Netflix “Comedy”

The two comedy shows that were assigned for this week, The Bird Revelation and Equanimity were very interesting and not like anything I have really watched before. I know that many comedy shows are typically insulting people and that is how they get their laughs but I feel like this one was really offensive. They did not do a great job at still respecting the issues that are current, they just insulted them with no backup. These shows were performed by Dave Chappelle, as his language was very controversial in both shows. He talked about women and how the actors were assaulting them and just how simple it was to walk away when in reality it is more complicated than that.

Unfortunately, it seems like comedy is no longer aiming to be funny rather it is just insulting. While Dave Chappelle is very successful and he is always making many laughs, his material should be changed. I did not think that his shows were funny. When all people can talk about is politics or the drama going on in the media, I feel like it is insulting. There are so many youtube skits under comedy that are just talking about everyday things or making fun of themselves that are actually funny. Drawing back to the sexual abuse victims that he told ‘jokes’ about. I can only imagine some of the people watching that who simply have to turn it off because they have experienced something similar to that. I just think that he needs to rethink his ‘jokes’ before making them public. In many cases, viewers will repeat what the comedian says to their friends or on social media, this creates a ripple effect. Then they turn into the bad guy by making fun of a sensitive subject to most. In a lot of cases, I think that he makes these types of jokes because it is something that everyone is able to relate to. Dave Chappelle tells America that we are too fragile and that being so sensitive will get us nowhere. As I personally agree with that and know that comedy is there to be laughed at, I think that he goes too far sometimes. But when you think about if sexual assault is a sensitive topic, then isn’t abortion, race, sexuality the list can go on and on. So when does the line stop? This blog post really made me think about these things and I came to the conclusion that, most of those topics are things you can choose. You can choose to have an abortion, can choose your sexuality so on… and I think that sexual assault is very controversial because it is not something you are able to choose. Although this is a bold statement to be made by myself, I think that it is something that is true and that I believe.

Netflix involving the #MeToo movement is something that was a great step forward for them. After the sexual assault involving Kevin Spacey, who made it very public was when the movement started. When house of cards stopped airing and a huge uproar began, it showed that Netflix was standing behind something greater. They were standing behind the public eye and not just their income. By respecting this movement, it did not help the company financially at first, but after a while, it was the best thing that they did. Having support from many viewers in these times of crisis will keep the loyalty. Personally, I was very upset when this happened as I loved that show. But after all of the media came out it was hard to make the distinction between the actor and the person. I know that I stood behind their decision as it was one that promoted Netflix for the better.

 

Crime in Television

After watching multiple television series and shows that are surrounded around action, drama and some scary things, it was clear to me why many are addicted to these shows. A cult following group is typically fans that are very interested and committed to watching the shows and very invested in it. The high dedication and time commitment seems like it comes from the cliffhangers that most of these shows use. I know in Black Mirror episode “USS Callister”, is very different than the other episodes previously aired in this series. While Mary, a young girl makes herself the hero of the story essentially. She wins the respect and affection of the men and masters the combat by the experience she gained. I think that this specific show is very much a cult following shows because of the storyline it presents. With each show being something completely different, it allows the audience to be left guessing what will happen next. These types of shows appeal to the pathos of the audience, making them invested in it and often times feeling like they know the characters on a personal level. With that being said, fans often times go “beyond the text” to connect with the show on a more deep level. Personally, I know that I follow a lot of the actors from this show on Instagram. This allows me and many others to feel that connection with the actor ad character because you are able to get a look on the inside of their lives. In return, when watching the show it allows you to feel like you know that person and you feel a personal connection with them often times.

 

Circling back to the “USS Callister” of the Black Mirror, it is communicating the issue of “toxic fandom” through the theme of Star Trek. Through the clones that have to live in the world of mirrors and ending on redemptive noteworthy. Because of the dark depths of the message it relates back to the toxic fandom. Because of the villain instead of the hero storyline makes the climax of the show shuffle around. Toxic fandom related to toxic masculinity in this show because of the way the male-female interactions are a competition instead of cooperation. Especially in this show and the Punisher, it seems as if the expectation and often times the reality is that men are stronger and more superior than women. In the Black Mirror, it seems as if it is hard for the men to understand how the girls work in this episode. This is a big sign of toxic masculinity related to toxic fandom.

