Tag Archives: media

New Directions: How the Gleeful Rise and Fall of the TV Musical Gave Way to High School Show Choir

(s1, e22)

The massive cultural phenomenon that is Glee took the world by storm when its first season aired in 2009. However, this show – which brought the idea of the TV musical to the general public – also ended the cultural phenomenon that it started. Questions of why Glee stands alone as the only TV musical to enter and exit the zeitgeist abound. Did the writing deteriorate too much? Did casting choices affect the show? Did the audience simply get bored? Is it a combination of the three? And, perhaps most importantly, what effect did this show have on the youth at the time? My personal experience with this show and the cultural shockwaves it created will hopefully shed some light on this. 

A popular opinion towards the show (that I also hold) is that Glee massively overstayed its welcome, and I believe that its bloated run tired the general audience out from any concepts that revolved around a TV musical.  After the conclusion of Season 3, the narrative was essentially over. Many of the main cast were graduating high school, and so it seemed that there was simply no more story left for Ryan Murphy, the creator of the show, to write. Therefore, when the show came back for a 4th season, some previously main characters were now relegated to a supporting role, a choice that angered many of the audience, myself included. There was no narrative need to continue, and definitely no need to continue without the cast that audiences had attached themselves to over the first 3 seasons. Additionally, the writing of the show became noticeably worse in Season 4. Perhaps the exclusion of the actors who were able to mask the poor quality of the script brought its lack of quality to light. Either way, this cast and its poor writing was endured by the audience of the show for three more seasons, losing many fans along the way. These three factors proved to be a main reason in Glee’s downfall, and indeed the downfall of TV musicals as a whole. 

However, it is important to remember that while Glee was part of the zeitgeist, it inspired many of its younger audience to start theatre and start performing in general. American high schools experienced a surge in show choirs, and the many fantastic vocal performances in the show set a bar that many younger viewers wished to recreate. The resurgence of interest in theatre in the early 2010’s due to Glee is without a doubt one of the best outcomes from this show, and the fact that its overstaying of its popularity ruined any chance of new TV musicals gaining popularity for the near future is legitimately heartbreaking for the current generation of young potential actors. Despite this, what Glee was able to accomplish as an innovator and most popular example of a TV musical is no mean feat. It is just a shame that it had to ruin the solid foundation it had built for itself and others.

blink and you’ll miss it

Media and the internet have evolved faster than the rate of comprehension, creating new norms and nuances that we could not have seen coming. Some of these changes happen overnight while others slowly erode the very fabric of the internet, and our contemplation of it. When it comes to changes online, blink and you’ll miss it. These variations are often not good or bad but are just different and we can explore some recent ones by looking into memes and slang two online expressions that can influence the way we interact.

To me, memes are the encapsulation of human existence in a visual, uncomplicated form. There’s an image, or two, a few lines of text, and suddenly you’re laughing at a picture that otherwise had little meaning. Memes can be reused, reduced, and recycled like any sustainable internet phenomenon and have brought about a new age of laughter and even political commentary. Alexis Madrigal says it best,
“in the end, the meme itself is powerful. It spreads to tens of millions of people. It makes one woman rich. It helps market soda (2018).” Because what are memes if not the culmination of creative and ideological expression? They may not be the most elegant way of communicating how much you hate Donald Trump, but these images are able to condense profound insights or passive opinions and spread them at a rate unimaginable. Many individuals who became internet sensations overnight dealt with ranging experiences from Ghyslain Raza facing immense “cyberbullying” and “death threats” to Laina Morris who “initiated her own Internet fame, and she has embraced every bit of it (Merrill 2015).” Instances like these show that there is a light and dark to the internet and that even seemingly harmless memes have great power.

