Media Criticism Feedback

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Like I mentioned in my previous post, Media Criticism is such an important topic to know when consuming media. In my class we have learned many different way in which we can apply this concept to television.

For this assignment I was required to take a look at three other students’ work and discuss how they applied what they learned in class to their own blog. I was eager to see how everyone completed this assignment.

Here are the comments I left for some of my classmates:

Tyler Hare critiqued “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and here are my thoughts:

Hey Tyler! I enjoyed reading your blog post and the thought you put into the assignment. I am a big fan of the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as well. You made your blog post so easy to read! You have short paragraphs and nice sub titles that led me from section to section.
You make good use of semiotics and John Fiskes Code of Television to further understand the dynamics of the show. You made a good point for the second level about production and the music being lighthearted and sort of quirky. The scene, in my opinion was hard to draw out some of these codes but I think you did a good job a drawing them out in order to connect with the scene.
I would, however, suggest mentioning the ideology of family in this particular scene you choose. We can see the ideology that it’s a father’s job to teach his children lessons. I think it would be a great addition to your points on materialism as well. The father, who is wealthy, feels superior to his children and feels the need to show off to them by buying extravagant things.
A topic you could have developed is the idea of gender. Dee’s character is depicted in a sometimes-negative way. This article explains how she embodies a stereotype.
Overall, I really enjoy your approach and the way you drew out so many great points.

Here is what I had to say on Ali Chandler’s use of semiotics with “The Office”.

Ali, I really enjoyed reading your blog post! You broke down the concepts of semiotics and paradigms to where they were easy to understand. You also use a great and relevant piece of media in the show The Office. I also like the point you bring up briefly about gender and that in a office setting there tends to be more men than women and the picture you choose shows that.
You really explain signs, which are things we recognize and use these signs to connect with what we already know. Signs are what make each approach relevant in study. If there were no signs there would be nothing to pick apart.
I would suggest, however, going into more detail about gender. You touched upon it briefly but think going into the topic a little deeper would provide some interesting perspective. There is another cast photo for the show that would have been perfect to use for semiotics that I found for The Office that could have made some of your points stronger and allow you develop more signs.
This is the image that would be a great example to use. There are a lot of addition signs in the photo that I think that the other one lacks. You could talk about the props use in the photo and the placement of characters to make sense of reality.
Overall I really enjoyed your post!

Last I took a look at Rachel Ondik’s post on Jane The Virgin and I said:

Hi Rachel,
I had a lot of fun reading your blog post. I also enjoy watching Jane The Virgin and loved to hear what you found in the show through the semiotic approach.

You make a good point about the misconception on the word criticism. I never really thought of it that way but I guess some people do. I think that you do a great job with gaining the readers attention this way by squashing this idea.

For the first code I like how you made a point about materialism. An attribute you could have further explained is behavior. Jane is a mom and does a lot of things that show that she is, like how she would get upset early on in the show when she was away from her baby. Also you could compare her wealth to Rafael’s. I know that in a part of the show that Rafael is not afraid to throw money around, while Jane tends to be more cautious when spending money.

I love how you talk about the second code. Jane The Virgin has a narrator that further develops the storyline and the show would be completely different with out it.

One thing I would add to your discussion for the third code is the ideology of family. Family structure is strongly challenged in this show. For most of Jane’s life she grew up with out a father and was raised by her mom, who had her young, and her abuela. This link is a trailer that I think would have been great for you to use to further talk about this point in the show.

Overall great job!


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I really enjoyed this activity and giving feedback to my classmates. I feel like I really understand semiotics and Fiskes codes of television. Each of my peers did a great job with articulating the approach they used and applying it to a TV show. I had a lot of suggestions for my classmates based on the shows they picked. I have seen all three of these shows and tried to add a suggestion that could work with their critique that I picked up on while being a fan of these medias. I think reading other people’s definitions and applications of their approaches shows how everyone can critique the media no matter what kind of text it is.


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