Gah TV.

For someone who was totally raised from watching 1970s cartoons, sitcoms on a large glowing box, my hunger these days to “watch” is nil. Not being any kind of “All TV is Bad” purist, I just choose not to have it beamed in my house. I find IM just end devouring time better spent doing other things… like this remix, which has nothing to do with my post, but I think is pretty high spoof art.

I hope the remake craze never goes this far. But what is reality TV anymore?

Anyhow, in Week 3 of my Writing Research seminar my students were talking about participatory culture. The talk turned to TV shows, and there was a lot of bemoaning of how un-original TV was for my students. I asked for their favorite shows, and I did I get ears full.

Then when they learned I had not seen anything they listed, I got a list of assigned viewings, and instructions to blog. Okay, I am doing my homework!

One movie they insisted on was one I first got mixed up with another one in the franchise.

Okay, I got my Disney heroines crossed. I recall the students appreciating a female lead character (yes) as well as one from Polynesia.

I did not enter lightly, as honestly, my gut is that Disney movies are pretty much the same underdog, small unlikely hero takes on Evil plot. And yes, it opens with a deep voiced narrator describing the idealized paradise undermined by some greedy person’s desire to take a special gem, and setting up the current world to be living out those sins.

It’s pretty paid out in a wiki that to me, is infinite in details, TV Tropes– just dig how many tropes define Moana’s character.

She’s very aligned with the Princess trope but more accurately (hair splitting IMHO) a Chief’s daughter. Moana is definitely a Chosen One you can tell it from the first screen in her big eyes as a child being read the legendary stories.

I will admit that the animation in the movie is extremely smooth, and makes the characters move with a fluidity.

I’m sorry class, I just could not go more than about 25 minutes in and I got distracted by twitter. It’s just that if I know the end of the movie from the beginning, it really makes it impossible for me to sit through. I’ve seen the story before. It’s right out of the Joseph Campbell playbook.

I might be wrong, so jump in.

That’s whay I probably will see Blade Runner 2049 from this description in Vox’s story The best thing about Blade Runner 2049 is what it isn’t:

From Star Wars to Harry Potter, the chosen one story is everywhere.

I should state upfront that the chosen one story isn’t inherently a bad thing. Lots of stories I’ve loved have been built around the tale of a young person who gets swept up into a massive conflict and realizes they have some sort of mystical destiny that will change everything.

The spoiler detailed post goes on to describe how the trope is put out on a platter in front of you and then blown to bits.

And the moment where K realizes the truth is exciting even beyond the ways in which it subverts a dusty trope. It pulls the story’s many threads together in an effortless fashion that might have seemed impossible to do before entering the scene, and it more than justifies all of the attention the film spent prior to that point

I want to be surprised by stories. I want to go to unexpected places, not herded on well trodden paths.

The other show I was told I Must Watch is The Gilmore Girls. ZOMG my students are deep deep fans of this show. I was told it was because of the characters and the writing, that “they don’t do dialogue like this in new shows”. And yes, that opening scene in the pilot (I was told too coffee was important)

does have snap and you can’t see where it’s going. I got surprised in the opening.

TV Tropes too comes in with a lot of info and details on the show

What really sets Gilmore Girls apart from other shows of its type is the heavy use of clever, fast-paced wordplay. Really fast. Think Aaron Sorkin on crystal meth and Seinfeldian Conversations. The show also seems to take a particular interest in music. In addition to a number of music-obsessed characters, numerous musicians—including Sebastian Bach and Carole King—have held recurring guest roles. Others, like Paul Anka and Sparks, have had cameos or guest spots. (King also provided the theme tune, “Where You Lead,” re-recording it with—of course—her own daughter Louise Goffin.)

I got a sense of this. Mom is a heroic sacrificing figure to a point and there’s likely a lot young women can identify with in Rory. I thought Lorelei’s parents were a bit 2 dimensional, but maybe they develop. I only saw one episode. It looked like the plot would go mostly in the direction it did, but was not 100% predictable. That scores points for me.

I could see how I might want to see what happens next. But I really hesitate doing so, I just am leery of getting sucked into shows. Heck I;m still like th only person who has not gone through Breaking Bad (saw the pilot) nor Game of Thrones (seen nothing). I know that many people rave about these shows, and it’s not any kind of I Am Superior Because I Don’t Watch TV, I guess I just am wary of where my time goes.

I’d rather be building SPLOTs or getting my angst out in Photoshop.

So I might watch some more Gilmore Girls, students. But I did my blog homework, your turn!

Featured Image: My own photoshop makeover of the Gadsden Flag (found in Wikimedia Commons) with TV logo from Iconsdb (CC licensed)

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. You can also see Sebastien Bach recurring in Trailer Park Boys so that is one degree of separation btw Gilmore Girls and TPB. I thing a crossover episode would be a delight.

  2. Thanks for doing this homework, Alan! =) I can understand your issues with “Moana,” but I still love it as a fun animated musical with a good message. Also, bear in mind that it is based on ancient Polynesian myths and folktales, so of course those been-around-since-humanity-began tropes are going to be there. I’m happy you enjoyed “Gilmore Girls,” though, and I bet Richonda is going to be even happier!

  3. Lol, well done with the homework!!
    Couldn’t agree more re: Disney movies. I grew up on the classics so I can’t bash them too hard, but there hasn’t been one that I’d sell my soul for since about 1999. I was cornered into watching Zootopia a few months ago and I’m still mad about it. Bladerunner, on the other hand, sounds unexpectedly fantastic, can’t wait for that!
    I’ve also never seen Gilmore Girls, we’ll see if Richonda can convince me!

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