I would argue slang is one of the most difficult languages to master, it’s not static and while there are some evolving guides, slang often varies depending on the demographic you are part of. It’s also a pretty universal experience to have a time when you just did not understand a reference, or think someone was speaking strangely but they were using slang you just didn’t know. The blame is not only on the uninformed though, apps like TikTok have an “interface (that) makes it difficult to link out to external information” a strategic tactic that has users, “digging through the comments for an explanation for something living rent-free in their heads (Weekman 2022).” For those wondering, I don’t know how to quite encapsulate what ‘rent-free’ means so I turn to Urban Dictionary to offer you assistance. Like memes these words also have powerful messages that often rely on a backstory that viewers must understand, often taking one word and inputting innuendos and layers to the point where the definition cannot quite set you on a straight path to understanding the slang. From fake accountants to relationship status nails, the internet can create neuro links that the average user can only take so much of. This said, having shared online experiences, words, and customs can create a culture that transcends traditional barriers of space and characteristics, a girl in Canada can suddenly relate on a deeper level to her counterpart across the world- a microcosmic feat of globalization. These transmissions of phrases do come with their problems, with “internet slang” … increas(ing) its influence over everyday language, …concerns about how those trends appropriate African American Vernacular English (AAVE)” are also prevalent in media (Thompson 2022). Policies on hate speech and appropriation can be used to mitigate such risks but in such an evolving landscape stopping such issues is easier said than done.

Memes and slang serve as examples for the case of internet evolution while also showcasing the dangers and benefits, in equal measure, of various platforms. It is up to us, the creators and curators of the internet, to use it responsibly.


Works Cited

Madrigal, Alexis C. “What Sorry to Bother You Gets Right about Memes.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 24 July 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/07/what-sorry-to-bother-you-gets-right-about-the-power-of-memes/565835/.

Merrill, Brad. “5 People Who Became Memes, and How They Reacted.” MUO, Make Use Of, 6 Apr. 2015, https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-people-became-memes-reacted/.

Thompson, Dillon. “Is the Internet Changing How We Talk about Slang Words?” In The Know, In The Know, 17 May 2022, https://www.intheknow.com/post/slang-words-tiktok-gen-z-linguist/?guccounter=2&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9wb3NpZWwuY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAACu2GNjkeKAqgad9gt8WcHdGUucEcsythL-jYIYKAbCOYs343vCDNLgsFAzP8axg4Aav6gBAyySmJmLM-3b2xhsJ0ngHiPKiYHIdltGdoe0mEHLW2HuARE-j3nO8xVS067t5n_WViVldWXWO3ZYJK6uH-0kjLIDIrYl7Epw0iMqR.

Weekman, Kelsey. “In the Know Glossary: Your Guide to Internet Slang, Trends and Celebrities.” In The Know, In The Know, 16 May 2022, https://www.intheknow.com/post/in-the-know-glossary/?utm_source=internallinks&utm_medium=internallinks&utm_campaign=internallinksglossary#letterv.

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Regarding Various Channels and Media

In this post, I explore how to choose a medium for your message and the importance of using channels to distribute your message to your audience.

Choosing Your Medium

“Types of media”

Upon googling “types of media”, you will discover that definitions and descriptions of types of media that exist in the world vary significantly from source to source.

Just look at this section that was the second item to show up on my google search:

Google search results depicting text that says

People also ask
What are 10 types of media?
What are 4 types of media?
What are the 7 forms of media?
What are the 3 media types?

After reviewing the various types described in these search results, I realized that boxing and organizing types is unnecessary.

Media, after all, is just the plural form of the noun medium which Oxford Languages defines as “an agency or means of doing something.”

After all,

The medium is the message

Marshall McCluhan

In other words, you must craft your own form of media to communicate your message.

Crafting Your Own Form of Media

To craft your own form of media, I recommend you examine three elements, the message itself, yourself as the messenger, and your audience as the recipient.

To review these elements ask questions such as:

  • In what ways could I share this message?
  • How does this message want to be shared?
  • What is the broader purpose of this message I am sending?
  • How have others previously communicated a message like this? Could they have done it better?
  • Are there conventions for messages such as this? Are they ideal?
  • How can I make this message uniquely my own?
  • If I could do anything to share this message how would I share it?
  • What am I capable of doing to communicate this message?
  • How can I compromise between my own ability and my ideal for sending this message?
  • How does the audience want to receive this message?
  • What do I want the audience to do upon receiving this message?
  • How is the audience capable of receiving this message?

