I wonder if TV is drawing inspiration, or a caricature?

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a bit of a fan of this show called Awkward on MTV. This show is cute and I find it mildly entertaining, however part of watching shows that are well below my age group makes me ponder whether or not TV is a reflection of society (It also makes me realize that I’m not a teenager anymore…). If it is then life has changed some, but even more shockingly it has stayed the same in a lot of other ways.

THINGS HAVE CHANGED

Remember TV moms ten years ago? They had warm and caring personalities and an almost divine ability to soothe the soul. They always knew what to say and when to get involved and whether they were married, divorced, or widowed they were always looking out for their children. So what happened to that mom? It seems like over the years she’s been knocked off her pedestal and replaced with someone who is selfish, amoral and condescending (not to mention really pretty dumb). I’ve been noticing a trend of terrible mothers on TV the last few years. They aren’t present in their children’s lives and have an attitude of friendship and co-existence when it comes to their relationship with their kids. They encourage bad morals and practice what they preach. Are these ditsy overgrown teenagers a sign of whats happened to mothers in real life? At least TV dads have been elevated to pick up the slack. All together the family dynamic has changed a lot in TV land. As someone who grew up in a very supportive and loving family environment, I wonder if the broken home full of people who have no idea what they’re doing is a mirror of real life? Have moms world-over lost their position of respect? Or has television just made them caricatures of how we saw our parents when we were kids? 

THINGS HAVE STAYED THE SAME

While mom has truly become a different kind of person the high school bully certainly hasn’t, particularly the “queen bee”. I was watching the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon shows, what can I say?) and the main bitchy lady-bully acts the same as any other I see on teen TV today. They’re still mean, kinda stupid and controlling. These mean girls walk around with minions and create chaos and sadness for everyone around them because they are not only sociopaths but insecure and horrible people.

So why is it different for moms than it is for bullies? Again I wonder if this is all a comparison to real life, and if so I fear for the development of today’s teenagers.

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Geekin’ out on Level Up

I was having a craving for something new and nerdy. I hit up my usual methods of internet scouring and came across a show called Level Up. The title screamed gamer and nerd, so I gave it a look. It’s still in it’s first season, but quite a ways in. 20 episodes to be exact. I’m on episode 7 and I just can’t stop watching! I’m actually watching as I write…Level Up promo shot

A QUICK WALKTHROUGH

Level Up is about a group of high school gamers that inadvertently unleash a horde of online enemies on their quiet little hometown of Daventry Hills. After figuring out that their online personas, who are all part of the same clan in the game, all go to the same high school IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ for all non-gamers out there). They don’t run in the same circles (as TV writing law dictates) with one being a typical nerd, one a slacker and one a jock. As you would expect they don’t get along at first, but eventually band together and figure out how to get these otherworldly animated baddies back to their circuit boards.

SO WHAT DO I THINK?

The show is cute, quick-witted, and cheesy as hell. The weapons they use from the game to dispatch the video game “leaks”, as they call them, seem like they come from some sort of WOW/Ratchet and Clank/Team Fortress 2 hybrid, which is pretty cool. It’s well written, geeky, rediculous, and reminds me of some of my favourite shows. There’s just one thing… I figured there would be more monsters, fighting, and butt kicking. The pilot/movie had a bit more of it than a lot of the episodes, but it’s still holds up.

As I said, I can’t stop watching. It’s like a live-action kids cartoon for online gamers. Almost all the main characters seem familiar although I’ve never seen them before… and it kinda makes me crazy that I can’t put my finger on who they remind me of. I am really enjoying it though, and give it an overall solid.