English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: #ENGL1102

Cookie Pouches and Feeling Sticks

As I mentioned last week, New Girl often flips the script on traditional gender roles.  Episode 4 of New Girl centers around Nick’s issues with his body image, an idea traditionally associated with girls and their eating disorders.  Hardly ever do we see men in media feeling insecure about how they look or their weight.  In this episode, Nick is “delicate like a flower” and incredibly self-conscious about his body weight and image after Jess points out his cookie “pouch” where he keeps his extra cookies.

Jess being oblivious, Nick being sensitive

Throughout the episode, Jess is the person in an aggressive/assertive role, trying to get Nick to talk about his feelings, while Nick is generally on the defensive and avoids the conversation topic.  Nick is also passive in that he doesn’t act until he is forced to when someone else acts.  This situation flips the power dynamic in which men are the ones who are aggressively pursuing something while the women are either passive or defensive, just like how Nick only talks to Jess when confronted and finally shows aggression by breaking the feeling stick when Jess gives it to him.  However, there is little to no initiation from Nick to act until Jess corners him to talk about feelings, and he then just tries to escape the situation as fast as possible.

A similar power dynamic is seen with Amanda, his coworker at the bar who Nick has been trying to hook up with.  At one point after another frustrating attempt by Jess to talk about his feelings, Nick shuts her down by saying that what he wants is “meaningless sex”.  When Jess disagrees, Nick insists that he does because he is male (that is, because he has a “bing-bong and chickadees”).  Yet when Nick tries to do so with Amanda, the one who wants to take it slow is the guy with Amanda asking Nick almost derisively about wanting to cuddle.  In traditional portrayals of women in media, they’ve been the people who want to slow down the relationship because it’s going too fast with the guy pressuring them into something they’re not ready for, while the guys have been the ones unsatisfied with mere cuddling that has romantic rather than carnal connotations.  In Nick’s case, he’s the one who is insecure and shy, such as when he’s awkward about taking his shirt off before sex, while Amanda is confident in her body and is going after what she wants.

While presented with the classic New Girl humorous flair, this episode brings up important issues about how body image issues shouldn’t be gendered, and New Girl helps to dispel this stigma and the more general problem of confining gender roles.

The Humanity of the Inhuman

**Spoilers Ahead**

I am now going on my fourth episode of Westworld, and the show does not fail to captivate me. It continues to use amazing acting, intriguing storylines and mystery to enthrall its viewers. Needless to say, it continues to interest me.

One way by which this show continues to captivate its viewers is by incorporating difficult questions into the theme. These themes make us question our morals, our beliefs, and humanity’s futures. Is it right for there to be a theme park for people to satisfy their questionable acts? If the humanlike droids don’t “feel”, does that make void the illegality of assaulting/raping/killing them? Is an act committed in this park against a droid considered to be of the same questionable moral character as doing it in real life? Continually, the show continues to pose these questions to the viewer without giving answers. Ultimately, it is up for us to decide.

A theme Westworld continually addresses in the third episode (and clearly will be throughout the show) is the concept of machines being able to “feel”. While this may seem cliché for a show which involves robotic humans, the way in which it questions it is all the more interesting due to the acts being committed on these robots by the humans. It appears that the writers are leaving it up to us to formulate a belief, but their argument seems to be along the lines of “it depends”. Inconclusive, clearly, but for good reason. It seems that the robots are “learning” how to have human emotions throughout the show, however, is it only because of the programming created by the humans themselves? Is it really original? These questions seem to be the basis of their argument, one which they leave purposefully vague so that we ourselves can determine it.

The show demonstrates its argument through character interactions. We continually see the head programmer interact with one droid in particular, whom begins to show signs of human behavior. This is our introduction to the conflict, as we delve into deciding whether or not this droid is capable of having these emotions. The argument itself is demonstrated again as inconclusive by having characters mention droids cannot feel, while the programmer continues to get attached. If I were to make predictions, I believe this theme will be a major portion of the show. Since the show is about immoral acts being taken out on droids by humans, the question of the morals of these actions being taken out on potentially “feeling” machines will continue to arise. Surely, the show will continue to explore this complicated theme further. And as we move into a world of more advanced technology, it seems all the more relevant.

Can droids feel emotions?

The Backstory of the Hilarious Dialogues of New Girl

New Girl is a show that is known for its simple and hilarious jokes. This episode of New Girl called “Cece Crashes” is written by Rachel Axler. She has also written episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation and Veep, which are all shows that are somewhat similar to New Girl. The dialogue is structured to maintain a constant dialogue between the characters. There is not a voiceover on the show unlike some others, so there isn’t a narrator to fill in the gaps. Since this show is light in terms of plot, a narrator is not necessary. Shows usually use voiceovers to inform the audience about the plot or more about the characters and what they’re thinking. But in this show, it is usually pretty evident on the motives and situations of the characters.

