Netflix: the Frenemy

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I can relate

Raise your hand if you have been personally victimized by Netflix (shamefully raise my hand along with many others of you). Word to the wise… if you do not have a Netflix account I suggest you steer away from it. To those who already have one, I am sure you can say it is one of your favorite investments. I have been personally victimized and it has served its valuable purpose of entertainment when I happen to be at my busiest. All my troubles coincidentally disappear one new episode at a time. I experienced first hand the effects of having 15 seconds to choose if I wanted to proceed with the following episode or to return to my real life. I am not too proud to admit this but I sat in my room for three-weeks and watched every episode, of all eight seasons, of How I Met Your Mother and it was the best time of my life! I have recently discovered that this particular past time can be defined as binge watching. I along with 73 percent of other TV streamers are classified as binge watchers; I am not alone on this one. Pretty soon there will be non-profit organizations under BWA’s name, Binge Watchers Anonymous (a little melodramatic—I know). This blog is merely focused on prime time shows and Netflix has a huge collection of them. How do you think I became a loyal gladiator in a suit of Scandal? I do admit that it brought me false hope of having complete control and power over the White House but we are all dreamers here. I applaud Netflix’s outstanding accomplishment of obtaining 44 million members in over 40 countries. A job well done… now please make Boy Meets World available for streaming accounts like mine so I can relive my childhood in one seating. I have a couple of assignments I am trying to avoid.

By Marysol Guzman

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Modern Family: Breaking traditional family walls

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Negativity surrounds many shows now a days. Most characters are: thin, fit, curvy, white, tall, good looking or have been portrayed to be “socially acceptable”. Some feel that these characteristics help people interpret how one should live to fit in with the rest of society. Contrary to popular belief, television shows can be used to promote and welcome diversity as well.

Modern Family, an Emmy winner television show, is a perfect example of how diverse a family can be and helps break down stereotypes of sexuality and gender roles. Characters such as a homosexual couple with efforts to marry partake in the show, as well as an older white male who is interracially married to a Latina (Sofia Vergara talks about being Latin in Hollywood) many years younger than him and the traditional dysfunctional nuclear family. This is diversity at its finest but that’s exactly why Inside Prime Time loves it so much.

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As law-abiding Americans, we have been told how to live, how to look, what to say and how to act which has all been made possible through the use of media and advertisement. What many show creators need to comprehend is that we all have different values, cultures, and beliefs. Modern Family steers away from what has been socially acceptable and breaks the traditional family image to show that, “Hey there, we’re not all the same here AND that’s okay!”

Modern Family tackles family issues just like any other American family would. It serves America well because it illustrates a different, but very much real, family dynamic as to the one many Americans have been accustomed to watch on their flat screens. Overall, Modern Family has done a great job at depicting situations and actions that pull away from American stereotypes. Tune in on ABC Wednesday nights at 9/8c.

By Marysol Guzman

Interview with Jimmy Kimmel

American Horror Story’s culture of counter: A concern for social justice through irreverence

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American Horror Story does well with fans and captivates viewers because it has a unique ability in storytelling with a concern for social injustice through irreverence and absurdity.  The plot of each season has been a metaphor symbolizing different issues society has faced and still faces today. The first season dealt with infidelity. The second with sanity, religion, homophobia, and institutional mind control. This season tackles racism, oppression, vanity and feminism. It addresses these hefty topics with great writing, a-list acting, and supernatural fantasy stories. It does a great job at weaving these elements together and drawing in viewers to the story. The season revolves around a conflict between two groups of witches, one led by the Supreme Fiona, and the other voodoo witch Marie Laveau. It is a conflict between the magic and between races. Race is a prime focus this season as Kathy Bates who plays Madame LaLaurie, a socialite racial serial killer from the 1830’s, is kept alive for hundreds of years. She now serves as a slave to Gabourey Sidibe’s character. She represents a racial hatred that has persisted and won’t die. The season also identifies with the ““outsider”” story arc. So we are told witches have always been hunted and their numbers are dwindling, often burning at the stake. General society is oppressing them and in the Salem camp of witches they are  being taught to fit in, go unnoticed and learn to control their powers. They are taught to use their powers with integrity and virtue for a bottom line moral but are still being oppressed.  Supreme Fiona preaches a different message. She chooses to embrace her power and teaches the younger witches that what makes them different is their actual source of power that should be used to fight back from oppression. And for a man’s role in this world we get a clever spin on Frankenstein, the boyfriend who has been brought back from the dead, symbolic of womankind’s attempt to build the ideal perfect man. What is interesting is that, similar to society, the minorities who have been oppressed (witches) still fight amongst themselves, oppressing themselves. This season is great because it is broad with metaphors and satire. The witches come to fight for culture change within the Salem camp, sticking together and fighting back. They are open to danger to get the change they want.  This season is too great to not watch, check out the trailer below:

By Chris Marmolejo

Pretty Little Liars Spinoff Is Not So Pretty

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Spinoff shows have a bad habit of being well… bad! However Pretty Little Liars’ spinoff, Ravenswood, holds no truth to this statement.

