depiction. But I think this is a good topic for who ever wants to write on it. Believe looking into director's intent is the key to determing what should be done with certain films as films like The Birth of a Nation were often used to recruit members into the KKK. Not only that but they actively demonized black men and women. Simultaneously, other filmmakers like Tarrintino despite being accused of racism often sought to depict racism and social divide realisticly or mock it. How succesful he was is up for debate. – Blackcat130 1 year ago
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        • Warner Bros. disclaimer (I'm not sure which films they apply to) states that they have chosen to continue showing the films, despite their outdated depictions, because they believe simply not showing the films would be to pretend the prejudice never happened. So in some way, cultural sensitivity warnings can serve as a tool of accountability for the filmmaker, to acknowledge they have made offensive content in the past. This could potentially form an interesting point of discussion. – Samantha Leersen 1 year ago
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        • Its quite the difficult question. On the one hand movies are products of the historical process and the prejudices reflected in the movies are often present even in contemporary society, but on the other I feel that movies like The Birth of A Nation and The Triumph of the Will have aesthetic value. That being said, anything other than censorship is preferable as a method of engaging with these issues. – Sathyajith Shaji Manthanth 1 year ago
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        Star Trek's Interconnected History

        For someone choosing to write an essay on this topic, the issue of interconnected history, binding the seven Star Trek TV shows (the Original, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Picard) together, presents an interesting way of discussing a narrative that connects the shows and keeps interest in previous Star Trek series alive.
        For example, in the Original, “The Menagerie” episodes (parts 1 and 2 in Season 1) former Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) is brought to Talos IV where he will be re-united with Vina (Susan Oliver). In Discovery, the “If Memory Serves” episode (Season 2), Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) visits Talos IV and meets Vina (Melissa George). Furthermore, in Picard (Season 1) in the “The End is the Beginning” episode, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), when visiting a Borg ship that was disconnected from the hive, is referred to as Locutus. In The Next Generation (Season 3) in the “The Best of Both Worlds” episode (Part 1) Picard is transformed into Locutus.
        Star Trek’s interconnected history presents a fascinating way of writing about the depth of created history that now runs back through five decades of a television series. As a result of a half century of television shows, there are storylines from the Star Trek series that are known to several generations of TV viewers. That much TV history has made so much of Star Trek part of American Culture.

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          Science Explained Through Television: From Watching Mr. Wizard to Bill Nye the Science Guy

          From Don Herbert who starred in “Watch Mr. Wizard” (1951—1965) to Bill Nye who starred in “Bill Nye the Science Guy” (1993-1998), we see that science could be explained in ways which do require a degree in science. How do we look at the impact of these shows? Both Herbert and Nye have had some degree of prominence beyond their shows. In the case of Herbert, by the mid 1950s, there were several thousand Mr. Wizard science clubs, and, in the case of Nye, besides appearances on TV shows such as “The Big Bang,” and “Dancing with the Stars,” Nye has been prominent in addressing creationism and global warming. The legacy of these two individuals can be studied to address making science a topic that is not simply left to scientists.

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            How Widows are Seen and Portrayed in America through Movies

            This is an outgrowth of a few comments I noticed on my article about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel–the issue of widows was raised. It might be interesting to see how widows have been presented in movies, say, a movie from each decade from the 1950s to the present (or beginning before the 1950s). Movies can reflect the values and norms of a period in time so what changes are seen and how do they reflect changing values? A 1947 movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starred Gene Tierney (as a widow) and Tex Harrison (as the ghost). Or, the 2018 movie, Widows, starring Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez. What impact did and do these movies have on how the public looks upon widows?

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              Harry Potter: Reading versus The Movies

              Character development, something that movies do not have the time for, but books do, allows for the creation of a more complex environment. In the case of the Harry Potter books, it was possible to develop an appreciation of the difficulties of learning magic and of the slow process of social interaction among a wide cast of characters. As a result, as one works their way through the books, characters develop more substance. What gets lost, glossed over, or just mentioned in passing in the movies, can be understood and appreciated when watched after having read the books. An essay can focus on the contrasts between understanding Harry Potter from the books versus watching the movies, without having read the books. This can be useful as a way of highlighting the importance of reading but also the difficulties of writing for the big screen.