After asking questions like these (note that you are most certainly not limited to these or required to answer all of these), choose your medium. Then take action to craft it.

Selecting Channels

What a Channel Is

When I hear the term “channels”, I immediately think of television channels. Although those are most certainly types of channels, the type of channels we are looking at here is broader.

Here, we are going to define channels as paths that we can use to enable our content to reach our audience.

Channels themselves are too media, however, they are different than the form of media described above in that we are going to be using them to direct our audience to our message, whereas previously we were using our medium to direct our message to our audience.

The purpose of channels is reaching our audience so they can connect with our message.

Choosing Channels

To choose channels, we need to answer the question “what is the best way to get our audience to reach our content?”

Sometimes, the best channel is by talking directly to people and asking them to interact with our content. Other times it is best to simply let the content exist and be found by others.

Channels again come down to the sender, the receiver, and the message. Examining these three elements will allow you to choose the best channel for your content.

Media and Channels

To choose your form of media and your form of channel, you need to examine the sender, the audience, and the message.

In examining these items, you will discover a distinct medium you need to create to embody your message and channels you can use to spread your message to your audience.

Communication is an art form. Practicing and iterating on messaging is the best way to improve.


McCluhan, M. (1964). The medium is the message. https://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/mcluhan.mediummessage.pdf

Fighting Fear in Fear Obsessed Media

Let’s talk about fear.

COVID has been a scary thing hasn’t it? I was reading a friend’s post online about how this pandemic has been a shared traumatic experience and this is consciously and subconsciously affecting all of us.

Recently I’ve been feeling discouraged. I’ve been feeling like things are continually getting more bleak and less joyful. Maybe it’s because of the rain or the shorter days, but I think it’s also due to the underlying fear a lot of us are feeling with the looming numbers of COVID-19.

So how do we deal with fear? Do we run away and pretend it’s not there? Do we get angry and blame the people around us? Or do we confront it and try to find what’s really going on within our soul?

This podcast from Bridgetown Church features Tristen Collins, a therapist in Portland, Oregon, and she talks about how fear can often hinder us from living a life that is free and filled with joy. Take a listen to hear Tristen’s definition of fear, what fear looks like in different individuals, and how we can address the fear in our lives.

Tristen Collins shares about fear and learning from our emotions.

This presents a Christian perspective on fear and how God views emotions, but it also presents practical advice on how to address our fear and begin moving past it.

Throughout the podcast, Tristen reminds us that all of our emotions are good and valid, even though not all of them feel nice. She quotes Mr. Rogers who said, ‘There’s no should or should not when it comes to having feelings. They are part of who we are, and their origins are beyond our control.”

Tristen emphasizes that all our feelings are valuable, and what we do with them will affect the rest of our lives.

There’s no should or should not when it comes to having feelings. They are a part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control.

Mr. Rogers

I hope this podcast brings you peace today and reminds you that there is healing from the pain we are currently feeling.

Keep journeying on friends 😊

Peer Review #3 – A Blog for Life Livers

I love this blog!

A Blog for Life Livers is written by Hope Stewart, an adventurer and life liver, sharing her stories of childhood joy and new experiences. Hope writes beautifully about enjoying the life around you and being present in every moment. She uses pictures and poems to portray her feelings and emotions from each adventure, with occasional videos showing small moments that she wants to remember.

This is blog that leaves you feeling refreshed, optimistic, and in wonder. Check out a Blog for Life Livers here.


Hope’s homepage is set with pictures and bold fonts that capture the viewer on first glance. As you scroll through, you’ll see some images that capture the vibe of this website and set the tone for all of her blog posts. There is also a welcome message at the bottom of the page that invites you to consider your own life and how you might create new adventures.

So come in and stay awhile, as each page has been placed here for you: to draw inspiration for your next adventure, to help you conquer fear, to help you seize each day, and to learn to fully immerse yourself in moments both wild and calm.