Silence is usually not very apparent in the episode. When there is silence, it is usually to set up an interaction between two or more of the characters and to create a sense of build-up in the plot line for the episode. Otherwise, this episode was very dialogue heavy. Especially since this episode created a high amount of tension between Jess and Nick, there was a lot of dialogue especially from Jess about her dilemma of having a romantic relationship with one of the guys that she lives with.

Finally, the writing of the show always seems very natural. Sometimes, in sitcoms, the writing, and dialogue is usually somewhat forced and awkward because the writers try too hard to be funny. The humor is always forced but in New Girl, merely the interactions between the characters are what makes the show humorous and it is very easy to watch. The writing is along the style which I prefer which is why I choose to review this show. I am very excited to see all the jokes New Girl has in store for the rest of the season (:

Jess/Nick and their quarrels

The Effects of Television Programming on Children’s Perceptions of Gender Norms

1. GENDER AND RACIAL REPRESENTATION IN CHILDREN’S TELEVISION PROGRAMMING IN KUWAIT: IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION

Al-Shehab, Ali. “GENDER AND RACIAL REPRESENTATION IN CHILDREN’S TELEVISION PROGRAMMING IN KUWAIT: IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION.”Social Behavior and Personality, vol. 36, no. 1, 2008, pp. 49-63. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/209925892?accountid=11107.

This source explores the effects of gender stereotypes in Egyptian satellite television and Kuwait national television on children. The study found that the Kuwait national channel tended to under represent minorities in the country, along with women. Likewise, portrayals of these characters tended to confirm to traditional stereotypes. The study argues that since children are so susceptible to conforming to the gender stereotypes seen on television, that children should be educated earlier on about the fact that what is demonstrated on television is not an accurate representation of gender roles. This source is relevant to us because it explores the effects of demonstrated gender stereotypes on children. While this study was performed on television channels in other nations, the fact that children are easily influenced means its effects can be compared to those of shows in the United States. It can allow us to demonstrate how gender roles influences children.

2. Gender Representation on Gender-Targeted Television Channels: A Comparison of Female- and Male-Targeted TV Channels in the Netherlands

Daalmans, Serena, Mariska Kleemans, and Anne Sadza. “Gender Representation on Gender-Targeted Television Channels: A Comparison of Female- and Male-Targeted TV Channels in the Netherlands.” Sex Roles, vol. 77, no. 5-6, 2017, pp. 366-378. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1927952499?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-016-0727-6.

This study analyzed gender representation in two kinds of television shows: those which targeted female viewers and those which targeted male viewers. It evaluated how opposite genders were demonstrated in each of these two scenarios, and the respectfulness of these portrayals. The location of this study was the Netherlands, and the shows analyzed were Dutch. It was found that, regardless of genre as well as the country of origin, women were underrepresented on men’s channels more so than men on women’s channels. Furthermore, women were more stereotypically represented on men’s channels than they were on women’s. On the contrary, men were more often represented in non-stereotypical ways on women’s channels. The source also argues that, because of the increased societal status of women in the modern day, male shows have felt more pressure to highlight masculinity. This source could be of use because, while it appears to highlight gender roles in adult shows, its implications could be traced down to children’s shows. Since there are certainly many shows which are tailored to specific genders on children’s televisions, the portrayal of gender stereotypes on these shows is important to analyze. This source can provide some insight into these trends in show writing.

3. Television Cartoons: Do Children Notice It’s a Boy’s World?

Thompson, T.L. & Zerbinos, E. Sex Roles (1997) 37: 415. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025657508010

This study analyzed how gender stereotypes affected children aged four to nine years old by conducting interviews with these children. The children were asked questions which allowed the researchers to infer what opinions the children had regarding female and male cartoon characters. It was found that children often considered male characters to be more violent and active, whereas girls were portrayed as being more domestic and appealing to boys. It was also noted that the children correlated expectations of genders and job preferences, with what they observed on television. The article mentions that parental intervention could have an impact on whether or not children draw these conclusions from cartoons or television in general. This article could be a valuable source to us as it provides information about the effects of television on children and their interpretation of gender roles. More significantly, this article allows us to directly correlate television with children’s perceptions of their gender roles in society, such as how it influences their desires to enter certain careers or act in certain ways.