              • I was just thinking about this topic. If you don't read the books but watch the movies, there is so a lot that feels like plot-holes if you don't know the context of it from the book. A lot of characters get thrown to the side or forgotten in the movies or mentioned in passing so quickly you might not even catch it. Great topic! – Zohal99 4 years ago
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              • A wonderful topic, especially in regards to Harry Potter. There is so much that gets swept under the rug that the Harry Potter movies remind me of a SparkNotes version of the books. – CarliStas 4 years ago
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              • Quite right you are, Zohal99. I was introduced to Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather by way of the film portrayal. I found it difficult to conceive that anything more could be said about the reality of such a family, Italian or otherwise. I then read the novel and was dumbfounded by what was amiss in the film. Granted, the real reason for Sonny's lady-in-waiting would garner an R rating here, nevertheless; each medium does what it can, how it can, when it can---I believe. – L:Freire 3 years ago
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              Animation and Political Satire

              "Pinky and the Brain" and "Rocky and Bullwinkle" were two series that often contained subtle and, at times, not so subtle jabs at politics. An example is an episode of "Pinky and the Brain" where the Brain found a Rush Limbaugh record where Limbaugh sings and the Brain is going to use it to "try to takeover the world." There may be other series that can be added to this essay, these are included here as examples. The broader theme is that political satire can be found weaving itself through several animation series. An essay can address the writers and what they said. In addition, did viewers pick up on the satire? Did the satire reach beyond the viewers? So, several issues, perhaps others, can be addressed in a well-developed essay.

              • I would try to be as specific as possible for this topic. Because the various political issues are many but certain shows somehow managed to greatly capture those issues. – BMartin43 3 years ago
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              • I would also add that you should analyze how political satire in animation differs from political satire in live-action genres – Michael Scalera 3 years ago
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              • Good points raised regarding whoever may pick this topic to write about. I was undertake impression that topics proposed are to be written by others (not the writers proposing them). So I hope someone picks this topic, I'd enjoy reading the essay. – Joseph Cernik 3 years ago
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              "American Pickers" and Reality TV: The Real from the Staged

              “American Pickers” on the History Channel is fun and enjoyable to watch. The problem, however, is how real is it actually. Reality TV shows need to keep the audience entertained and want them to come back for more, this show is no different. By focusing on this specific show an essay can address staged from real and the impact the show might have on people who begin to believe the stuff they have in a garage, a storage bin, a loft (probably junk they long forgot about) is worth anything of real value. In the case of this show watching people call their stuff “collecting” when it looks more like hoarding can contribute to a good essay.

              • Make sure to look at the other articles on Reality TV already published to address some of the discussion on RTV, but then yes a focus in on the concept of "collecting" and its socio-cultural implications could be really interesting. – SaraiMW 3 years ago
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              Binge-Watching and TV Criticism

              “Happy Valley” (Season 3), “Stranger Things” (season 3), “Lost in Space” (Season 2), “Queen of the South” (Season 3), or “Into the Badlands” (Season 3). There are other series out there. Sure, some come from the BBC or AMC, but the convenience of quickly seeing as many episodes as one can enjoy in a short period of time, is so different than watching “Davy Crockett” on “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” spread out over three Sunday evenings, eventually getting to Davy dying at the Alamo.
              The anticipation, the expectation are probably different when waiting for an entire season of a particular show to be available on Netflix than was the case with waiting for the next episode of “Spin and Marty” a series that included some 78 episodes in all (also on Disney). Do we develop a more critical way of evaluating a series now because of the way we wait for its return and watch a number of episodes all in one sitting than was the case when we had no control over how many episodes we could watch at one sitting? Since episodes can be watched back to back (to back, and so on) we can evaluate plot lines and character development in ways that was not the case when we had no choice but to wait for the next installment. Perhaps we become TV critics in ways that was not the case previously or even possible.
              Our capability to critique a series now has to impact how series lines are developed by, say, the writers of these shows. Is there more of an interaction between the audience and the writers, producers, actors on these shows than was the case in the past?

              • The thing is that promotion of these series' was good thats why people remember about these. There are other great series like la casa de papel which got ruined in second season. And no one remembers about it now. – SonofQuantamPhysics 3 years ago
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              Hopalong Cassidy and Sky King save the Day: A Time when Saturday Morning TV Mattered

              This topic requires a look back at the early days of TV, which might not seem to matter but still has an influence. TV, at one time, was an experiment and it might end up being a surprise that certain shows became popular and had a following. Looking at the early days of children’s shows and how they contrast with the present provides an insight into how far TV has come–not necessarily always for the better, just a reflection on how far we have come. Contrasts or evolution or maybe it is just development are a way to measure change: What is different about the present and whether it is better or just different from the past is useful. An historical perspective is a good way to look at the present. In this situation, looking at children’s TV shows can provide that perspective. Change should not always be seen as an improvement, sometimes it is just change–we do things different than they were done in the past just not necessarily better, just different.