The top menu is well organized and gives the viewer easy access to the media they are looking for. The media gallery highlights Hope’s videos and photos and immerse the viewer into an adventure of their own. Browsing through Hope’s media makes me feel as though I get to experience a little bit of her adventure as well!


This blog presents many beautiful original images that capture the vision of Hope’s website. Creating prints or postcards of these images could be a great way to allow your audience to participate in the stories while supporting your writing! Post cards would be an especially unique product you could sell that represent the slow-ness of handwriting a letter and enjoying every moment.

Check out Hope’s media gallery here.

Another way to market your website could be to partner with tourism companies in encouraging more travelers to come visit their area. Your video of Hornby island captures moments that feel whimsical and magical and could definitely inspire more people to visit those places! One suggestion would be contacting small island communities like Bowen Island, Gibsons, or Lund and offering to make them a video showcasing the best part of their city! This could be a great way to travel, gain more content for your website and generate revenue.

This website is beautifully simple and refreshingly organized, so I would hesitate to incorporate ads that may hinder the viewer experience given that this blog is very experience driven. One possibility for ad revenue could be to partner with related companies to promote products that relate to your blog postings.

An example of this could be with the Mushroom Hunting Blog post. You could reach out to companies that offer classes or books on how to identify mushrooms and then collect revenue based on how may clicks from your blog lead to theirs.

A similar example could be with your Mindfulness and Yoga post. This post links to Yoga Youtubers and workout routines, which could potentially be business partners and generate revenue for your website!

Overall, this is a beautiful website that creates freshness and relief in a busy and confused world. Check out a Blog for Life Livers to enjoy nature, mindfulness, and stealing moments as presented by Hope Stewart.

Stealing moments helps you realize that you are the master of your own time and that you have more control over your own happiness than it may feel. It helps you look for little silver linings in the smallest of things and encourages gratitude and mindfulness.”

Process Post 11 (Transmedia Integration)

With plenty of media outlets in the world today, there is without a doubt plenty of ways to implement transmedia integration to your site. As described by Henry Jenkins, transmedia storytelling, “represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” (Jenkins 2007). This can be highly beneficial in enhancing the experience for users on the site and the possible objectives and message that you envision.

Luckily for my site, I already have one form of transmedia integration added, which is through the use of Soundcloud playlists on my “Let’s Listen” posts. This form of transmedia integration helps enhance the entertainment experience whilst aligning with my message for Here, There in terms of representing diversity within the arts and entertainment industry. This media integration also connects with my target audience of artistic individuals who have an appreciation for music and who are interested in discovering diverse artists. An additional benefit of including Soundcloud playlists would be the option to implement audience recommendations, both to increase engagement, but to also make full use of this type of transmedia integration.

Another way of adding transmedia integration for the future development of my blog could be through YouTube videos. As a blog that focuses on the arts, but also societal issues of race, gender, and sexuality, there are many opportunities to have visual and auditory media implemented. Possibly, having my own Buzzfeed or Cut style videos could help enhance the entertainment experience, in addition to videos posted that are partnered with, or directly connected to my site. This can help build relationships with other artists and individuals, help develop the blog and its audience, and enhance my message and objective.

Inspired by sites like Them. who provide subscription emails for important posts and issues, my blog could also implement this form of transmedia integration. As Henry Jenkins notes, the use of dispersing elements systematically across multiple channels can be beneficial in spreading a message. Having an option to subscribe through an email may not only offer a means of engagement and audience retention, but also spread awareness of my website and of important topics and issues.

Lastly, an additional transmedia integration for my site would be including multiple social media accounts. Nowadays, it is a given that most businesses, organizations, sites, and individuals use multiple social media accounts. The use of social media for my site would be a core element as it would not only link my Instagram (in order to establish a personality behind my blog), but also link a specific Instagram for Here, There. Photos would fit a certain aesthetic that relates to my blog, but also highlight diverse people, events, artists, shows, and current events. Additional social media integration would include a Facebook page and Twitter account, in which there would be specific posts on events and key topics discussed. These accounts would also create an additional place for engagement between the audience and my blog and hopefully maintain a welcoming and communicative space.