It’s the holiday season and as it turns out, Shenani-Girl has a little bit of time on her hands to answer your questions. Whether they’re about comics, life, movies, various geekery or other things, get your questions into Shenanigans for a brand-new Dear Abby style column that’ll be up as frequently as our podcasting superhero can handle. You can send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Shenani-Girl’s Tumblr page (all responses from Tumblr will be posted on the site).
Is it possible for popular filmed entertainment to enlighten and illuminate the human condition, and actually change lives for the better?
Please include examples from your own life on how this has happened for you.
-Nosey Beyond Belief
Dear Nosey Beyond Belief,
I think movies and TV shows can absolutely accurately reflect human nature. Even comedies like Friends, Happy Endings and How I Met Your Mother have moments when they provide surprisingly accurate insight into what it’s like to be an adult. Watching a lot of TV or movies can kind of give you little glimpses of what the world is like. Of course, there aren’t (usually) laugh tracks in real life and a lot of the really crappy stuff gets left out since it’s hard to really convey just how crappy losing a job or getting fired can be. But the way that people behave can be very accurate and you can learn a lot from what is portrayed on the boob tube.
For instance, a friend and I were watching How I Met Your Mother S6. I won’t spoil it if you don’t watch the show or haven’t gotten to that season yet, but in the particular episode I’m about to reference, the character of Robin realizes that she has a small fan base of college students. Robin thinks that it’s because she’s talented and that she’s earned the love and respect of these students when in fact, the reason that they know her and watch her show is because of the drinking game that they’ve made out of it. Every time Robin says “But umm…” on air, the students have to take a drink and they wind up getting plastered.
I have no idea whether anyone listens to the podcast or reads anything that I write, so that part of the analogy isn’t what I’m getting at. The part I’m referring to is the part where Robin says “But umm…” a lot. During the show, it was pointed out to me that I, too, happen to say “But umm…” far too often and as a result, I’m now hyperaware of when I say it.
This is probably not the most life-changing example out there, but it’s the most recent one in my memory and thus why I used it.
TV shows and movies are often based on personal experiences, even if the general story and premise is fictional. What you wind up with because of that is really relatable entertainment that you will find little bits of yourself in.
You can read all about Shenani-Girl and our other podcasting superheroes over on the Talking Comics Top Secret Database.