4. Children’s construction of fantasy stories: Gender differences in conflict resolution strategies

Peirce, K. & Edwards, E.D. Sex Roles (1988) 18: 393. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288391

This source argues that, due to the influence of media and literature on children’s perceptions of gender roles, children’s creation of fantasy stories tends to mold into the conformities of gender stereotypes. Stories written by children tended to portray male characters as being more violent with more diverse careers, while female characters were more passive in conflict resolution. The article also mentions how the progressive and changing workforce (as in, women taking less traditional roles) had no effect on how female and male characters were portrayed in these children’s stories. In the boys’ stories, endings and conflicts were more likely to be resolved with violence, with conflicts more likely to be present in the stories in general. Overall, this source is worth analyzing because it provides insight into how the media (such as television) affects children’s imagination. The way these children write their fantasy stories can be directly correlated to the effects the media has on them. This would allow our research to prove a correlation between gender portrayal on television and its future effects on children.

5. The Gender-Role Content of Children’s Favorite Television Programs and Its Links to Their Gender-Related Perceptions

Jennifer Stevens Aubrey & Kristen Harrison (2004) The Gender-Role Content of Children’s Favorite Television Programs and Its Links to Their Gender-Related Perceptions, Media Psychology, 6:2, 111-146, DOI: 10.1207/s1532785xmep0602_1

This article sought to demonstrate the connections between first and second graders’ favorite television shows and their effects on children’s perception of the television characters. Upon studying the shows further, it was found that there was still a larger tendency for male characters to answer questions, be leaders, be ingenious, eat, or achieve a goal. Interestingly enough, it was also found that girls preferences for male stereotypical characters negatively impacted their perceptions of the female characters. It was found that children did not specifically seek out programming which was gender stereotypical, however, when they did observe these kinds of television shows, they tended to conform to those norms. This source is valuable to use because it provides insight into children’s perceptions of television programming. This source also provides a large amount of data which we can use to aid in our research of the effects of this programming on children. The study itself seems to further prove our argument, that children’s programming can have an effect on how children perceive their own gender norms.

6.  Appraising gender role portrayals in TV commercials

Kolbe, R.H. & Langefeld, C.D. Sex Roles (1993) 28: 393. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289604

This study looked into the effects of television commercials on people’s perceptions of gender roles. The study examined hundreds of college students to see how different television commercials affected their perceptions of gender roles. While it was addressing college students, its implications extend beyond only young adults. It implies how commercials, which are designed to manipulate an audience’s opinion, can have even greater effects on people’s perceptions of gender when they incorporate extensive gender stereotypes. This research could be quite useful to us as commercial have wide effects on television audiences. This can be especially true for children, as commercials which are more conforming to gender stereotypes can help propagate these stereotypes in children. For example, if a child were to be watching television programming and see a toy commercial advertising towards a specific gender, then they could associate that toy as being for that gender. This study could allow us to explore these effects more, as commercials are just as much a part of the television experience as the shows themselves.

Ellen: A Comedian or A Lesbian Comedian?

Wagner, Kristen A. “”Have Women a Sense of Humor?” Comedy and Femininity in Early Twentieth-Century Film.” Velvet Light Trap, no. 68, 2011, pp. 35-46. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/896625651?accountid=11107.

In this source by Wagner, the author examines how the attitudes and perceptions of women comedians change through the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, many people questioned the lack of inherent humor in women, claiming that humor and femininity were mutually exclusive. However, vaudeville and silent film began to slowly morph the public viewpoint. Not only were the ideas of women changing with many waves of feminism, film gave women a voice in comedy and challenged the idea that women couldn’t be funny. The women comedians played down their femininity but were also seen as unique compared to their male counterparts. Through time, humor has been used to not only create laughs, but as a way to convey societal and cultural ideas. This article provided a solid foundation for the rest of my more specific research, and it helped me understand the culture behind the emergence of women comedians. This background research will provide a useful history and context for my research on a more modern comedian.

Bociurkiw, Marusya. “It’s Not about the Sex: Racialization and Queerness in Ellen and the Ellen Degeneres show.” Canadian Woman Studies, vol. 24, no. 2, 2005, pp. 176-181. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/217464144?accountid=11107.

In this source by Bociurkiw, the author examines Ellen’s story of coming out, and what effect that has on the public’s idea of the queer community. For most of the US at the time, the idea of LGBT culture is associated with being outcast or undesired. Since other qualities of isolation were race and class, people often associated people of the community with African-Americans or people of low socio-economic status. When Ellen came out, it shocked the US because she was a wealthy, white comedian. On the other hand, people were not surprised because her “failures at gestures of heteronormativity” showed on her sitcom. Her coming out was published on Time Magazine and was shown on the “Puppy Episode” of her show, in which she accidentally announced her sexuality to an entire airport. This article allowed me to better understand the idea of intersectionality and how shifts in the perception of one social class can affect the others.