 

Personally, I am not a huge television watcher and this class has been hard for me only because I do not like to sit still for a while or inside for an extended amount of time. The Marvel Cinematic University television series about the superhero-based appearance is an interesting series to watch. However, the series produced by them, The Punisher was very interesting to me. As the plot was very interesting, trying to figure out murder and crime with a lot of mixed in drama it made for a good show. After watching the first four episodes for our filled with heroism, perseverance, and drama it was something that I could see myself watching. Although I can not sit still for long, I am able to watch this because of the quick pace, and the interesting plot makes for a great show.

Is media real life?

The series Dear White People is focused around the multiculturalism and racial aspects. Through the television series, you follow a group of individuals who are African American around a college campus and they are faced with multiple racial slurs through their college career. The white students who often throw parties don’t accept them and they won’t allow living their normal culture. These series don’t challenge the traditional representation of ethnic minorities rather they highlight it. As sad as that is to say, I went to a college where white people were not the minorities on the campus. Although everyone was always nice to the people they often times would make comments about African American people coming to a party and in Greek Life, they often stood out. This was never a bad thing, but I think that Dear White people show how unfortunate these types of situations are. They highlight it because of the way they have shown the parties and how they communicate with different races. I think that exposure to these or any other political progressive television shows can change the minds/ worldviews of the bigoted viewers. I think that the media can simply encourage the kind of intercultural understanding that is needed in this diverse times because of how much people look up to media. Relating this to a different subject of Love. I remember watching television as a young kid and even now when I watch love stories and want that. I look up to those shows and hope that a love like that will come into my life, or a love story will happen. Although, I know that this is typically fiction I know that when thinking that I will have higher standards because of how movies work. I think that the same can go for racism; this typically is how younger generations learn nowadays. When they watch these shows, if people are kind and equal to everyone regardless of the skin color or culture, I think that it would make most want to be like this and treat others equally.

Luke Cage has much more of a present story with them on how the man can be very powerful and equal. Because his character is so positive, outgoing and smart like most superhero’s have, it shows how he is able to fight back against crime. His character becomes so passionate and understanding towards the people it takes them a step back, in return to accept his racial ethnicity. This is what I am talking about when I say that shows need to be like this. When people look up to this they will know that is how one is supposed to act.

I personally loved all of these shows, although I did not agree with how some of the characters acted, I think that they did a great job of showing how the real world is. I find that shows that are more realistic and say thinks how they are, are becoming very popular. I know personally, I like to watch these shows because I am able to relate to them and know that I sometimes face these challenges. Sometimes they are more out of the ordinary than what I might know, but I am able to see how to handle them and possibly get some advice from them. The media is so popular nowadays and people look up to it on how to act, it is important to know that they can give good advice.

Netflix Studies- Making of a Murder

Documentaries have always been something I am interested in and something I watch when bored on Netflix. They seem to have emotional appeals that connect to the audience without even trying. Although, I have not experienced any type of murder, drug addiction or crazy family history I feel as if I feel every emotion that each of the documentaries portrays and that is typically why I feel so invested. In this blog, I will talk about the long-form documentary series Making of a Murder and how it differs from a normal documentary, the emotional and intellectual investment I had in the story and how this compared to a meaningful time of television.

First, this multi-episode documentary series differs from a feature-length documentary film in many different ways. I personally think of the multi-episode series and feature-length film like a reality television verse a movie. In the reality television, each show essentially builds off one another and at the end, they leave you guessing when the next show will be on and what drama it will bring. This makes the viewer eager to continue watching the series and allows for a lot more information to be given because they are able to have more time to go into depth. In the end, a reality television series or a multi-episode documentary series have a lot in common in the way the layout is, and how they are able to give off information. Whereas a feature-length film is more like a movie. This is because a movie only had a certain time to go over one plot line and reveal so much information. Typically they follow a chronological time sequence when doing so and the same with a feature-length documentary film. They are not able to go into much detail about follow up situations or start a different plot line, with that being said it is easy for viewers to watch one documentary and have answers. But the multi-episode series is more interesting for a viewer to watch.

