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How does Doctor Who approach the concept of time travel?

Doctor who features a time lord who can travel in time to anywhere he wants before it even happens.

  • As a Whovian, I'd love to read an article on how "Doctor Who" approaches time travel. It's almost mythologized in the show how the Doctor deals with the laws of time and time-travel and how it affects him and his companions. – angelacarmela96 1 week ago
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What We Can Learn from Time Travel Shows

While time travel works are entertaining and interesting, one would still wonder what the audience can learn from these kinds of shows. The idea of going back in time or travelling to the future is appealing to humans because they know they can control time with this power, i.e. the forced events brought upon by the universe. Yet, we know that time travel is practically impossible and even if it were, it would be extremely dangerous as it messes with the forces of nature. Thus, what is the purpose of creating stories that portray the possibility of such a phenomenon? works including "The Time Machine," "Doctor Who," "Back to the Future," "Steins;Gate," "Life Is Strange," etc. can be mentioned to illustrate with examples.

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    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?

    • This is a pretty interesting topic. Unfortunately, I can't see this discussion ever being anything more than an opinion piece. There will always be an argument for including characters from the extended universe of Star Wars or simply creating a new character for Mandalorian. If you write on this topic it would probably be best to write about the pro and cons to either choice. And use criticisms fans have had for either decisions to support your arguement. – Blackcat130 1 month ago
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    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?

    • I think that this topic can be a very interesting one. However, I think that in some ways it is too broad. I think perhaps narrowing down the focus, on one specific type of episode will help someone want to write it more. – RheaRG 4 weeks ago
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    • Good idea. I'd lean toward drug-centric ones since drugs and drinking were so publicized in the '80s and '90s (not that they aren't now, but back then we had Nancy Reagan's campaign, the advent of DARE, etc.) I personally also love focusing on disability-centric episodes as a compare/contrast to how characters with disabilities should be portrayed and treated, but I'd leave that to someone else to write. – Stephanie M. 4 weeks 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 3 months 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 3 months ago
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    Taken by iamdharmesh1 (PM) 5 days 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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. 5 months ago
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    • I'm not familiar with a lot of non-US tv shows, but here's one example: The Netflix series Dark is set in the small fictional German town of Winden, and most of the younger people seem to really hate it and want nothing more than to get away. – JamesBKelley 1 month ago
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    Are Competition Shows Inherently Against Minorities?

    The impetus for this topic started because, during the pandemic, I’ve become rather hooked on Chopped and its iterations. One thing I’ve noticed about Chopped though, is a dearth of female competitors and winners. Many episodes have male chefs outnumbering females 3-1, and many episodes have the female chef eliminated in round one. Some fans have noted this happens even and especially if female judges outnumber male ones.

    Then I started noticing this trend in other competition shows. For instance, I am a huge Jeopardy fan, and have noticed that men win much more often than women. Also, women can have winning streaks–some, like Julia Collins, have won as many as 20 games in a row. But this is nothing compared to the streaks of Ken Jennings (74), James Holzhauer (30 ), and other male players.

    This got me thinking, women aren’t the only ones getting shortchanged. It’s fairly common, for instance, to see persons of Asian descent on Jeopardy or Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but not other POCs. It’s becoming more common to see LGBTQ people in competition shows, but not as common as it could be (and those contestants also often lose). Also, while people with learning disabilities or "invisible" diseases such as celiac or diabetes do appear on cooking competitions, trivia competitions, and athletic competitions, it is completely unheard of for people with visible, physical disabilities or disabilities like autism to appear. (Of course, in the case of athletics, the argument is, "Well, we have Special Olympics/Paralympics," but that’s problematic in itself).

    Is this trend as prevalent as it appears? Is it changing in a positive or negative way? What could competitions, from sports to cooking to trivia, do to be more inclusive and welcoming? Discuss.

    • I think this is a really interesting topic to discuss. Perhaps, an article on this topic could take into account - if possible - the demographics of those who apply for such shows, are individuals belonging to minority groups applying and just not getting selected? Or are they choosing not to apply for such programmes? Is there any reason/research for this? Also - another possible angle, is this prejudice the same across several countries? For example, does the American 'Masterchef' look the same as the Australian or British iterations of the show? Is this a problem intrinsic across the globe, or just pertaining to certain countries? – leersens 5 months ago
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    Titles in TV shows

    Despite not being a part of the show per se, episodes’ titles can be very important and conscientiously made and choose by the creators. Indeed, they may reveal clues about the plot. They may add up to something, they may be little enigmas, they may seem incomprehensible at first, they can be cultural or academic references… For instance, Blindspot’s convoluted titles are in fact anagrams, the titles of Mr. Robot’s episodes from season one to three are written in Leet Speak, while in the recent Netflix show Warrior Nun each title is a reference to an extract of the Bible in connection with the episode’s plot. Other titles may include puns or schematics. Some titles’ format may become a tradition throughout the show.

    From there, many questions can come to mind. Can we discern trends, whether historical or thematic? Is there some TV shows that stand out for their particularly clever use of episodes’ (or show’s) titles? 

    To what extent can we say that titles are a part of an implicit pact between the creators and the viewers? With platforms like Netflix and the increasing temptation to binge-watch our favorite shows, we may be paying less attention to the titles and the cuttings, therefore, to what extent are titles still relevant? How the pact previously mentioned could evolve in the future?

    • Favorite episode title choice is "Ozymandias" from Breaking Bad Season 5. The title tells you everything you need to know about the episode by referring Percy Shelley's poem. I also like a lot of Halt and Catch Fire's episode title which reference 1980s Computer Commands/Systems, song titles, and cultural ideas. I feel like those help ground the viewer in its 1980s-1990s world and are a treat for people who understand the references. – Sean Gadus 3 months ago
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    • An interesting idea. Are there are studies showing the title of a episode matters? I remember in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the title of the episode was announced at the beginning of some shows on TV. – Joseph Cernik 3 months ago
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