Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Office, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, 30 Rock

Annotated Bibliography
Kilburn, Ashley J., and Brandon R. Kilburn. "Linking the Classroom to the Living Room: Learning through                 Laughter with the Office." Academy of Educational Leadership Journal 16.2 (2012): 21-31.                ABI/INFORM Global; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Instead of taking the normal model for a classroom many business schools are pointing their students towards “The Office”, the capital letters are correct, they are instructing through a television show. This is stupid since “The Office” is past the show’s prime; no one wants to fall asleep watching “The Office” during a business lecture though, which is why it has increased attendance for a class functioning as a watching television class to learn.(Kilburn paragraph 1) Are they too wrapped up in the plot to derive some knowledge from the business side of things though, are there any tests to show that? It may help kids attend class, so is it the professors doing or is the show “The Office” teaching students better than their professors?  After all it is just a scripted television show, so learning about diversity, stress, aggression, recalls, advertising, and ethics is all simulated.(Kilburn paragraph 11)  The university uses the show as a what-not-to-do guide. Ohio now even offers a History of Jewish humor class, offering to celebrate Jewish comedians. (Kilburn paragraph 4)“Seinfeld” was a comment on society when it was on the air. Kramer, George, Elaine, and Jerry are eccentric and crazy but according to Kilburn, even “Seinfeld” is a useful television show to teach about interaction and relationships, which begs the question, “don’t all sit-coms involve relationships and interactions hence the name situation comedy?”(Kilburn paragraph 6) Of course that question is true because no one wants to end up in jail like the characters in “Seinfeld” for not being able to socially integrate into their society. However “Seinfeld” is not relevant to audiences now because with all the diversity in the world, everyone should have learned to be used to diversity by now, but in case the memo was missed, Kilburn suggests that “The Office” is the imperfect, perfect medicine.
"Loyal Viewers Mean Slow Changes in TV News Ratings." Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) 2013. Print.
This article talks about television local television shows are hard to gain new popularity because audiences are loyal to their local stations, which is understandable because people are quite connected to their community, there is nothing unusual about that. Then this article begins to explain what Nielsen ratings are, and how networks use them in order to figure out how to improve their stations. Nielsen uses boxes that measure these things as well as diaries(paragraph 2,3). However having access to Nielsen ratings is expensive and is usually only affordable by large networks. Households are given boxes that indicate what television shows are being watched, and these are cycled through families. A direct quote from the article is  “It’s not just the size of the audience, it’s the quality as perceived by the advertisers.” (paragraph 20) This means that the size of the audience does not necessarily matter, what matters is how highly educated the show seems to an advertisers. So in other words, more viewers does not mean bigger profits in certain situations, so ratings do not always throw a show off the air.  “30 rock”, and “Parks and Recreation” are shows that seem to have higher education jokes, suggesting these people also make higher money, this making them targets of the show and advertising.(paragraph 21) After all the Kardashians go through real problems and “30 Rock” is dramaticized, the Kardashians are completely real, when it comes to the popularity and fame.

Martin, Jake. "Why Sitcoms Matter." America Magazine. America Magazine, 14 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Feb.               2013. .

Sit-coms are a thing of the past with Charlie Sheen’s despicable behavior ruining the genre forever since the whole world metaphorically revolves around Charlie. The Office has exhausted the situations and pays the actors big money to exhaust the whole show. Martin claims that the high art of Leonardo de Vinci is not as personal to audiences as a television show, after all most people would not claim the Mona Lisa as their own but according to Martin people may say “my show” because it shows the audience more about themselves.(paragraph 1) Sit-coms brainwash audiences to join their sadistic cult by helping people to connect with relatable characters that are not real but because it is not entirely realistic that is the part that draws people in, to the point where people watch the fake emotion every week. These sit-coms put a person in an actor/actresses perspective, while reality stars would never do that, after all, they are real. The author also comments that often a hero is relatable when the hero is fallen such as the case with Michael Scott, who is omniscient and stable (paragraph 10). With this description, he sounds like a god, and in a way, he is, because he is the main character.

Russell, Cristel Antonia, Barbara B. Stern, and Barbara B. Stern. "CONSUMERS, CHARACTERS, AND            PRODUCTS: A Balance Model of Sitcom Product Placement Effects." Journal of Advertising 35.1              (2006): 7-21. Print.

In this article, the authors have put together a presentation on how characters associate a character with certain products, but it also matters how the audience views the character to see if product placement works. Product placement is used to pay for the television programs. Characters help to create a positive connotation for a product (pg 8). It has been show though that products can also affect how consumers view the characters, it has to seem natural, and sets a tone with the audiences’ knowledge of a company’s reputation. So according to the research done in this article, all of these affect one another like a great big triangle (pg 8). The nature of the show seems to exemplify what the characters will buy, such as in Everybody loves Raymond, Raymond is associated with cake and chips, while his wife, Debra, is associated with the vacuum cleaner (pg 14). However reality shows can do this outright, obviously this is the right way to approach advertising is bluntly. This article argues that it depends on what the tone of the television show indicates whether blunt advertising or subtle product placement should take place. The way products are perceived is whether characters and products give a good message or not, then the consumer will buy into a product or not (pg 15). People buy into marketing from an imaginary character, when reality television stars are real people who never put on a show, when advertising a product in exchange for money.

