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5

Perennial British Crime?

A Touch of Frost, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lynley, Vera … Free to air TV (at least in Australia where I am) consistently cycles such British crime series as these on repeat. Are such series perennial favourites, and if they are, why? Is it the characters? Or is it the familiar comfort and repetitiveness of the storylines? Does the quality of the shows or the popularity of crime as a genre play a part? Maybe it’s a combination of the above—or maybe these series are not perennial favourites and are rather the entertainment of only the unadventurous, narrow-minded, or deprived.

Is what is sought/gained from the entertainment experience such series offer the same as or distinct from other forms of crime drama (less/more episodic examples, those produced around the world, shows offered on subscription streaming services etc.)? How does "quality" in terms of the writing and production of the shows compare? An investigation of these questions could potentially include books, noting that the examples above were originally based on book series.

This could be a massive topic, but it would be fun to see at least some of it explored …

  • Is "perennial favourite" a common expression in Australia or elsewhere? I wonder if its use, over "classic" or "timeless," may restrict the global audience to a specific view or local perspective, if that happens to be the case. – T. Palomino 4 months ago
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Controversy or Consciousness in Marvel Netflix?

Comic books, back in the day, were the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest. They were painful narratives that made us think, that put our problems into the perspectives of a false world so a hero could show us they can be solved and the villains of our lives vanquished. Unfortunately, the solutions are solely on the page or on the screen, now with the Netflix series’ of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but does that erase the effect they have on us as viewers and readers?

Do the shows take some issues too far? Present them too blatantly or too straight-forward for escapism?

Are they too real and too relevant? Or exactly what we need?

  • Something else to consider would be whether or not the intention of comic books is still escapism. As entertainment becomes increasingly politicized, the escapism aspect may sit on a balance with a desire to provide political commentary. If you wanted to do that more broadly, too, you could look at the balance of escapism and commentary in modern comic books or their adaptations (like Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage), which I feel like is what you might be trying to do. There's an excellent article about Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing his run of Black Panther which touches on this --> http://kotaku.com/ta-nehisi-coates-is-trying-to-do-right-by-marvel-comics-1769418783 – Sadie Britton 6 years ago
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  • I think the subjective nature social consciousness makes this a hard question to answer. Comics have always run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to uncomfortably real but a lot of that is in the personal interpretation. Most comics aren't going to be as clear in their messaging as Captain America punching Hitler in the face. The X-Men arose as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement but not every white comic reader in the 60s was thinking "I see, this is like how we treat black people". However black comic readers may have connected with the story in a different way. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both seemed overtly political but technically were recreations of plot lines that were decades old. When Brock Turner is making headlines, Jessica's inability to consent holds more weight. When Black Lives Matter plays a large part in the political sphere, a bulletproof black guy (in a hoodie) holds more weight. Your environment and your gender/racial/sexual identity change whether you view it as a nice work of fiction or a very political one. – LC Morisset 6 years ago
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  • Whoever decides to write a piece about this topic, must keep the line about comic books being "the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest." Otherwise, no success will be achieved. – T. Palomino 5 months ago
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Netflix to release episodes weekly

Netflix made binge watching a household phenomenon. In fact, it was one of their biggest selling points.

But now they are going to release episodes weekly instead of releasing entire seasons at once. Why is television reverting back to cable formats? What are the possible cons of binge watching culture and is it sustainable? Is Netflix following HBO Max’s success in weekly releases? Is binge watching conducive to long term streaming revenue?
Additionally, how do weekly releases impact viewers differently than entire seasons being released at once?

  • Besides all the topics on binge watching that we have, I forgot to mention that we also have at least one published article focused on this specific phenomenon. It may be a good idea to look into it to make sure one is not repeating ideas that have already been explored. – T. Palomino 3 months ago
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  • Binge-watching, as an extreme, can cause some health issues; one being a long period of constant physical inactivity. However, companies replicating the successes of other companies is pretty common. That phenomenon is seen in the addition of "stories" to many social media platforms, or the simplification of company logos. – lorem1psum 3 months ago
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  • There are many video essays on Youtube talking about the downfall of Netflix and the binge watch format definitely contributed to it. If all your fans are watching things that take at least a year to produce in a few days, you need to constantly pump out new content which will be of lesser quality. – sabrinaellis 2 months ago
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7

Cringe comedies that aren't The Office

The Office and its many adaptations stand out as pioneers of a genre called cringe comedy. In a cringe comedy, the central characters act like fools, and the audience responds by laughing at them out of nervous surprise and vicarious embarrassment. What are some examples of cringe comedies other than The Office? What, if any, influence do you think The Office has had on them? Is there a way to distinguish "good" cringe comedy from "bad" cringe comedy?