Snyder, Steven. “Ellen’s a Real Crowd Pleaser.” Newsday, Feb 26, 2007, pp. D02. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/280133420?accountid=11107.

In this source by Snyder, the author examines the way in which Ellen is able to capture the attention and please even the toughest of crowds. According to the author, she killed it by “killing [it] softly”. She had no grand entrance, no jarring jokes; she utilized confidence and a natural attitude to express light humor. Additionally, she uses slight self-deprecation as a mechanism to relate to the audience by opening up a little bit and conveying that she isn’t vastly different from everyone else. She plays up her awkwardness and makes it endearing. Ellen’s hosting at the Oscars was not her typical joke after joke sets, but still, many people in the audience were laughing and enjoying her light humor. This article detailing one of Ellen’s performances gave me good insight into the kind of comedian Ellen is and how she has managed to get such a supportive audience.

Scott, Michael. “The Best Medicine: Touring a Showcase of the Essential Ellen DeGeneres — Not the Lesbian Ellen, and Not the Feminist Ellen, but the Comedian Ellen — is a Cure for what Ailed Her.” The Vancouver Sun, Jun 29, 2000, pp. C20. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/242706440?accountid=11107.

In this source by Scott, the audience examines the power of perception and the importance of a balance identity in Ellen. Through my research, I’ve found that most articles about Ellen are about her coming out and the impact it has had on society. However, nobody wants to me defined by only one thing, and Ellen did not want to be Lesbian Ellen, especially after her coming out episode. People were so caught up in arguing about gay and lesbian rights that the meaning of the show, and Ellen’s life, almost faded away. This article is useful in helping me understand Ellen’s desires to be openly gay, yet not defined solely by it, because she has a “gift, that [she] was given… [she] can make people laugh.” She wants other people to appreciate her for the comedy and art she puts out, not as a symbol for social activism because of a sexuality she was born with.

Lewis, Rachel. “Ellen DeGeneres on Coming Out and Sexism in Comedy.” Time, Time, 7 Sept. 2017, www.time.com/4921665/ellen-degeneres-comedy-sexism-homophobia/.

In this source by Lewis for Time, the article and video examine Ellen’s journey of acceptance and how that has led to a different, but better, life for her and her career. This source contrasts the last one because it shows how Ellen’s opinions have changed from 2000 to 2017. Since the chaos about her coming out has died down, along with a more accepting society, she has stepped down from her desire to only be known for her comedy. She understands that she should stand up and be a role model. She wasn’t trying to be political by coming out, but she is so glad she did. She recalls a night doing standup in which the performer before her were homophobic and sexist, which made the crowd extremely rude toward her. Before her coming out on Time, her publicist warned her that this could destroy her career, but she was tired of hiding and went for it. Ellen was awarded the medal of freedom for being fully herself without reservation.

Roberts, Amy. “Rose McGowan’s Controversial Tweet To Ellen DeGeneres Shows Exactly Why Intersectional Feminism Is So Necessary.” Bustle, Bustle, 18 Oct. 2017, www.bustle.com/p/rose-mcgowans-controversial-tweet-to-ellen-degeneres-shows-exactly-why-intersectional-feminism-is-so-necessary-2940391.

In this source by Roberts, the author examines a specific example of criticism Ellen faces because of her prominent role in social activism. McGowan tweeted a reply to Ellen that criticized her for standing up for LBGT rights in Mississippi because other issues, like birth control and abortion were important as well. Since there are more women in the US than people who identify as LGBT, McGowan believed that with Ellen’s huge platform, she should be speaking on behalf of the larger demographic- women. This article aids in the course’s focus on intersectionality and the importance of equality for anyone, regardless of which minority group one is part of. McGowan’s tweet was interpreted by critics as placing women rights over the rights of the LGBT community, although much of the latter community is comprised on behalf of women. Although women’s rights is an important cause, the article highlights the importance of intersectional feminism, one that incorporates women of all different communities, not erasing others’ experiences or claiming some issues to be more important than others.

New Girl moving into her New apartment with New roommates!

I have finished watching the first two seasons of New Girl and there were numerous episodes that I could write about for my blog entries. Among those, I am focusing on the writing of the “Pilot”, the first episode of season 1 of New Girl for my first Blog Entry.

It was written by Elizabeth Meriwether. She wrote the plays Heddatron (2006), The Mistakes Madeline Made (2006) and Oliver Parker! (2010) and the romantic comedy film No Strings Attached (2011).