Myers, Joe, Lexi Brackett, Dannie Chalk, and Andrew Terhune. Academic Universe: Research and Writing                              at Oklahoma State University. 2nd ed. Plymouth, MI: Hayden-McNeil, 2009. Print.

“The Office” is originally a British television show created by Ricky Gervais. Many British fans stated that this show could not be adapted to an American audience because “The Office” was a commentary on British culture. At the BBC2, the show first aired with low ratings that seemed to indicate that Americans could not duplicate the show with much success either (pg 197). However the layout indicates that the show is set-up like a reality television show, or a mock-documentary. In fact the show may as well be an all out reality show with love blossoming and everyone watching the mundane practice of paperwork for a paper company.  While “The Office” thrives in America, it had a whopping fourteen episodes for the British version of “The Office”, ending right after the Christmas special. (pg 199) The show hints more for American audiences that Jim and Pam have feelings for each other and to capitalize on this romance for as long as possible. The plot is carefully adapted with a lot of thought of how to keep the characters basically the same, just with different names, and their mock-documentary admissions in American fashion (pg 209). The office has to go through a lot of uncomfortable situations that are constantly changing in a modern world, where Michael Scott (played by Steve Carrel) sticks out like a thumb because of his socially wrong takes on things such as Diversity Day.(pg 211-212) The British version seems to subdue their reactions more while the American approach does seem to reflect a mocking style of drama that is created in society. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fred Astaire speaks Dance

I did this for the moves, I wanted a modern song to keep Fred Astaire relevant. This is a zumba song. It has a lot of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' clip. I am going to do Fred Astaire tributes though. I'm going to put my favorite Fred Astaire dances, and suave favorite moves to one of his songs. Any suggestions? I love the way you look tonight? 
One of the moves I used in the video.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tumblr musings

Love their enthusiasm
 David Tennant FTW!
image Even Craig Ferguson aggres! Aren't these two lovely?
So I have a tumblr and I've realized I've put off writing this blog because I've been posting these kind of pictures on tumblr. I also post the occasional Disney, anime, random tumblr thing, animal, or favorite person....I know that sounds like I don't stick to mainly one topic because of that but I really do, if you want you can see my

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Candid View on Reality Television

