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Friday, April 7

April 7, 2017
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Poetry Workshop: You workshopped your speed round poems in small groups. You will get my annotations after break.

You also voted for your favorite short poems: Here are the winners, who will each receive a valuable prize when we return from break:

  1. Ohlund
  2. (Three-way tie): Kennedy, Hamilton, Bocek
  3. Cianfarano

Remember: Round 7 poems are due on the blog by 8 a.m. Monday, April 17. The prompt (required) is that the poem must have something to do with a passport.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Spencer and Henry. Two stories were handed out for the Monday when we return from break (April 17) – Ash and Cecil. Please have these ready to go when we come back.

Family Values: Today we watched two  (well, one-and-a-half) episodes:

The Brady Bunch, Season 1, Episode 1, “The Honeymoon,” Sept. 26, 1969:

And The Partridge Family, Season 1, Episode 1, “What? And Get Out Of Show Business,” Sept. 25, 1970.

Your response is to compare these two shows/families. That comparison can take many forms; the form it should NOT take (if you want to get full credit for the entry) is two lists of stream-of-consciousness rambling.

We’ll discuss when we return. By then, you need to have:

  1. finished watching the episode above. (I also recommend catching up on any you’ve missed.)
  2. read the handout I gave you, “Prime Time Relevance,” from Ella Taylor’s Prime Time Families. Do expect a quiz.
  3. read over the other handouts I gave you — including the one about a show we DIDN’T watch, but is historically significant: the 1968 debut of Julia, which featured not only the first African-American female lead in a sitcom, but also featured (as best I can tell) the first single mother. (She beat Shirley Partridge by two years. Both, of course, were widowed.)
  4. Read carefully this handout about the seismic social changes that occurred between 1968 and 1973: family-values-60s-70s

These changes affected, in particular, the idea of the nuclear family, as well as what you can/can’t show via the mass media. (TV in particular, of course.) The legal aspects mentioned, which affected divorce law, access to legal abortion, equal rights and the rest, had dramatic effects in very short order. And all of that would show itself quickly onscreen.

Television essentially dealt with these rapid social changes in three waves:

1. The “safe and (largely) successful” shows, like The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, which essentially gave the nuclear family a day-glo, hippie-era makeover, but only paid lip service to the major changes occurring in society. (Julia essentially falls into the same category.)
2. The “edgier and (largely) unsuccessful” shows, like The Mod Squad and The Headmaster, which tried to address some of the larger issues, at least in passing, but failed to capture a substantial audience.
3. The “edgy and (largely) successful” shows of the 1970s, two of which will will see when we return.

BatCat: We are leaving to go on break in a pretty good situation – the designs are largely locked in, we are (very close) to being able to order materials, the edits are pretty much complete. Over break I will be working on laying these things out; hopefully when we return we’ll be ready to go right into production.

We are tabling the weekend class discussion for now; if nothing else, we will use May 6 as a work day, since we’ll probably in a pretty busy spot at that time. We’ll discuss this when we get back from break.

Comedy: Arrested Development Day:

  • Season 2, Episode 1, “The One Where Michael Leaves”
  • Season 2, Episode 2, “The One Where They Build A House”
  • Season 2, Episode 3, “Amigos”

Survey: Screenwriting: Sorry for the late update. There were a lot of people absent, but what we did was this: we sat around a table and everyone took turns reading their loglines aloud. Everyone else rated them on the spot, from 1 (would not watch) to 5 (would pay to see it). So if you were absent, please check in with your partner – they should have this feedback and you should discuss it with one another.

Over break, you had the opportunity to revise, if you wanted. On Monday, when we return, we’ll regroup and see where we’re at. So, good news – no new homework, technically, unless you choose to revise.

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