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                Is it Possible to develop a good "feel" for a TV show from the first few episodes?

                It is possible to look back after the first season of a show and develop a feeling that it was a good show, or even after several seasons. But, when a show first appears on TV and all that exists are those first few episodes, maybe no more than the first two or three, then what type of opinions can develop about it? It is possible to talk about a "tipping point" what something starts to take off, but here, at the beginning, the tipping point might not yet have been reached. Early on character development, character interaction, plots, story lines might be seen in different ways then might be the case after the show has been on for a longer period. When a show has been on for a season or more, the audience has more of a history to draw upon in how they see character interaction and plots develop, that is not there with only a few episodes. Those first few episodes can begin to lay the foundation for what is to come and, perhaps, it is how the audience speculates about where they think the show and its characters might be headed that matters in determining if viewers see a show as having the potential to be a good show.

                • This is definitely an interesting topic! And definitely something that would be interesting to look at. It would be interesting to talk about the difference between shows that try too hard and those that bring you in slowly. – ChaosMistress5817 3 years ago
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                • This is quite an interesting concept to delve into. Especially because of how often shows get cancelled early in the season due to ratings in our current television network climate. It is almost essential now to have that "it" moment early on to get people talking and tuning in. A bit off topic, but it might also be of interest to look into how streaming services and binge watching may prolong having those "tipping points" later in the season because the entire seasonal storyline is available at hand. What does this mean for network shows? – Lexzie 3 years ago
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                Is it possible to like Gone With The Wind while still realizing the often Mythic Image of the South it Presents?

                Gone With The Wind (1939) can be seen as a good movie. But, at the same time, it presents an image of the South which was never true in the first place and which presents slavery in almost passing reference ways. There is this time before the Civil War where, we are to believe, that the South had an ideal existence. Seeing the movie from the present, makes one quite aware of what is left out and glossed over and makes one want to go "Wait! Stop! Go back!" How can we and should evaluate the movie today?

                • It is important as always to remember the framework of literature, that it is a fiction and GWTW was always framed as a historical romance that drew on some elements of the civil war, but largely was about the journey of Scarlet O'Hara through a changing period. It is a story about the dangers of unrequited love and unrealistic ideals, but also about strength and resolution. In many ways the representation of slavery in the film/book needs to be balanced against the fact it is told from the perspective of a woman in that period, most of which had the same rights of slaves in the time. Scarlet is also an unreliable narrator as she perceives the events around her from a very self-centered lens. However, all in all it is still an interesting text to discuss. – SaraiMW 3 years ago
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                Sharknado: Camp on TV

                Sharknado is suppose to end its run on TV with the release of the sixth in the series of made-for-TV movies. These movies can best be described as "camp" which might express the poor quality yet, at times, hard to resist desire (or curiosity) to watch them. Camp and television have had a long relationship, with shows such as Batman and Gilligan’s Island in the 1960s to Charlie’s Angels and CHiPs in the 1970s and 1980s best described as camp. What is it that attracts viewers to camp TV? Is there a clear dividing line between comedy and camp?

                • A bit of a historical background and theoretical framing of the concept of 'camp' will be required. Otherwise I think it is a fair discussion to have. It could be widened further to generally look at the appeal of what is such an odd series of culturally successful TV movies. – SaraiMW 3 years ago
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                • This can be a very topic to talk about it. Not every piece of entertainment has to aim to thought-provoking high art, that's why Camp exists. It's entertainment junk food that only aims to keep people entertained. Also talk about how guilty pleasure and camp can go hand in hand – cbo1094 3 years ago
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                How have TV Westerns changed since the 1950s and 1960s?

                Hell on Wheels (2016) with Colm Meaney and Deadwood (2006) with Timothy Olyphant represent a scattering of western shows over the past decade or so. In the year 1959, for example, there was Rawhide (with Clint Eastwood), The Californians (with Richard Coogan), The Rifleman (with Chuck Connors) and Bonanza (with Lorne Greene) and several more. What changes have taken place to reflect greater sensitivity to issues that were not always addressed in earlier Westerns? Is it possible to say that more recent TV Westerns have improved upon earlier ones? If so, in what ways?

                • Already addressed (with political undertones and and analysis): 1) https://the-artifice.com/the-virginian-political-journeys 2) https://the-artifice.com/symbolism-in-the-western-genre – L:Freire 4 years ago
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                • "Justified" with Timothy Olyphant (2010-2015) and "Westworld" (2016-present) are also golden examples of a modern take on the Western genre. – ValleyChristion 4 years ago
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