Next, is the emotional and intellectual investment that I personally ad in the story. I never thought that I would like a murder show, as some of the things freak me out a little. But this was in fact so interesting and I got so emotionally invested I continued to watch the rest of the series. This series starts off by talking about Steven Avery and how he was accused of a murder and why he was arrested. The first episode was a bit tedious, because of all the information they put forth to give background on this true story. The second episode was where emotions started to surface between legislators wanting Avery to take pictures with them to a search party that was held for friends and family to get ahold of car keys. This episode had amazing graphics that allowed many to feel as if they were there. I think for me personally why I got so emotionally attached was because of how they revealed information. It was not that I actually wanted to be interested or cared about Avery, it was that I wanted to know the story and information that each detective found out. That is why I continued to watch more episodes because I was emotionally invested and felt as if the characters were someone I knew personally.

Lastly, this compared to a meaningful time of television because of the investment I had in the show. The aesthetics and dialogues are pretty amazing in this specific film. Because it is based off a true story and most of the film was made during the actual cases the dialog presented was very true and that is what made each viewer feel so connected. The aesthetics of this particular documentary were very interesting because they were so natural. Each scene that was recreated seemed as if they did it right then and there and the ones already filmed were very good quality. All in all, this particular documentary was very interesting and if anyone is bored I would highly recommend watching it.

Single is the way to go

In the issues pertaining to multi-camera sitcoms I never really paid much attention to how things were shown until this module in the class. This was because I thought that it was something that was usual, until I watched other shows that did not have the multi-camera setup. When watching the particular show One Day at a Time I think that their views were much more progressivism in the way that they portrayed the characters. The main reason I think that was because of the way that the daughters, Penelope feminism came out when fighting with her mom a the start of the season. I learned that friends is filmed in a multi-camera studio and has a live audience most of the time. Single camera sitcoms are more about the play, multi-camera shows have to please the audience with humor right then and there. Multi-camera scripts are much different than single camera scripts in the sense that they have to be formatted in a different way and typically have a software to do so. They use things like caps, underlines, double spacing and heading so the actors know when and how to say things. Most of these things I never thought about, when you have a multi-camera set up I feel as if you have something more to prove. Making for less mess ups and not a lot o time to practice. I did not realize that when doing this most of the shows are multi-camera, I just always thought that they changed things around every scene to get where they needed to go. When it comes to members of the crew there are typically ones that are overlooked and some that are praised, by most viewers. For instance the ones who set up the scene or the ones who do the lights and the costumes. All of these things are important, yet most don’t think about them as they are watching the show. However, after I began to watch these shows and read the articles provided, I found that I paid more attention to them and found myself asking the question as to why most of those things are done in that way.

When talking about Betancourt who argues that One Day at a Time gives Netflix viewers an “urgent recasting of an old formula” I do think that the ‘old’ part is true. The author talks about how these shows are an old-school way of showing how the television show is formulated and the single camera shows are beginning to be much more popular. This multi-camera sitcom that is shot in front of a live community creates much more of a sense of community, simply because of the humor that has to go into it. They are not able to make a machine laugh when they need laughter after a joke, but they have to appeal to the audience right then and there. Their pathos and sense of agency within each script and character must be on point and up to date in order to appeal to that types of audience. Personally, I think that multi-camera sitcoms have fallen out of favor with so many audiences in recent years because of the live audience aspect and the ways that they are filmed. It seems that that type of humor is much more scripted and the viewers want a dry sense of humor they are able to repeat to their friend’s and laugh at. Although I do know many shows that are still popular at multi-camera shows, It Is not the most popular thing to do.

 

Western VS Science Fiction

Like I have mentioned before in my blog posts, I am not a huge television watcher. But this class has made me go out of my comfort zone when it comes to what types of television I like. As far as film, genre’s are widespread and they often overlap but each tends to have a common theme that many can expect to see when they watch the shows. Genre codes often make the storytelling possible. To be honest I do not like either of these genres of television, as I am more into the comedy or intense nonfiction types of television. However, Godless was quite interesting to me. The Godless and Lost in Space reveal their types of genres in very unique ways. Starting with Godless, revealed its genre of Western by setting the scene in a western looking town. Even when the train wreck happened in Colorado everyone was wearing some type of western clothing, the names of the characters were all names found in the western worlds and the way that they talk is a dead give away. Because this series is so short, I think that they did this on purpose so that the viewers knew what they were getting into right away. Whereas Lost in Space is a science fiction genre and for me, it was a little harder to tell what this was. Only because I have never seen many of these shows I was not sure what to expect. However, I felt as if the fact they were escaping from Jupiter their ‘family home’ and crashed into planet earth was something to be said for science fiction. The names of each of the shows had something to do with this as well.