Elizabeth Meriwether, the writer of New Girl

The dialogue in New Girl is structured in conversations between the characters as the story-line is revealed. The dialogue here is very informal as it is the conversation between friends. The characters make jokes and use slang. All of the conversations are direct and there is no voice-over. This matters because it indicates that the show is emphasizing more on the conversations between the characters rather than the self talk. This means that they focus more on the relationship rather than individual characters.

Silence is used to move from one scene to another. This clearly indicates transition between scenes and therefore it is easy to follow the flow of the plot.

At the start of this show, there is a literary allusion. Jess referred her boyfriend cheating on her to the typical horror movies. Since it is the first episode of the show, there are also multiple recollection scenes. These throwback scenes allow us to know what different characters went through in the past. It helps us to understand the personalities of the characters and to predict the reaction of the characters in certain situations.

Jess finding out her boyfriend is cheating on her

I believe this episode stands out because it was a good way to start this show as it showed the background of each character. This helped the viewers to predict how the plot of this show is going to be. It also builds up the relationship between Jess and her three roommates and leaves the audience to look forward to different kinds of incidents this relationship might lead to.

All In One Take

After watching the first season of Broad City, the episode that stands out the most for me in terms of its visual design is the eighth episode of season 1, titled “Destination: Wedding.” Right from the beginning, the episode opens with a long sequence of Abbi, Ilana, and some friends frantically running in formal wear down a New York street, late for Abbi’s friend’s wedding in Bridgeport, CT. The opening scene continues in one uninterrupted take, and the camera frames Abbi’s and Ilana’s exhausted faces with the skyscrapers of the city. Broad City usually employs long scenes in each episode because the scene flows more naturally, so the opening scene naturally sets the storyline, and we are drawn in with curiosity to see if the group will reach their destination. It is like we as the viewers are running alongside Abbi and Ilana, making the situation more personal even if we are not physically with them.

Opening scene of “Destination: Wedding”

Another example of these natural long takes occurs within the same episode when Abbi and Ilana board a sketchy bus to Bridgeport. Although Abbi is initially relieved to be on the bus, her relief fades as she observes sick passengers, live animals on the loose, and a tank of frozen fish. The camera takes the place of Abbi’s eyes as the viewer sees the monstrosities on the bus. This perspective camera movement is used in this episode because it elevates the comedy of Abbi’s disbelief without the necessity for dialogue. Instead of hearing Abbi bicker, we as viewers can see what she sees, and subsequently understand her disgust for being on the bus. Therefore, the inclusion of long takes in Broad City, especially in episode 8, helps to make a more natural, flowing, and comfortable scene where the viewers can easily recognize the humor and emotions of Abbi’s and Ilana’s characters.

While Broad City utilizes long, uninterrupted scenes to elevate its humor, the show also uses light to solidify the realistic nature of their situation. In episode 8, the opening scene and the bus scene are normally lit with daylight, implying a passage of time as well as a tone of familiarity with the situation. Abbi and Ilana are late to a friend’s wedding, a very relatable situation to most young people. Also, the color scheme of the show does not pop with certain colors to signify a certain mood. The colors of each scene are relatively neutral, even Abbi’s and Ilana’s dresses in episode 8, because the show is trying to make the lives of these women mimic reality, along with added humor and craziness.

Overall, Broad City has a visual design that plays into the understated yet wacky comedic situations of its two protagonists, Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler. Whether they are late for a wedding or having a seriously improvised conversation, the cinematography and direction of each scene exude the natural, realistic atmosphere of these two women’s lives. 

Broad City title card

New Girl: Lights, Camera, and Dialogue!

     The visual composition of a shot in a TV show or film acts as both the frame for the elements within the literal camera shot as well as the ideas, themes, and concepts of the piece’s director; cinematography hence becomes vital in facilitating the audience’s understanding and interaction with the meaning of the show or film. In Elizabeth Meriwether’s show New Girl, the general cinematography of each scene — namely the duration of each shot, the lighting of the scene, and visual consistency between episodes — emphasizes the dialogue and interactions between the characters and grounds these characters in a believable and relatable setting.

     While cuts often mark a change or transition temporally or spatially, the quick cuts in the bulk of New Girl instead mark shifts in focus between the dialogue, emotions, and actions of certain characters to the reactions of the others in the scene. For instance, in “Wedding” (S1E3), 7 cuts between Jess, Nick, and Schmidt are made in the first 17 seconds, averaging out to be one cut every 2.4 seconds. These quick cuts, combined with the consistent setting of Nick’s room, exemplifies the purpose of the quick cuts to highlight the exchange between the three roommates, thus demonstrating the priority placed on supporting the characters’ dialogue over progressing the plot through visual storytelling.

