Coming of Age in Popular Culture: Teenagers, Adolescence, and the Art of Growing Up covers a breadth of media presentations of the transition from childhood to adulthood from the 1950s to the year 2010. It explores the ways that adolescence is characterized in pop culture by drawing on these representations, shows how powerful media and entertainment are in establishing societal norms, and considers how American society views and values adolescence. Topics addressed include race relations, gender roles, religion, and sexual identity. Young adult readers will come away with a heightened sense of media literacy through the examination of a topic that inherently interests them.
Wallowing in Sex is a lively analysis of the key role of commercial television in the new sexual culture of the 1970s. Elana Levine explores sex-themed made-for-TV movies; female sex symbols such as the stars of Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman; the innuendo-driven humor of variety shows (The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Laugh-In), sitcoms (M*A*S*H, Three’s Company), and game shows (Match Game); and the proliferation of rape plots in daytime soap operas. She also uncovers those sexual topics that were barred from the airwaves. Along with program content, Levine examines the economic motivations of the television industry, the television production process, regulation by the government and the tv industry, and audience responses. She demonstrates that the new sexual culture of 1970s television was a product of negotiation between producers, executives, advertisers, censors, audiences, performers, activists, and many others. Ultimately, 1970s television legitimized some of the sexual revolution’s most significant gains while minimizing its more radical impulses.
When it debuted in 2002, The Bachelor raised the stakes of first-wave reality television, offering the ultimate prize: true love. Since then, thrice yearly, dozens of camera-ready young-and-eligibles have vied for affection (and roses) in front of a devoted audience of millions. In this funny, insightful examination of the world’s favorite romance-factory, Suzannah Showler explores the contradictions that are key to the franchise’s genius, longevity, and power and parses what this means for both modern love and modern America.
She argues the show is both gameshow and marriage plot — an improbable combination of competitive effort and kismet — and that it’s both relic and prophet, a time-traveler from first-gen reality TV that proved to be a harbinger of Tinder. In the modern media-savvy climate, the show cleverly highlights and resists its own artifice, allowing Bachelor Nation to see through the fakery to feel the romance. Taking on issues of sex, race, contestants-as-villains, the controversial spin-offs, and more, Most Dramatic Ever is both love letter to and deconstruction of the show that brought us real love in the reality TV era.
But is television entertainment art? Why do so many love it and so many hate or fear it? Does it offer a window to the world, or images of a fake world? How is it political and how does it address us as citizens? What powers does it hold, and what powers do we have over it? Or, for that matter, what is television these days, in an era of rapidly developing technologies, media platforms, and globalization? Written especially for students, Television Entertainment addresses these and other key questions that we regularly ask, or should ask. Jonathan Gray offers a lively and dynamic, thematically based overview with examples from recent and current television, including Lost, reality television, The Sopranos, The Simpsons, political satire, Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, soaps, and 24.
The book identifies two basic types of cult films—older Hollywood movies, such as Casablanca, that have developed a cult following and "midnight movies," most notably The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Telotte, Bruce Kawin, and Timothy Corrigan offer thought-provoking discussions about why these two types of movies become cult films, the sort of audience they attract, and the needs they fulfill for that audience. Subsequent essays employ a variety of cultural, feminist, ideological, and poststructural strategies for exploring these films.
In a section on the classical cult film, the movie Casablanca receives extensive treatment. An essay by T. J. Ross considers Beat the Devil as a send-up of cult films, while another essay by Wade Jennings analyzes the cult star phenomenon as personified in Judy Garland.
"Midnight movie madness" is explored in essays on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, movie satires of the 1950s, science fiction double features, and horror thrillers.
Illustrated with scenes from favorite movies and written for both fans and scholars, The Cult Film Experience will appeal to a wider audience than the "usual suspects."