1. Twitter- I find Twitter to be a very awkward form of communication because the people that Tweet rely on others to care about what they are actually sharing. If a Twitter user has zero followers, he would be sharing his thoughts for only himself. This is weird. Also, I still don’t understand why people care about Twitter status updates. Don’t tell me that you in an elevator going to the 35th floor. I don’t want to hear that you ate lasagna for lunch. It’s awkward that some Twitter users actually think that what they have to say is interesting for all to hear.
2. Close Talkers- There is nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than a close-talker. A close-talker is an individual who brings his face within a very close proximity of another’s face while they have a conversation. Not only is personal space violated, but close-talkers also make it so you can smell the breath, and there is always a chance that they will accidentally spit on you.
3. Loud Whisperers- These individuals are incapable of whispering silently when it is necessary to speak quietly. These people think that when they whisper, that nobody else can hear them, however, an awkward moment is produced when everyone in a room is able to hear a secret that was not meant for everyone to hear.
Pretty Little Liars presents the noir and high fashion sense that Gossip Girl does, presents the similar mysterious murder plotline that Veronica Mars does, and is set in a similar suburban town like Kyle XY and Roswell. While ABC Family is definitely trying to grab the attention of the audiences that watch these other shows, especially Gossip Girl, I do not feel like Pretty Little Liar presents the same and resonant millennial issues that other millennial shows do. This shows presents the millennial characters shoplifting, being involved in deceit, engaging in lustful relationships with teachers, and keeping secrets from one another. This is not how Millennials enjoy to be presented as, but since this is the pilot, I am sure that these characters will eventually learn moral lessons and exhibit and demonstrate millennial values in the behavior.
Allison, the girl who has gone missing and is supposedly dead, is shown as being mean, untrustworthy, and unruly in the flashbacks presented with her friends. While Allison may not be a very likable character to viewers due to some of her cruel intentions, it is ironic that she is actually the character pushing the millennial value of honesty, albeit in a troubling manner. She tells her friends to come forth with all of their secrets, as she is trying to help them become better people. Allison can be compared to the character Lily in Veronica Mars, as they are both characters who have been mysteriously murdered, and are people that provoke flashbacks for the characters in the show. I’m not sure how the dynamic of the mystery will proceed, but all of the flashbacks of Lily present her as a person who loved her friends, but also as a scandalous and promiscuous character. The fact that Lily loved and was very much loved by her friends, encourages Veronica and others to find out the truth about her death and continue in the mystery. On the other hand, spirit of Allison seems to haunt her friends, which I believe would discourage the girls from wanting to continue in the mystery.
The girls are unrealistically pretty, and real millennial high school issues are not being presented. However, in terms of family dynamics, I applaud PLL for its portrayal of broken and muddled family dynamics, as we live in a time where family relationships are constantly in flux, and millennial teens need to see how to handle these situations sometimes, and I believe PLL presents it appropriately.
I have to admit, my guilty pleasure in life is the musical genre. When it comes to Broadway plays or musical films, I am all over it. For some reason however, I have kept myself away from ever viewing Glee. It may be because of the perception that Gleeks have, or it may be due to the fact that the plot surrounding a high school glee club doesn’t really appeal to me. However, after watching a few episodes of Glee, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the singing and the music. I believe that this is a forefront reason why most people watch Glee because they are intrigued by the music, rather than the traditional plot of high school politics.
Beyond the music however, what interests me was Glee’s representation of diversity and sexual orientation. While I believe the producers of the show pride themselves on having a diverse cast of characters (disabled, African-American, Asian, and gay characters), I believe it is a superficial presentation of diversity as the plot still is centered around a white cheerleader and quarterback, and a super talented Jewish singer. In the few episodes I saw, only these white characters were developed and these were the individuals with the solos and the praise. In an age where it is extremely difficult to make television shows popular, I totally understand that the producers did not necessarily want to take a risk by centering the show around a minority character, which goes against the norms of popular Millennial shows. Even though the plot may not be focused on the minority characters, I think Glee uses the genre of the musical (using the music) to develop these characters. They sing songs about their identity and their feelings, and I believe a lot of Millennial viewers can identify with them. I think that as the show becomes more and more popular and fixed icon in popular culture, the producers will feel more comfortable about taking more risks in terms of developing other characters.