     Similarly, the bright, even lighting of the set throughout each episode also serves to focus audience attention on the characters themselves rather than the relationship between the characters and their environments.

Nick and Jess talking, S1E4

Nick and Jess talking, S1E4

screenshots are from a scene taking place at night in Nick’s room from “Naked” (S1E4) where Jess attempts to resolve the awkwardness between she and Nick after seeing him naked, the bright. The saturated lighting in these shots establishes the focus of the scene onto Jess and Nick’s interactions. Beside just creating a clear shot for the camera, the uniformity of the lighting on the two characters also creates a sense that Jess and Nick are physically close in proximity, thus helping to resolve the crisis between the friends.

     In order to increase the relatability of the characters to a viewership as vast and diverse as the watchers of cable TV and Netflix, the cinematography and visual composition from episode to episode stays consistent in order to create a sense that the show’s characters live in the audience’s reality regardless of how crazy their actions and motives may be. For instance, the similar angles, lighting, and setting between the shots from episode 3 above and the shots from “Cece crashes” (S1E5) establishes a basis of normality and consistency in the characters’ lives, thus eliminating the need to suspend one’s disbelief when assessing their motivations and emotions.

Jess and Cece argue, S1E5

Jess and Cece argue, S1E5

     The quick cuts, bright lighting regardless of time of day or space, and consistency of shots between episodes contribute to the focus of the show on how its characters interact with one another in a humorous way while also drawing attention towards the same feelings of joy and pain of living an ordinary life.

 

Netflix. “New Girl S1:E4 ‘Naked’.” Online Video Clip. Netflix. Netflix, 2018. Web. 10          September 2018.

Netflix. “New Girl S1:E5 ‘Cece Crashes’.” Online Video Clip. Netflix. Netflix, 2018.            Web. 10 September 2018.

simpathy22. “Best of Jess | Season 1 | New Girl.” Online Video Clip. Youtube.                    Youtube, 2 March 2016. Web. 10 September 2018.

Portlandia’s compelling case for why excessive sanctimony is hurting the liberal cause

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen set fire to the TV world with Portlandia, a satire of life in urban blue-state Ameria

As a liberal myself, I have often been concerned with how some in my ideological circle approach political discourse – particularly with those they disagree with. Among other things, popular conceptions of liberals include a tendency to immediately attribute ill intentions to the other side and to be too easily offended. Whether this is truly a widespread phenomenon or not, it is undoubtedly a prevailing stereotype and one that is explored and critiqued in Portlandia.

Portlandia episodes are comprised of a series of short bits, so many themes can exist in a given episode. This entry will focus on season 2 episode 1: “Mixologist.” Specifically, I will discuss a bit in the episode that occurs at a feminist bookstore, where the two main characters play employees.

In this scene, the two millennial female employees of the bookstore encounter an older man whom they’ve hired to fix their AC unit. The scene begins with the repairman entering the bookstore and asking where the unit is. The employees ask him what he means, and the repairman begins to wave his hands to describe the shape of the AC system and proceeds to make a “whirring” noise with his lips. Immediately, Carrie Brownstein’s character stops him and explains that he needs to stop moving and making that noise for an ambiguous reason and Fred Armisen’s character asks if that means his character (who is a woman) also cannot make the noise. When the man asks again where the AC unit is, Brownstein’s character tells him he should not use the words “unit,” “box,” or “equipment” because she feels penises all around her and is practically “halfway to pregnant.”

Armisen questions her by suggesting he calls it a “chill unit” instead, but evidently that phrase cannot be used either. Seeing the cues from her partner, Armisen’s character eventually agrees and becomes equally offended that the repairman would have the audacity to use such a word. The repairman eventually fixes the air conditioner, and after encountering another difficulty as he refers to Armisen’s character as “sweetie,” he is given two books to read – one of which details how inside all of us is both a “phallus and the opposite of a phallus.”

Although a major exaggeration, this scene gets to the heart of why many feel that liberals are excessively sanctimonious. This scene illustrates examples of how some seem to take offense to minuscule things, like the use of “unit” or calling someone “sweetie.” Furthermore, we see how peer pressure leads Armisen’s character to take offense to things she would otherwise be fine with. In a show that markets to liberals and depicts the “hippie” lifestyle of Portland, this critique of modern liberalism is one that fits well within the show. The hope is that viewers look down upon this absurd style of engagement and set their default assumption of others’ intentions as good rather than bad.