Keeping up with Reality Television
            If a decade ago someone told the general population that some family, in this case the Heene family, would tell the world that they put their boy up in a balloon, just to try to receive a television show, critics would have said reality television needed to come to an end. Now, the general public may have acted in disgust but the Heene’s motive comes as no surprise. As “balloon boy” indicates, reality television with all of the crazy publicity stunts it pulls has become a way of life. This particular stunt was more successful in receiving police attention but it did help the family to receive the famous so called “fifteen minutes of fame”. In today’s world these three authors argue various points regarding reality television in topics such as how reality television became a way of life with personal details for public viewing and how everything is done for approval but ethical situations arise when privacy is invaded which still causes assessments of the genre.
            In “What’s Right with Reality TV”, Poniewozik’s argument is that reality television and internet encourages this generation go to promote themselves like a product. Poniewozik states that in 2000 television was a fad but now it is a way of life. In his opinion, Survivor and The Amazing Race are relatively tame to the point of the show attaining the family oriented title. He breaks down reality television into two subgenres: the game shows or competitions and plain voyeurism. The plain as day voyeurism is part of today’s modern take of the issue of privacy because this generation has grown accustomed to reality television; privacy is not as valued as it was in the past. Today’s reality is that an employer can do a quick Google search of a potential employee and that works as a resume. Also according to Poniewozik, this is precisely the reason it is of no use to make a Twitter or Facebook feed private, so that a person’s merit shows support on a social media website. This can lead to a person make cryptic messages to insure a person does not lose any credit on a reputation by posting something controversial, in other words, it has helped society to carefully construct themselves.
            Kilborn takes a critical tone towards reality television at most instances especially in the area of television documentaries such that television documentaries have compromised integrity for ratings. It is easy to see how greed can overtake someone as reality television often displays in competition shows, and with the relatively cheap, how a production can sacrifice quality scripts, lighting, costumes, and editing for this cheap setup. Kilborn also describes how The Truman Show was a movie that summarized reality television with Jim Carrey starring as Truman. Kilborn describes how everyone is invested in Truman, all of Truman’s situations are simulated, the cast helps create the illusion, the products integrated on the show pay for the show to run, and there are ethical issues surrounding raising a child from birth to star in a reality show without his knowledge. This movie challenged audiences to think about what consequences their actions had if they allowed reality television to push the envelope, after all this is reality, not a television show where people can go on living their real lives elsewhere. When reality television is tampered with, it changes someone’s actual life. This seemed to be where the future of reality television was going at the time the movie was made and some of the predictions in The Truman Show have come true. The question still hangs in the air, is society going to find a balance so that reality television does not harm anyone but still is entertaining
            Kavka focuses more on what the genre “reality television” means because reality encompasses many different subgenres. Not only does Kavka focus on different subgenres but also on the history of reality television itself to give a sort of evolution of a genre that really sped up in the last twenty years. This look into the evolution of reality television shows various issues that reality television dealt with in the past. Reality television is not exactly new with game shows, talent competitions, documentaries, and shows like Candid Camera helping to create an environment where ordinary people felt involved and welcomed cameras especially if they were hidden (Kavka pg 7).One of the main shows that Kavka points to for truly creating the genre is Candid Camera because the producer of Candid Camera, Allen Funt, found in radio days that if he hid the microphone that people talked with more honesty (Kavka pg 15-16). What is remarkable is he had the sound mind to create release forms so that no conflicts would exist in the future (Kavka pg 18-19).  It is interesting to see that since the start of television, reality television existed as well as the fact that people were paid in exchange for an invasion of privacy. Candid Camera was a functioning television show in 1948, pretty much the start of television itself, which makes the name implicate a deeper truth. If a producer puts a person in front a camera and the participant knows it is there, then the participant will act differently than if the participant does not know that the camera is there. This also is part of the echo of critics, people change who they are, and their social behaviors in possibly unhealthy ways to focus on presenting a good image to the camera, or the audience. Is it ethical to simply watch while others may humiliate themselves (Kavka pg 43)? This raised questions for a new generation of reality television fans when the dad on An American Family announced he was gay, although his family knew, it had some questioning “did the constant surveillance on reality television make him this way (Kavka pg 32)? No one can say for sure but there is hardly a doubt in anyone’s mind that awareness of a camera always causes different reactions.
            An example of “acting for the camera/audience” is in the Bachelor/ette, the couples in dating shows rarely end up married or stay married. Is it ethical to press for ratings by making a man or woman pursue many relationships but within a certain amount of time choose the love of their life (Kavka pg 23). These contestants are treated like chocolate samples, and the person tries to find their true favorite by mixing too many flavors together, many are going to change their taste. Just as taste changes, the seasons of life do, and many of these couples end up breaking up after the show. Instead of this model as a relationship model, Kavska says that it is a model on how to become a celebrity. If it shocks the staff and cast, then it might mean a making of a national celebrity like the case of Rozlyn Papa (Kavka pg 147). Although the question of ethics of reality television is ever present, it is obvious it is here to stay.
Kilborn assumes that audiences have caught onto reality television’s cheap tricks and have grown cynical of them, while Poniewozik has a differing opinion, suggesting that the audience itself has insured that reality television is here to stay. Both Poniewozik and Kilborn give credit to the audience for acknowledging they have the power over programming due to the consumer oriented medium of television? Kavka agrees with many of Poniewozik and Kilborn’s points but Kavka points in depth to the past, in order to cast light on the present.
            The world that this generation has grown up in, now is accustomed to shows like Big Brother, Survivor, The Bachelor/ette, American Idol, and Jersey Shore. Scandals, cover-ups, fakes, phonies, the redeeming moments, the hope, the passion, and all the drama located inside a box called television. It is easy to see why there are cynics of reality television, it seems to encourage bad behavior; it usually takes longer for a person to gain respect than it does to receive attention for something that is shocking like a sex scandal. That is not to say that reality television does not surprise people and help people achieve their goals. There are many reality television shows that are dedicated to helping people aspire to accomplish their dreams. Reality television is like a documentary itself with shows perhaps providing drivel, but a sort of commentary on social life. Although the Jersey Shore or Keeping up with the Kardashians may not add any true value to improving anyone’s quality of life or knowledge but life is often what one makes out of it, and truthfully learning is a never ending process where exercising the brain is possible by applying an analytical spin on anything. So take the good with the bad, after a long hard day with the family, it is kind of nice to hear a different family argue about things.

Works Cited
Kavka, Misha. Reality TV. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2012. Print.
Kilborn, Richard W. Staging the Real: Factual TV Programming in the Age of Big Brother. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2003. Print.
Poniewozik, James. “What’s Right with Reality TV”Academic Universe: Research and Writing at Oklahoma State University. Myers, Joe, Lexi Brackett, Dannie Chalk, and Andrew Terhune. Plymouth, MI: Hayden-McNeil, 2009.237-244. Print.