The presentation of homosexuality in Glee is nothing like I’ve seen before on a network show, and also the fan reception is an aspect that I haven’t really noticed before either. First of all, while Glee may have a dry script and plot, I believe each episode portrays a Millennial moral message. Issues of race, popularity, social class, etiquette, and tolerance are themes of episodes that provide viewers with strong moral messages and codes on how we should think, act, and treat other people. In a few episodes, Glee targeted the issue of bullying and homosexuality, at a time when there were actual suicides taking place across America due to this very issue. I thought it was a very proactive that the producers developed and used their gay character Kurt, to combat this issue and show that it is okay to stand up for yourself and be who you are. Tolerance is a very Millennial value. This sentiment is also exhibited in fan reaction videos on YouTube of Kurt and Blaine’s first kiss. People of all generations show their excitement and compassion for this moment and post their reactions for all to see. The blatant visibility of homosexuality is very observable in the show, and Glee is providing a very strong message to past generations that tolerance and mixing of social groups is very acceptable.
So unfortunately this is a little awkward for me….I don’t really have anything awkward to talk about this week. But in a sense, this is very awkward for me because as a writer of the “Awkward Blog” I am supposed to be the expert on awkward things in the world and popular culture, but I have failed to write about anything. oooopsydaisy!!! However, this does remind me how I think it is really awkward how people do video diaries and post them on their blog or onto YouTube. Sometimes these people talk about literally nothing. Basically the unfunny version of Seinfeld. If you don’t have anything interesting or entertaining to say, then don’t say anything at all. I guess I am being hypocritical because I don’t really have much to talk about right now either. Soooo…ummm…awkward.
While Gossip Girl definitely shows the technological saviness of the millennial generation, it also portrays the ineptitudes of our generation in terms of understanding the power of technology and online messaging. First of all, these high profile, rich, and snobby girls who live on the upper east side of Manhattan are basically unable to function in the world without their cell phones or technology to communicate. One girl even asks, “Is a scandal still a scandal if you can’t text about it?” This is absolutely incredible. While I would logically like to say, since this is a television show, that these girls’ behaviors are over-exaggerated, I have to say that there are millennials out there (#NYCPREP), whose lives begin to crumble if they are unable to digitally communicate. They are defined by the digital media that they participate in.
In the screened episode of Gossip Girl, the plot is centered on a cruel and malicious posting that a conniving wrote on a gossip website conveniently named “Gossip Girl.” Her posting on the site, which described an untrue rumor about a young female teacher and a male student at the school, began the downward spiral and resulted in the firing of an innocent teacher, a broken up couple, and a tarnished reputation for a “perceived” to be innocent girl, Then Blake Lively’s character took a camera-photo of her boyfriend comforting the teacher, which then resulted in her mistake of showing it to the school board which resulting in another huge mess. These female protagonists, who are supposed to be presented as living more adult and mature lives, are shown to irrational and impulsive in behavior, which is not representative of millennials. Its interesting to watch this show where the female protagonists have most of the power and are very influential over others, but they are unable to make the correct decisions and fall are presented as the “ditsy-bimbo-blondes” as traditionally portrayed throughout the history of pop culture. Furthermore, as posited in Louisa Stein’s essay on Millennial Noir, Gossip Girl “offers a vision of a world in which women wrangle the power of technology and use it to weave webs” (Steing, 11). They don’t understand the consequences and the power of digital technology, even though they are the ones who use it the most. Unfortunately, these femme fatale characters usually escape the trouble they get themselves into, by manipulating the system to protect themselves and get others in trouble. While this may be true about some girls in the millennial generation, I do not believe it is representative of the generation as a whole who prides themselves on honesty, openness, and a willingness to own up to mistakes and deal with consequences.
Note: I didn’t believe that girls like the characters in Gossip Girl existed until I watched NYC Prep. OH MY GOD! That was unbelievable.
Family photos are traditionally awkward, especially when these families choose to dress in similar clothes. I feel awkward for the friends of these families who receive the Holiday photograph and have to portend that the photo is sweet and endearing.
I typed in “Awkward family photos” into Google to find these photos. I would imagine it to be pretty damn embarrassing if this family knew that their family photo could be found in this way. Please post links to other awkward family photos in the comments sections. Now that everyone, including mothers and fathers in the Gen X generation, has a Facebook, there are now a plethora of these types of photos that are accessible to all.