FYI: Here’s What You Need to Know About Me

Hello,

My name is Maya Krajeck. I am majoring in industrial engineering, a status I hope to soon change, and I am optimistically (and apparently unrealistically judging by the other blog posts’ expectations on the matter) expecting to graduate in 2022. I have lived in Nashville Tennessee for the past 6 years, however I was raised half in Florida and half in Greece. Due to this bicultural exposure, it is technically accurate of me to claim that English is my second language, and I take no hesitations in blaming my poor grammar on that.

I never truly loved English classes, that is up until my senior year of highschool, yet I always loved literature. I was the socially awkward kid in elementary school who spent recess huddled in a corner over a book. I can vividly remember my nose stuck in a novel as I walked around my house, bumping into furniture and enduring stubbed toes in sake of a good story. You would hope this somehow translated to me being a good listener, however my ears are almost as weak as my mouth. Verbal communication will never cease to be an obstacle for me, with the only glimmer of hope being in my pun and “wit” abilities (which are built completely off shows such as Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock, and Will and Grace). I would love to improve on all elements of “WOVEN” but verbal is definitely a priority. My Greek heritage helped me become advanced in non verbal communications, as our hands are usually saying more than we do. This is my first English class at Tech, and rate my professor makes me optimistic that I can accomplish my goals in it.

I have never before taken an English class which assigned me TV shows to watch. I am grateful for this opportunity, as I consume way too much TV.  I watch everything: Bojack Horseman, Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, Seinfeld, Girl Meets World (a fantastic feminist show that should be on the list). When asked whether I am a movie or TV person, TV is always the answer.

For this assignment I will happily be watching Murphy Brown, a show I had never even heard of before this class. It follows a headstrong Murphy Brown in her return to journalism after rehab. My interest in this show peaked after ready Stealing The Show and seeing its positive influence on television culture.

Image result for murphy Brown gif

When you get to watch TV for class.

Intro,ductory; Post:

Hello fellow bloggers and GT students, my name is Kaleb with a K. It is fully Kaleb Gauntt but I have to say with a K so often it might as well be a part of it. I am from Savannah, Georgia. Well, I am sort of from Savannah; I was born in Kentucky and I lived the longest in Anderson, South Carolina, but I have also lived in Missouri and North Carolina. I am a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineer who should, but probably won’t, graduate in 2022.

This is the only English class I have taken and will take at Tech as I got my English 1 credit in high school. I, have always, had difficulty; with commas and punctuation, of that sort. I am not so good at speaking English either, at least around others. I do love reading and creative writing, but only by my own will, I generally resent assigned reading and writing because it takes half of the fun out of it. I do hope that I can improve my ability to publicly speak, but I fear, there is not any, hope, with my use of co,mmas and sentence structure. I’ve also been told that I often use passive voice–which is apparently a bad thing–while writing which I find to be a made up concept thrust upon me in the 11th grade.

As far as TV goes, I am a binger. I have binged long shows such as Doctor Who and Supernatural in a matter of weeks. I do try to stay up to date on shows I have caught up on like the Flash, D-Who, or Boku no Hero Academia. Which brings us to another point of my TV lifestyle, I am an anime fanatic. I have watched over 30 anime within the last 2 years and I’m constantly watching more. Though my favorite “TV show” is a web series put out by the production company, Rooster Teeth.

A darker super hero story focusing on a bad ass female hero.

For my TV show, I chose Jessica Jones. It is a show about a lesser known marvel hero who has powers and does super hero stuff. I chose Jessica Jones for two reasons: I have wanted to watch it and I have already watched all of Super Girl.

Fresh off to 1102

Hi everyone, my name is Bruce Qin. I am a freshman at Tech (Class of 2022); I am currently majoring in computer engineering but planning to switch to electrical engineering.

 

In highschool, I took AP Capstone AP English Language and Composition. These courses exposed to research writing and a wide variety of readings. ENGL 1102 is my first english class at Tech and I’m very excited to learn about Television and Feminism. Over the past years, I’ve been trying to improve my oral communication skills as well as broaden the types of books I read. We had annual public speaking events and I was able to try different types of presentations such as persuasive speech, TED talks, and interpretive reading. Being able to experience these different types of public speaking helped me become a better speaker and learn how to integrate the various components of WOVEN. This semester and in the near future, I hope to read both fiction and non-fiction literatures on different topics so I can gain more knowledge in distinct fields.