Ravenswood premiered after PLL’s annual Halloween special and became the network’s No. 1 series premiere with and outstanding 2.1 million viewers! The very dark and mysterious show (way creepier than any other PLL episode) did not stop viewers from watching it and made it cable’s biggest drama debut, in the demographic for women ages 18-34, in nearly three years.

Why were viewers glued to their seats and covered in goose bumps? Although Ravenswood is a spinoff of Pretty Little Liars it is everything BUT pretty. The town is creepy, scary, dark (literally and metaphorically) and very questionable. Oh and not to mention that this town holds a curse that affects five families. Like I said, everything BUT pretty… I know.

This twilight zone-ish feel that the show brings has huge potential and opportunity to reach additional demographics and maybe even reel in a male fan-base.

Ravenswood has served ABC Family so well that the network took extreme measures and backed up the premiere of Twisted, to make more room for new episodes of Ravenswood. Very bad news for Twisted fans, good news for ABC’s newly Ravenswood fans but maybe some bad news for PLL fans and here’s why.

Tyler Blackburn who plays Caleb Rivers in Ravenswood and PLL had to leave the mother-show to premiere in the spinoff. He’s mentioned in past interviews that it’s a bittersweet feeling.

 “That show has been so wonderful. It’s changed my life. I’ve gotten close with the cast and I’ve had so much fun doing it,” said Blackburn.

Find out about the future of Haleb here.

Tune in Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and stay on the edge of your seats prime timers because Ravenswood will continue with three more episodes in November and will return once again in January 7 along with Pretty Little Liars.

By Marysol Guzman


Dinner with the Huxtable’s

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The Cosby Show is an iconic sitcom providing a new image of African-Americans in the 1980’s. The show made possible a wider variety of shows centered on African-Americans. Its legacy is changing how common depictions of class and race were portrayed in the media. The sitcom showed an upper-class black family rather than a blue-collar one. The husband was a doctor; the mother was a lawyer. The two raised seven children successfully guiding them to higher education.  Depicting family values, and showing how two successful black parents could raise a family was revolutionary at the time. All of this being portrayed while at the same time keeping its comedic value.

The show was novel in depicting a black family that can be successful and funny while breaking traditional racial stereotypes of uneducated and poverty stricken African-Americans. It took America by storm. The Cosby Show was #1 in the Nielson Rating for five consecutive seasons.  The show ran for eight years, making it part of the elite to have long-running television shows with a predominately black cast.

You can check out this list of 10 episodes to get a representation of why the Cosby Show is so culturally relevant.

Season two episode three is a big reason for the shows stronghold on ratings. Because of this episode Keisha Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy, became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy. She was age 6. Check out  this clip in case you somehow managed to forget the families lip-synch performance for the celebration of Cliff’s parents’ anniversary.

Clair and Cliff taught their children lessons in the realities of class and establishing a healthy relationship with money in a wealthy environment. They showed that education was instrumental in upward class mobility.

The show’s finale marked the end of an era, with Cliff and Clair waltzing out the door…here’s to the nostalgia.

By Chris Marmolejo

Pretty Little Liars’ liar is revelaed! Halloween Special 2013

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Pretty Little Liars’ executive producers have done it again! Their annual Halloween special left fans with goosebumps, chipped nails, scared and SHOCKED! Allison’s unsure presence led Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna to the very creepy town of Ravenswood. They underwent a suspenseful tour through a creepy building. Hanna got separated from the girls (what a shocker) and seemed to have stumbled upon the so called “dead” Allison who was very much ALIVE! Twists and additional mysteries seemed to be never ending once Miranda gets introduced in the show. Miranda is a young girl who is on a mission to find her estranged uncle. She happened to hop on the same bus that is headed to Ravenswood with Caleb. Both characters share similar depressing pasts which initiated a special bond between them. Once arrived at Ravenswood, Miranda heads to her uncle’s residence, which just happens to be the creepy building, and finds Hanna… Weird coincidence right? That’s not all, in the midst of it all Ezra is shown to take a different route in his character. The loyal dreamy teacher/lover now has all the indicators that he is A and “red coat’s” influence! But there’s more, Ezra coincidentally appears at the end to rescue the girls from a flat tire. His excuse was that he was worried about his lover Aria. Mr. Superman Ezra saves the night by giving the girls a ride back home but what happens once the girls are dropped off? Drum roll please… Allison in all her well alive flesh and glory is waiting for them! Talk about a plot twister right? You would think it was a dream until the so-called pronounced dead Allison sparks up a conversation, “I don’t have much time,” she said with a fearful tone “It’s still not safe for me to be here. I want to come home, but you have to help me. … Remember what I told you at the hospital, Hanna?” AND SUDDENLY… Ezra ruins the suspenseful moment by returning with Aria’s phone and manages to scare off Ali. But why did Ali take off so suddenly? Could it be that Ezra is the reason why Allison doesn’t want to return to Rosewood? The question abides until the return of the season next year on Jan. 7. The show presented new opportunities for characters; one being the return of Allison (apparently she has resurrected) and the other being able to introduce its spin-off of the show, Ravenswood.

P.S -I’m curious to know what Miranda has to do with all of this and what exactly did Allison say to Hanna in the hospital?

By Marysol Guzman