Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Get Disney+ (Or Any New Streaming)

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

Who here can’t get enough of streaming films and tv shows? Who here is a Netflix binger? Who here routinely swipe aside the textbook to get your diet of streaming movies and TV?

Many of you are excited about the arrival of Disney+. Some of you are Star Wars fans looking forward to The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars show. Or some are cinephiles who want to access a treasure trove of old Disney classics. Or you’re a Marvel lover who wants some more superheroes.

As a student, navigating your streaming pleasures is an exercise in budgeting as well as viewing discipline.

Here are the questions you should ask yourself:

If you can’t afford another streaming service, are you ready to sacrifice another streaming? 

Society is streaming-saturated! So, unfortunately, I have to consolidate what I want to watch. Some students may have more than one streaming service to catch original shows that can’t be found on TV. I want to watch my Handmaid’s Tale? I get Hulu. I want to watch my Marvel shows like Daredevil or Jessica Jones? Netflix. I want Game of Thrones? HBO! I want The Expanse? Amazon Video.

Depending on what streaming you have, it could be a great discipline to get go of at least one streaming service if you are using them sparingly. For example, if I only use my Hulu once or twice a month, that’s a sign I shouldn’t be subscribing and my money should go elsewhere.

Are you gonna commit to viewing?

So you paid for your streaming and you’re telling yourself “I’m gonna watch EVERYTHING.” Are you really?

Some of your schedules may be really funky. As a freelancer, it’s hard for me to predict my break periods. It’s hard for me to see if I have a window of hours where I could get a movie or episode down.

And just as people procrastinate with their studies, it’s also possible to procrastinate on planned pleasures.

Are you gonna keep that binging in check?

Hate to whip out the obvious, but addiction to streaming is unhealthy. Yes, schedule time to make the best use of your streaming service, but mind your habits. Dr. Michael J Breus warns that binge-watching will ruin your sleep. Research shows that being overloaded with programming–stories, action, images–will stimulate your brain activity. If you have been watching this show for five hours, pinch yourself and stop. Bring your eyes to the books or the outdoors.

Happy streaming! Happy viewing!

By Caroline Cao


Carol is a queer Vietnamese-Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of New York. When she’s not seeing a Broadway production, she’s buried in her nonfiction MFA homework like Hermione Granger and her Hogwarts studies. When not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, Carol is cooking her own Chinese food instead of buying take-outs and dreaming of winning Hamilton lotto tickets. She chronicles the quirks of New York living and writing, runs writing and scripting services, and lends her voice to Birth Movies DeathThe Mary SueFilm School Rejectsand The Script Lab. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

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2 Broke Girls: Solidifying Racial Stereotypes

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Created by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, the nationally-syndicated show on CBS, 2 Broke Girls, manages to transcend the thin line that constitutes political correctness. It wholeheartedly—for cheap laughs, nonetheless—embraces ethnic stereotypes and sexism and, by doing so, further solidifies it in the audience’s consciousness.

King was in a heated debate with the show’s creators in a panel discussion about the racial and sexual overtones used throughout the show:

“The big story about race on our show is that so many are represented,” King said. “The cast is not only multi‑ethnic, including the regulars and the guest stars, but it’s also incredibly not ageist. We represent what New York used to be and what is currently very much still alive in Williamsburg, which is a melting pot.”

On the show’s Asian character, Han Lee, King said:

“I like Han. I like his character. I like the fact he’s an immigrant. I like that he’s trying to fit into America. I like the fact in the last three episodes we haven’t made an Asian joke, we’ve only made short jokes … Would you say the ‘blonde rich bitch’ is a stereotype? Would you say that the tough‑ass, dark, sarcastic‑mouthed waitress is a stereotype? I like all of them.”

King uses his sexuality to try to defend his use of stereotypes, saying, “I’m gay! I’m putting in gay stereotypes every week. I don’t find any of it offensive, any of it. I find it comic to take everybody down.”

King conveniently forgets, however, that Asian stereotypes were extremely hateful up until the 1960s, when both black Americans and Asian Americans were finally given the right to vote and participate in civic duties.

There were a string of riots against the Chinese in the early and late 19th century by Americans. In Los Angeles in 1871, seventeen Chinese were massacred in broad view of public eyes. In fact, the public enthusiastically took up violence along with the perpetrators. “Hang them!” was a common phrase exclaimed by the bystanders and “as the Chinese were hauled up, a man on a porch roof danced a jig and gave voice to the resentment many Americans felt over the Chinese willingness to work for low wages. ‘Come on, boys, patronize home trade,’ the man sang out.” Seventeen Chinese men were lynched in front of men, women, and children. (Scharf, J. Thomas, “The Farce of the Chinese Exclusion Acts,” The North American Review. Jan. 1898. Volume 166, Issue 494, pp. 85-98.)

I’m surprised that the show doesn’t have Lee wear some “traditional” Asian attire and have him speak in a farcical “Chinese” language to further drive him from the realm of the American. When King says, “I like the fact in the last three episodes we haven’t made an Asian joke, we’ve only made short jokes,” he means, Asians are short, so we’re going to run with that. The New Yorker called the show  “so racist it is less offensive than baffling.”

Look at successful comedies out on television now: How I Met Your Mother pokes fun at contemporary social life with complex characters (Barney Stinson is an enigma), New Girl shows character-layering while still allowing Zooey Deschanel be her bubbly self, Modern Family portrays all likable characters who, although they may follow some stereotypes, are able to present complexity, and the cast of the long-cancelled Arrested Development consists of diverse characters all with their own specific personalities, not just a quick scheme to establish what’s already known in our collective consciousness.

Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter probably put it best:

“Every time Han gets to say something on 2 Broke Girls, the undercurrent is that it’s funny because it’s broken English. Plus he’s really short and geeky and non-sexual (there may have been other stereotypes to plop on top of him, but maybe creators Whitney Cummings and Michael Patrick King thought too much was enough, which would certainly stick with the general theme of the show). In any case, what CBS is doing every Monday night is trotting out one of the most regressive and stunning racist devices a network has produced in five or more seasons.”

King does admit that he wants to flesh out the supporting characters, but that’s what stereotypes create—one-dimensional figures for the sake of cheap, unwitty and predictable laughs. Count the number of times you hear the laugh track played throughout the show—you’ll understand what I mean.

I’m surprised the show hasn’t ended up yet as two broke writers. Michael Imato and Michael Anderson call the show “creatively bankrupt” and “just bloody awful.” I also found a comment on Grantland to be very poignant:

 

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