Friday, January 30, 2015

Tropes on TV Take I

We talk a lot about tropes on the podcast (which, I know, is a surprise given that we're call "Beyond the Trope.") But one of the things we enjoy the most is twisting tropes around and using them in new and unexpected ways.

There are plenty of books and movies and shows out there that do this--some better than others--but one that I'm currently obsessed with I think does a really good job is the former-NBC-turned-Yahoo-show Community. I was late on the Community bandwagon, but I'm on it now and here are some of the reasons why I love it:

  • A beautifully diverse cast (in race, religion, age, etc. AND one of the main characters is canonically on the Autism spectrum)
  • Meta/self-referential humor everywhere 
  • Surprise heartbreaking moments just when you're starting to think this show is a completely goofy comedy 
  • Pop culture references and jokes at the best possible times 
  • Sheer ridiculousness 
  • Wonderful tropes and trope-twisting in almost every episode, especially the pop culture parody episodes (of which there are many)
  • Musical episodes, stop-motion animation, paintball wars, pillow and blanket forts, and a school-wide game of Hot Lava 
  • It's supposed to be set in Colorado, but if you live in Colorado, you know it's really not at all
 Okay, it's a nerd show, through and through.  But I'm a nerd and I'm okay with that. Seriously, though, if you're looking for a great place to see how tropes can be used out in the open (there is about negative subtlety in this show), check it out. And let me know what your favorite trope/twisted trope is!


Emily is one of those people who will binge watch an entire TV show in a matter of weeks (depending on how long it is, obviously) and then demand everyone she talks to watch it, too. She's not at all sorry about it. She also may or may not be building a secret blanket fort with her roommate.

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