  • Great topic! Some examples include Parks and Rec and Superstore. One could discuss the similarities between The Office and these shows. – Anna Samson 3 months ago
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  • Trailer Park Boys would be another great example. Family guy too def cringe for some viewers – abs552 3 months ago
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2

Glee and cringe comedy

Although it relies heavily on the tropes of teen soap operas, the musical series Glee is often seen as a comedy. What is interesting about it, though, is that most of the humor appears to be what is often referred to as "cringe" humor. Cringe humor is so-called because it entails a character acting in provocative or foolish ways and causing the audience to laugh at them instead of with them. In the case of Glee, some of the more famous examples of cringe include the teenage characters attempting to perform "sexy" dance numbers, and the one-liners provided by Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison, who play the most prominent teachers. Some YouTubers have even taken to compiling the most cringey scenes from Glee and giving their videos names like "Glee out of context" or "Glee scenes that give me secondhand embarrassment."

So, is Glee a cringe comedy? Or is it a soap opera that just happens to have cringey humor in it? Is there something about the premise or cast of Glee that naturally lends itself to cringe humor?

  • As someone who never got into Glee or really saw the appeal this did catch my eye. I'd love an exploration of the genre of cringe comedy and how Glee fits into the greater canon. – Sunni Ago 4 months ago
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  • Another example could be Riverdale (tbh Riverdale is an article in of itself). You could argue about the different scales of cringe. In Glee, I find that the comedy is self-aware and knew that it was ridiculous at time. Whereas in Riverdale it crossed the line where you don't know if the writers are serious or satirical. – shaymichel20 2 months ago
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  • Glee was also produced by Ryan Murphy (of American Horror Story, Ratched, Hollywood, etc), and upon a recent re-watch my friends and I were wondering if it might be considered a camp satire about heteronormativity. All of the pregnancy plotlines, Sue's obvious lesbian vibes & Shuster's obvious gay vibes serving beard couple realness, all of the revealing of the farces of heterosexual normality -- this show really just magnifies the absurdity of 'straight culture' (hence the cringe). – alex 2 months ago
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4

The value of friendship

There is a lot of amazing TV out there to watch at the moment, however, a lot of it is heavy, deep, meaningful and dramatic. There is nothing wrong with this as it explores the experiences of humanity in a meaningful way. But there needs to be a balance of good, low-impact, moral, pleasing shows that are also not just about romance. Whatever happened to the value of friendship in TV?

An Australian comedy-drama Rosehaven is a show with a simple premise. A son returns to the small town he grew up in, in Tasmania to help run his mother’s real estate business. His best friend who was going off to her honeymoon is left by her husband. She decides to go join her bestie in Tasmania, and just stays. Although the show includes sub-plots on romance, the dramas of small town, emotional growth, it is primarily about friendship and what that means. [SPOILER] The show ends with a faux wedding with the town wanting them to end up together, but they don’t – they are just good friends.
Yes, boys and girls can just be good friends without everyone needing to be pared off within the friendship group (looking at Friends here).

Friendship is a huge part of everyone’s experiences. Too many shows use this framing to drive drama, especially in young adult shows such as Gossip Girl or The OC. When in fact for most people it is the friendships that endure not always the relationships and lovers.
This topic is proposing a dive into all the shows that should be celebrated for their focus on the value of friendship above all else. In a period in time when we are living a life full of angst, trauma and drama, perhaps a greater focus on shows that perpetuate positive experiences of real life values is needed. What do you think?

