My first memory of watching TV with regularity was gathering the family together on the couch every Sunday night for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (say it with me: “Move! That! Bus!”). Since then, I have been consistently excited by the power of visual storytelling to unite, critique, delight, pacify, and puzzle us.
As a self-described “film and television aficionado” and an others-described “straight up Netflix addict,” I unabashedly embrace my membership in the Binge Watching Generation. For television, I love anything that creates its own complete, original, offbeat world (30 Rock, Game of Thrones, Broad City). And, of course, mindless entertainment (Toddlers and Tiaras, Say Yes to the Dress, Chopped).
The best movies take a singular cinematic element – character development, score, aesthetic dazzle, authentic acting, plot intrigue, direction – and make it feel brand-new, distinct from anything that has come before. The all-time greats can do the same with multiple elements. As such, my favorite directors are Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino (though they are on opposite ends of the whimsical scale). I am an equal opportunity consumer of genres, though I have a soft spot for line-memorizing-worthy comedies (Mean Girls, Devil Wears Prada, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and social commentary dramas with a twist (The Prestige, Fight Club, The Social Network).
Within our increasingly over-analyzed, politically correct culture, I am interested in examining how films and television shows choose to (or not to) engage in identity politics and broader commentary. Does the cast of Orange is the New Black portray a pessimistic or utopian view of interracial group dynamics? What would Walter White say about suburban economics? How does an anthropomorphic emotion re-evaluate adolescent psychology?
And most importantly, does it count if Ross and Rachel were on a break?