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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 6 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 5 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 4 months ago
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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 6 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 6 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 6 months ago
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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 6 months ago
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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 6 months ago
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Modernizing Old Stories

In the new Death on the Nile (adapted from Agatha Christie’s book), they made a number of changes to ensure the work was better appreciated by a modern audience. This included changing certain motives and secrets for characters (having a former kleptomaniac instead have a secret lover, for example) and adding a romantic subplot for the main character.
Regardless of whether one thinks these changes work or not, I wanted to open up a discussion on why we feel the need to modernize old stories (even bringing some into the modern day rather than keeping them set in the past), and if these efforts help our understanding of these stories.
After all, movies tend to be made for a wide audience. There is a risk that many viewers won’t understand what certain decisions or plot elements imply, because they don’t have a knowledge of the time period it was originally created in. Changes are made to ‘translate’ the work for modern audiences. But on the other hand, it can easily go too far and attempts to modernize can remove beloved parts of the original work.

  • This could be an interesting larger discussion, for instance the modernisation of Shakespeare's works. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 9 months ago
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  • I think that one reason why certain stories lend themselves to modernization is that at the time they were written they would have seemed "modern" to begin with. A lot of the technologies and cultural references used by Agatha Christie would have been considered modern, even cutting-edge, at the time her books were written, and it's only nowadays that they seem old-fashioned or "period." This was also the reason why the BBC decided to set its "Sherlock" series in modern times. Sherlock Holmes would have been considered a "modern" detective at the time the novels were originally written, and so, paradoxically, the best way to honor its original vision is to tell a version of the story set in modern times. – Debs 9 months ago
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  • Updating language is always a good reason to 'modernize' a story. Without the ability to actually understand Shakespeare, for example, people might be mislead into thinking it's high-brow classical storytelling instead of a collection of dick jokes stuffed into a thriller jacket. – kgy121 9 months ago
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  • Nice topic, but it feels a little broad. Try narrowing it down. For instance, you could do a whole article on the language issue alone. – Stephanie M. 9 months ago
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  • It may be of great importance to end the article by drawing a line between the elements that are essential to protect an art piece's identity and the elements that can be changed in response to time, place, and culture without altering its identity. – Samer Darwich 9 months ago
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  • One unavoidable problem is the change of thought with time. The core of the old story was based on The Times and social environment at that time, but now The Times and social environment we are living in have undergone great changes, and the core of the ideas conveyed are sometimes difficult to be accepted by the contemporary era. – Bruce 2 months ago
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True Crime and the American Fascination with Murder

True crime is a quintessentially American genre of television, literature, and more recently, podcasts. The fascination with the dark, disturbing, grotesque, and downright deranged have been entrenched in American media since Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood captivated audiences in the 1960s. While true crime has its benefits: revisiting cold cases and even identifying murderers, rapists, and other such criminals, where is the line between seeking justice and becoming a voyeur in a victim’s tragedy? Can there be an ethical consumption of true crime when it has been transformed into casual brunch conversation and a quirky pastime? What does the growing popularity of murder podcasts (notably mainly hosted by 30-something white women) say about American culture?

  • What are some examples of those podcasts hosted by middle aged white women? – T. Palomino 7 months ago
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Khonshu and Ammit: From Egyptian Mythology to the MCU

With the success of the Disney limited series Moon Knight, it has no doubt thrown Egyptian mythology into the spotlight. But despite all the amazing visual effects, and the dazzling scenery and action scenes, how accurate is the portrayal of Khonshu and Ammit? Does marvel stick close to Egyptian mythology, and portray the gods as accurately as possible, or have they adapted the mythologies to suit a certain audience? Just like the other myths and legends of the Ancient World, Egyptian mythology can be quite complicated, and even through the passage of time, the gods themselves can be adapted through mythology to suit new purposes. The MCU is no stranger to portraying gods, as we have seen Thor, Loki, and various other gods from the Norse mythologies. So how close is Marvel’s portrayal of the Egyptian gods, and how have they managed to stick to the ancient script?

  • I would suggest comparing the MCU to Norse mythology, as well. Making Hela a daughter of Odin instead of Loki, for example, was an interesting choice. The biggest challenge in writing this article would be determining which sources to use. It's not like we're comparing the Captain America movie to what really happened in World War II. The "canon" of mythology is very loose and fuzzy. Still, might be fun to see what we can come up with. – noahspud 2 months ago
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Succession as a Greek and Shakespearian Tragedy

Analyze the ways in HBO series succession follows a traditional tragedy structure in both the Ancient Greek sense and Shakespearean sense. A tragedy is a play based on human suffering, primarily concerning tragic events that befall the main character. The intention of tragedy, as understood by Aristotle, is to provoke catharsis in its audience. Catharsis is a release of emotions that comes with seeing others undergo painful or unfortunate circumstances. It is the pleasure of intense emotion with the relief of not undergoing the suffering oneself. Both Greek and Shakespearean tragedies tend to focus on the downfall of a protagonist who holds a high position in society. In the case of Succession, the main character, Kendall Roy, is the son of the CEO and founder of the largest multi-media conglomerate in the world. The plot itself is reminiscent of King Lear, as Logan Roy ages and must consider which of his three children is fit to take over his immensely successful business as he ages (though whether or not he is actually willing to give up his position of power is uncertain). Kendall’s dreams of taking over the company are continuously derailed, no matter how hard he tries he is denied this one desire that he believes to be his birthright. Are there other aspects of Shakespearean tragedy that present themselves in the show? For example, there is considerable comic relief throughout the whole show, a feature not present in Greek tragedies. Is it more like one than the other? In what ways does it differ from these archetypes, and what significance do these divergences carry? Many consider it to be a comedy, how does the entwining of genres contribute to the complexity of the show, and the message it sends to its viewers? How does it merge traditional media with the problems and techniques of modernity?

  • Tragedy had elements of comedy from the time of the 16th to the 19th (maybe very early 20th) centuries. Vice verse as it pertains to comedies. – J.D. Jankowski 7 months ago
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