  • I think an examination of platonic heterosexual friendship is worth examining, especially with the popular consciousness being, "you have to hook up" it would be good to shine a light on shows and other media that reject the premise and elevate the idea of just being good friends. – SunnyAgo 4 months ago
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  • It is noteworthy that starting a paragraph with a discussion about friendship, in general, is appealing. Friendship: What is it? What exactly qualifies as friendship and what doesn't? Does friendship come in a variety of forms? There are three different types of friendships, for instance, according to Aristotle: friendships that are useful, pleasant, and virtuous. According to Aristotle, true friendship is the third type of relationship. What then are the qualities of such a friendship? The author may investigate the potential lines of male and female relationships to determine whether they are compatible with such traits. And most likely, yeah! Another thing to think about is to find an example of a show that has the opposite result from the one shown here. In other words, a scenario in which a man and a woman start off as friends before falling in love. By doing so, the author is able to compare the two examples and determine the types of friendship that existed in each case, as well as how one example of a friendship evolved into a different form of relationship as time went on, but not the other. – Samer Darwich 4 months ago
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  • This is more in response to sunny's note. This also could quickly turn into a conversation about love. As in Bleach Zangestu before finally teaching Ichigo the final Gestugaitensho, Zangestu states he loves Ichigo. Now this is clearly not a sexual love and more of a mentor to student relationship. And he does not want to see Ichigo hurt, which over the course of the series Ichigo has done many things to protect his friends and Karukara town. And this is ultimately is what is causing Ichigo so much stress, which finally leads to Zangestu telling him he does not care about any of things Ichigo values. He only cares about Ichigo, which puts him in a difficult position as he helps Ichigo achieve his goals because only wants to see Ichigo happy, but helping him is also leading him to suffer more. I believe we often take platonic displays of affection and interpret it as romantic. This isn't even just limited to Bleach (Naruto and Sasuke, Batman and Robin, House and Wilson, Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner are all character who have a platonic relationship that is often subject to the idea they're secretly gay for one another.) Which I somewhat understandable as in the past before homosexuality was accepted, many gay men would get married to women only to dissuade rumors that their gay. These women were often called these men's "beard". This is part of the reason all relationship whether it is between a man and woman, woman and woman, or man and man is subject to the idea that character a romantically attracted to one another, when it is mostly just a platonic relationship, and individuals simply care about each other deeply. – Blackcat130 4 months ago
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8

YouTube Kids: Harmless or Dangerous?

In past decades, children got their television "diet" from specific shows on specific channels, or program blocks on one or two channels tailored for them. Today, our children have an endless list of shows to choose from thanks to streaming services and 24-7 content.

One example of such content is YouTube Kids, a network of channels that are given new content daily, sometimes several times daily. Some of this content is positive, but just as much if not more is allegedly detrimental to kids. Writer and artist James Bridle, for instance, gave a TED Talk for YouTube that, while three years old, has 4.8M views. His TED Talk posits that YouTube kids is actually dangerous to kids’ mental health and development.

Examine this TED Talk as well as other sources, such as the Momo controversy from the late 2010s, or certain shows and videos on YTK. What content is the most detrimental, and why? Is there anything parents, guardians, and tech experts could do to make content more educational and child-friendly? Perhaps most importantly, what exactly is the draw of YTK, and why do so many adults welcome its content, questionable or not? Discuss.

  • You should look into a youtube channel called "How to cook that" by Ann Reardon. She does debunking videos (normally 5-minute craft kind of videos) and discusses the implications of having these dangerous videos widely accessible to children. She also discusses the legalities of these videos being on youtube in the case that someone is injured following a video. – scampbell 1 year ago
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  • I think youtube isn't a very informative platform for today's generation – Olivergoodwin 4 months ago
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7

The Appeal of Wednesday Addams

The original Addams Family series graced our televisions in the 1960s. The show was already an adaptation of Charles Addams’ successful comic strip, but has since spawned a series remake, a cartoon, two live-action movies, one animated movie, and a musical.

Netflix is now set to stream yet another addition to the Addams canon. However, this one is a bit different, in that it focuses mainly on daughter Wednesday. This makes sense, as Wednesday seems to be one of the family’s more popular members. But, why is she? Does this have to do with Christina Ricci’s treatment of her in the live-action films? Is it her personality, or a way she stands out in her already unusual family? Explore these or other facets of Wednesday and her popularity. You might also consider comparing/contrasting Wednesday with similar unconventional female characters, to see whether they have or haven’t achieved Wednesday’s popularity.

  • Firstly, I have loved the Addams Family since I was a child. However, as I view Wednesday Addams as an adult, I find that she is most realistic and, remarkably, the most real to herself. Similar characters comparable to Wednesday could be Janice Ian from the movie, Mean Girls. Although she is an outcast to the rest of society, she expresses herself in the most authentic way possible. Characters like Wednesday create an appeal for viewers who aspire to be as shamelessly authentic in the real world. – KatJSevillaa 4 months ago
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