 

I never watch cable but I would often catch up on shows when they are released on Netflix. I have seen shows such as The Good Place, Sense8, Orange is the New Black, etc. However, when I rewatched The Good Place for ENGL 1102 and tried to understand the show rather than simply watching for the plot, it was a different experience. I was able to better understand how aspect such as color and music affected the atmosphere and the deeper meanings behind the comical commentaries. I’m excited to discuss about the TV shows we will be watching for class rather than simply binging through them on the weekend.

Fresh Off the Boat, TV show I will be writing about in blog post.

Similar comedy show about Asian-American family.

I have chosen to watch Fresh off the Boat to watch for my blog entries. It focuses on an Asian-American family trying to adapt to the American culture during the 1990s. I have seen a trailer of the show before and I’ve wanted to watch it but never had a chance yet. I have also seen another comedy show that had a similar plot of an Asian-American family making their way in the US and really enjoyed it. I’ll try to understand the show from different perspectives and think about what the director has done to develop the show.

First Time I’ve ever been excited for an English Class… ever

Hey everyone! I’m Tanishq Sandhu from Dacula, GA. I’m here at Georgia Tech as a Computer Engineering major hoping to graduate by 2022. This is my first English course at Georgia Tech and I’m beyond excited for this semester. Yes, watching Netflix may be one reason I am so excited butthe main reason is that this English course is more aligned with incorporating modern ways of communicating such as tweeting, blogging, etc. This makes the class seem more relevant and thus makes it more engaging as compared to the typical high school English courses that stress writing essays repetitively. Even in this class I came in with a fear, because that is the impression I have from high school- writing until your hands can barely function any longer. I enjoy electronic and verbal communication with friends (talking, texting, and meeting up), but I struggle slightly with verbal communication with strangers such as giving speeches or striking up a conversation with someone I do not know and so this semester I want to practice this skill around campus by talking to new faces. Not only this, but I also hope to look for a leadership position where I get lots of practice working with new faces and talking in front larger groups. I honestly haven’t watch TV on a consistent basis since before high school started. With the increase in work, and decrease in free time, watching a television show became a rare commodity for me. I have chosen Grey’s Anatomy, a drama show about the relationships of a group of doctors at a Seattle hospital, simply because many of my friends in high school had recommended it and it is on the list of shows for this assignment. Now, I’ll have an excuse to watch it without feeling guilty about wasting time. Wow, I really love this class.

 

Grey’s Anatomy is known for its plot twists; many characters who are come to be favored by the viewers unexpectedly pass away.

Not Too Broad, Not Too Specific

Hey, everyone! My name is Faisal Chaudry, and I am a Civil Engineering student from Marietta, Georgia. I anticipate graduating with the class of 2022, but you never know what might come up along the way.

I have taken advanced English courses in high school, like AP Language and AP Literature. ENGL 1102 is the only English course that I will be taking at university, and frankly, I am quite relieved. Although I do relatively well in English classes, I always find them to be my least favorite course. I can read and write well, but having required books to read is so demotivating for me. Also, writing essays has always been a constant annoyance of mine, especially timed writings.

looking at you, AP Lit teacher

Despite my general frustration with English, I am excited for ENGL 1102. Rather than writing long, worthless essays and reading extensive novels, I get to watch TV shows for homework!

when your hw is to binge s1 of The Good Place

I enjoy using visual and electronic communication because I express myself more through showing others how I feel or what I believe rather than just telling or writing about it. I struggle the most with oral communication because I am not a sociable person, so speaking confidently is not my strong suit. However, I hope to build my oral skills so that I can interact with my peers throughout this semester.

I am aware of the role television has in perpetuating feminism in the mainstream. I have three sisters who are TV fanatics, so I tend to know a great deal about female-driven TV shows and storylines because they will unsolicitedly tell me everything about what is happening. Therefore, I am somewhat familiar with shows like Jane the Virgin, The Bold Type, and New Girl (not saying I ever watched them).

As for me, I consider myself an aficionado of television. I do not frequently start new shows all the time, but when I do, I will binge it. No question about it. Shameless is one of my top shows right now, and I binged all eight seasons within a month. I also enjoy BBC miniseries, like Sherlock, Luther, and Peaky Blinders, because they have captivating characters and suspenseful story arcs that keep me hooked.

me when Season 9 of Shameless premieres on Sunday

I am choosing to review Broad City for these blog posts because it is a show that I would never typically watch. It seems like the quintessential millennial comedy- a dynamic duo of female twenty-somethings in New York City who get into wacky yet hilarious situations, usually to meet new people or get more money. I have heard countless rave reviews about this show, and I know that it has a uniquely quirky sense of humor that I believe is a refreshing step away from the conventional sitcom. I cannot wait to see what this series has in store for my late-night TV bingeing. 

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, creators of Broad City

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