Unwarranted Stereotypes in TV and Film

In the wake of Halloween, a day in which every year without fail, there are people who dress up in offensive and insensitive costumes, it seems necessary for me to address offensive cultural stereotypes that are ever-present in popular media today. In previous decades and in the present day, films and television shows have portrayed racial minorities in stereotypical manners that have in turn, had consequences both politically and socially for minority populations in the U.S.

The portrayal of minorities in film was a lot worse decades ago, with minorities being portrayed in ridiculous manners by actors who were not even part of the culture they were dressing up as, through things like blackface, yellowface and other cultural appropriations. However, while today such tactics are deeply frowned upon in Hollywood, the film industry has still yet to truly progress in their portrayal of minority characters in film and T.V.

Latinos are still portrayed in stereotypical manners. It is not uncommon for Latinos to be made a mockery of, be played as having heavy accents for a “comedic” effect, be portrayed as simple-minded gardeners, or be depicted as “dumb,” such as in the popular movie “Nacho Libre.” A common stereotype that Latina actresses tend to be locked into are roles as obedient and one-dimensional house maids, or the role of a sex vixen. Other common stereotypes include being depicted as “Latin lovers,” a “cholo” who is involved in drugs and gang violence, an undocumented immigrant, or be wearing a sombrero and a poncho as Mariachi music plays in the background.

All of these stereotypes have been a disservice to the Latino community, as the popularization of such TV shows and films that portray Latinos in a one-dimensional manner serves to fuel the biases and misconceptions that non-Latinos have of the Latino culture. These stereotypes are deeply rooted in the psyche of many people, and serve to form prejudices in the minds of many. But the Latino community are not the only ones to be depicted in such a stereotypical manner, as many other races and ethnicities have had to deal with the same thing.

The portrayal of Native Americans have also been deeply damaging to the Native American community. Being depicted as “savages” or alcoholics, among many other things, has served to construct a deeply misguided perception that a lot of people have of the community. The Muslim population also has dealt with stereotypical portrayals of their community in popular Hollywood films, which has added to the deep prejudice that is unfortunately ever-present in the U.S. today. Asian Americans and African Americans have also dealt with being portrayed in stereotypical manners.

Thus, it is important that when we watch films and TV shows, we understand that the way certain minority communities are portrayed is more often than not, an inaccurate representation that draws on deeply-damaging and incorrect stereotypes crafted from many years of historical prejudice, racism and political scapegoating.

Featured Image retrieved from here.

Not Another Show Recommendation: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A show that is funny without being problematic. A show that is pure comedy while also talking about real-life situations. A show with characters of all different backgrounds and a cast that is diverse. Sounds like a show that doesn’t exist right? Well, think again. It’s the show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a comedy show about the 99th precinct in New York. Starring a familiar face, Andy Samberg, playing the main character Detective Jake Peralta. The cast of this show is truly amazing. Everyone is lovable and funny in their own way. One may look at this show and think “Oh it’s another ‘The Office’ or ‘Parks and Rec’” but that is not the case. Yes, it does have the workplace camaraderie feel that we love about “The Office” and “Parks and Rec” but there are a few differences: it’s a sitcom, it’s not filmed documentary style and there is no character left out of the audience’s main focus. In “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” every character gets a great amount of background and screen time.

The show even has reoccurring episode themes and characters that are fan favorites. The Halloween Heist episodes that first started in season one are my favorite episodes. They continue to elevate and give the audience the same fun and thrill for the past five seasons. The reoccurring character, Doug Judy, is also a fan favorite. Doug Judy, played by Craig Robinson, is Jake Peralta’s “nemesis” but is also his friend. Every time Doug Judy is featured on the show episode, it’s always a fantastic episode. The comedic chemistry between Doug and Jake is unmatched and undeniable.

All in all, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a show I think everyone should watch. Like “Silicon Valley,” it’s one of the few comedies that hasn’t fallen in quality after its third season. And I hope it will continue to be great and funny for a very long time. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” airs on Fox on Tuesdays at 9pm.

Featured Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Nine-Nine_Logo.png

“Stranger Things” Returns for a Second Season

Netflix original series “Stranger Things” has launched its second season with nine episodes at midnight on Friday, Oct. 27.  The new season brings back the same cast as Season 1, in addition to several new characters who are played by Dacre Montgomery, Sadie Sink and Sean Astin. It has also been well-received. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of the audience liked Season 2 and 94% of all critics liked it.

“Stranger Things” has broken the Twitter record of becoming the most tweeted-about streaming show during its Season 2 premiere over the weekend.  In the first three days of the recent season’s launch, Twitter users have created more than 3.7 million tweets about the show, as reported to “Variety” by Twitter.  The most tweeted-about hour was at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Friday.  The most tweeted-about characters from the show are Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), followed by Will (Noah Schnapp), Hopper (David Harbour) and lastly Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo).

However, “Stranger Things” is not the only original Netflix series to perform well on Twitter.  High school drama series “13 Reasons Why” became the most-tweeted show of 2017 after only one month from its release date on March 31. The numbers have not been updated since earlier this year.

Even though Netflix does not release the ratings of its shows, “Stranger Things” is one of the most popular and best-reviewed series on the site. According to rating information formerly reported by Symphony Advanced Media, the show’s first season ranked as one of Netflix’s most-watched shows of 2016, averaging over 14 million viewers adults from ages 18-49 in its first month. It only took 15 months for creators Ross and Matt Duffer to write, film and add all of the special effects to the second season. The release date for Season 3 is estimated to be at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

Featured Image: https://www.bleedingcool.com

Links:

Stranger Things 2: Release Date, Cast, Trailers & Plot

‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Breaks Twitter Record

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/stranger_things/s02/

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/10/when-does-stranger-things-season-3-air-what-is-it-about-predictions-hints-spoilers

The Importance of Cinematic Soundtracks

What makes a movie great is based on a number of factors, including its ensemble of actors, the cinematography and the script. These components of film tend to get the most attention from critics and viewers alike, who find these areas to be crucial to the quality of the movie. However, the soundtrack of a movie also plays a vital role in the quality of the film.

The soundtrack of a film can add to the emotional component, or add a comedic, creepy or suspenseful layer to the film, depending on how the music is composed.

When we take into consideration classic movies, not only does the great acting and wonderful storytelling come to mind, but either consciously or subconsciously, so does the music of the movie.

When we think of Steven Spielberg’s film “Jaws,” the suspenseful theme music of the shark comes to mind, and is responsible for that intense buildup before the shark is about to strike. The music contributes to the anxiety that we feel at that moment, and adds to the overall terror that the shark conjures.

Another memorable film is Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” a  movie that virtually all of us have seen and a timeless piece that has stuck with us throughout the decades. Not only are the realistic looking dinosaurs mesmerizing, but the soundtrack plays a huge role in the emotional grip that the film holds over its audience. When I, and many others, think of “Jurassic Park,” the main theme track of the film automatically comes to mind. We associate the song with the film.

But Spielberg’s films are not the only films that have memorable soundtracks. George Lucas’ “Star Wars” movies and Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” have cinematic soundtracks that have stood the test of time. “Indiana Jones” also has a soundtrack that is automatically recognizable when heard. The soundtracks to these films are masterpieces and have mesmerized audiences. And, they create a wave of nostalgia when heard by many of us.

Featured Image: retrieved from here.