This semester I’m following two blogs.
One is Antenna, which is about media and culture. It’s based out of The University of Wisconsin- Madison and is updated by a group of people, not just one. Each post has a compelling and clear argument. In this second half of the semester there seems to have been less posts and clear themes and trends don’t really jump out at me (at least that are specific to this half of the semester). There are some interesting posts that seem to deviate from the trends I observed before. For example there were a couple of posts that brought up social media networks and the internet’s influence on television. In one post about the beastie boys new music video the author talks about how music videos are embracing their natural viral tendency. The Beastie Boy’s new music video is almost a short film (especially length wise). The author explains how this shift in music videos actually allows the artists to have more creative control over the way their product is consumed as well allowing more direct access to fans. By going straight to the internet, like the Beastie Boys did, an artist eliminates any middle men a TV. networks. Another post talks about the challenges social media presents for news channels as they allow the general public to have control over the news and actively participate in reporting it (actually the post I linked to is written by Myles Mcnutt, the guy who write the second blog I’m keeping up with). There still some time spent discussing gender roles as portrayed on television, posts like the one on Teen Mom and its depiction of the tradition role of the mom in America. The blog still seems to be fleshing out cultural narratives in the media. For example a post on the TV show Treme, shows how the people of Louisiana (where it‘s filmed) attempt to regain some normalcy by embracing the television show. Ironically they look to this fake scripted show to pump life into New Orleans as the show “mold spots into Pollock paintings and Mardi Gras Indians into national heroes.”
The second blog I’m following is Cultural Learnings.
There seems to be more of interest in dramas in this half of the semester. Specifically he devotes quite a few posts to Game of Thrones, a show based on a series of fantasy novel that airs on HBO. The author is a huge fan of these books. Huge. He states that this show is “well on its way to being one of the most rewarding television experiences [he] has ever had.” Although it seems his love of this show gets in the way, because it’s time he could devote to a variety of other topics and shows, he is developing a detailed and insightful commentary to go along with the show as it airs, because of course he does tackle the issues other critics bring up and topics of fandom. The authors posts on Game of Thrones in consistent with me summary of the blog during the first half of the semester. He still incorporates his personal opinion and he certainly still focuses on recaps and reviews of specific episodes for a handful of show he’s following right now. In this half there’s a focus on Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Glee, which different from before when there was more of a focus on half hour comedies on network television. I attribute this mostly to scheduling. He just keeps up with a bunch of shows and writes about whatever is new. Although the time spent on Game of Thrones is quite deliberately disproportionate to the time spent on other shows. Throughout his posts the author still seems to pay attention to how shows fulfill promises of storyline, premise, and genre.
Once again he deviates only slightly from these episode centered posts, so it was somewhat refreshing to see a post on advance screenings in the digital age..
The two blogs have remained fairly consistent with my assessments in my first updates that Antenna focuses on broader strokes and encompasses more of a variety of topics associated with media studies in general, while Cultural Learning’s (despite that title) focuses almost entirely on specific episodes of few a shows. Despite this contrast, the two blogs have presented interesting commentaries to follow in conjunction with this class.