A full appreciation of these Netflix programs requires an understanding of how those genres work because of the way that Netflix is set up. They are able to see what you watched and the genres most popular to you, allowing them to suggest show that you might want to watch next. For Netflix, the genre’s are extremely important and are always accurate when you click on the types you want to see.

I personally was not a fan of either of these genres, but after watching Godless I must say that I did like that television series. I am not sure that I would go after watching those types of shows on a daily basis, but ‘because I watched Godless,,,’ according to Netflix I might like some other shows. I think that I did like that show so much because it breaks from genre conventions offering new perspectives on topics. When I thought of western, I thought of horses, cowboys and an old town in the middle of nowhere with a bar fight happening at 1 in the afternoon. I thought that Godless did an excellent job of this. By staring the show with a disaster that a family must work through together to get out. They still had a western theme in it, but when they offered the topic of problem-solving within the family and showed how masculinity was a big part of the show but didn’t shed light on the femininity part was just what they needed to do to advance the show. In the scene when Cook was in the town of mostly women after the men were killed because of the mining accident. It showed how women could survive and how the men were still able to hold their rolls.

Overall, I really am enjoying how all of these television shows are giving me a chance to discover something new and make me want to keep watching different genres of shows.

Binge Watching

Before taking this class I was never a television watcher, on occasion I would watch certain shows like Ellen DeGeneres or the occasional movie. However, I am bad at sitting down for an hour or so to watch a show when I know I could be outside with my horses or doing something active. The first ‘binge-watch’ assignment that was assigned to us was tough for me, as I don’t like to engage in television if I am being honest. Zachary Snider argued in his chapter that binge-watching “serves to illustrate different cognitive functions ranging from one’s general beliefs to strategies”(pg 117). He goes on to talk about how media consumption is beginning to change the emotional and behavioral characteristics of a person. I would think like to believe that this is true. Just a couple days ago I was talking to a co-worker and she was telling me how she turns on certain narrative television while home alone and she gets so invested in the show that she feels like she actually knows the characters. As this is something that Snider argues in this text, “television narratives shape real-world perceptions and personal values”(pg 118). Again this is something that is a real thing. I have seen this in many cases where people think that because it happens in the movies it will happen in real life. For example, when I was younger I would watch High School Musical and expect my love life/ high school experience to be like this but in reality, it wasn’t anything like that, and probably never will be. It’s almost like television gives us a false hope for how our lives will work.

Like mentioned before, I personally am not one to binge watch television or watch television at all. I can not sit still for that long and have a hard time becoming interested in the shows. I find myself on my phone and looking/reading about other things in the world and having the show as background noise. My mental state is never in the right one to simply sit down and watch shows for that long. With that being said, I honestly did not develop a strong attachment to any of the characters because I thought the show was too intense/ political for my liking. For me to be able to concentrate, I would watch a lot of the shows on the stair stepper at the gym and then take notes on my phone, while the show was playing on my Ipad. Because I was not able to be at the gym for 6+ hours, I watched some shows at night before I went to bed on my computer. The concept of “screen intimacy”, which frontiers between the private and public sphere was not a thing for myself. This is because I knew that these characters were nothing like a person I would see myself friends with. In other show, I think that this concept comes into play for me because I think that a man is physically attractive. Essentially falling ‘in love’ with the character, how they look and act in the show but not them in real life.

This is the first show I have watched where the episodes are called chapters, I think that this British based show does this because of the plot line it follows. Being a very political show they do this so that each episode is like a new chapter in a book, making it easy to follow. Casey McCormick argues that 2% of all Netflix users all watched the entire season in the premiere weekend. She argues that binge-watching “is a productive, often deliberate, and potentially transformative mode of viewing”. I think that this argument is not true. In an earlier comment in her text, she says “viewers would binge the season quickly and potentially ruin key plot points for those lagging behind”(pg 112) I agree with this comment much more. Simply because I think that television shows are not going anywhere, especially on Netflix and sitting down for extended amounts of time is a waste of time. The amounts of technology and programming that have been released in the last 10 years has allowed America to become lazy and have time and emotion much more invested in the media rather than in the real-life relationships. Although I think that Francis played by Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor and he did a great job of playing the democrat in season 1. He is able to draw in many Americans to watch the show and stay hooked, this type of television watching is not for me.