Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for May, 2016

Group Final -The Repeated Classic

Posted by louisbuckley on May 6, 2016

The Pictionary Explanation of the Classic Romantic Comedy

Alissa Kendrick, Natalie Melcher, Victoria, Allison Henson, and Lous Buckley

(Here’s the link for this article with pictures, since WordPress isn’t allowing the transfer of the original photos:



1)Once upon a time in a far-away kingdom a girl seeking her prince charming. Residing with her evil step-mother and twin step-sisters, she long awaited the day she’d be able to be free and live happily ever after.

(cue to draw a castle with a girl or something of that nature) (Cinderella)

2)Girl seeks a relationship, and goes on a date. The date goes poorly and the night ends after the potential guy dances to Ice Ice Baby in his white

(cue to draw a girl with guy, but an x through the guy) (13 Going on 30)

3)Girl believes she’ll never find love after she finds out guy is a scam and only in it to take down her sister.

(cue to draw girl crying and heartbroken) (Frozen)

4)A school dance is coming up, and the Girl has been talking to an anonymous potential. They plan to meet at the dance at precisely 11pm under the disco ball. Girl debates on whether or not she should actually go. She has nothing to wear.

(cue to draw an invitation or the 2 of them under a disco ball) (A Cinderella Story)

5)Fairy godmother saves the day with an outfit and transportation.

(cue to draw fairy godmother with dress and coach) (Cinderella)

6)Girl and guy meet at dance. Girl Drops iPod at dance. Guy attempts to find girl by the music on her iPod.

(cue to draw iPod with a playlist of songs) (Another Cinderella Story)

7)Stepsisters try to sabotage the potential relationship when they realize the match is their sister. They want to be the match.

(cue to draw ___________) (Cinderella)

8)Girl comes forward and makes it known that she’s the match. Girl and guy fall in love and live happily ever after.

(cue to draw ___________) (Cinderella)

From the clues above, we can try and depict the classic romantic storyline that has been used and abused through cinematic history. Whether it’s a current romantic comedy or an old fairytale, the same generic plot of the girl falling in love with the guy in the end always makes its way into current film. It’s a classic tale that is used repeatedly in different formats (music videos, television, video games). There are countless film that fall under this plot, and that is exactly the purpose of this in class activity. Why does “new” media content sample techniques from the past to secure a profitable future? Well, it all goes back to the section regarding “Reappraising the Residual”; taking content from the past and reusing it for a new format for the future for profit. It seems production companies rely on comfort in order for the film to be profitable. Let’s think about the 80% rule here; where most media products fail to produce profit 80% of the time when published to audiences. If a film doesn’t end happily, audiences will cause a stir and likely not see it. But it seem most romance films have stuck to this same plot, and people have bought it (literally and figuratively).  Just add updated jokes and the film should do just fine. But the question is why do audiences keep watching ,essentially, the same film over and over again? It depends on the viewer. Some like the happy ending and seeing a girl go through a struggle of finding love. Some like the comedic aspect and enjoy laughter in these films. Or it could be nostalgia of the Disney tales that seem to make allusions of in the films. It’s quite interesting to see how upset fans get how past content gets remade, when it in reality it happens all the time in this media world. Is there ever been a current film that hasn’t played off or shared or influences from previous ideas?


The list of the possible movie that fit this story plot is quite numerous. But that is the idea here. Media is spreadable and and the ideas/content involved with it it shared enormously as well. Our goal is not to make you stop watching any film or television shows that show this typical plot but to make you think and realize what is the purpose of this content in front of me? We forget to ask ourselves this and it makes senses how the same thing can be presented to us and we don’t consciously know it.  As long as you’re comfortable with your reason, then keep watching. Media will always be here, we all just have to adjust with it.



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Recast: 5 White Girls Take on Race Bending and White Washing in the American Film Industry

Posted by hlybkr on May 6, 2016

By Haley Baker, Riley Stivers, Hannah Seaver, Shelby Watson and Cassie Cook

PC PP Group

Whitewashing, the epidemic that has rushed the nation. Whitewashing can be defined as the over casting of well-known Caucasian actors and actresses in a roll that it is far from racially and ethnically correct for them. It seems that Hollywood has had a history of being over taken by an overwhelming amount of non-diverse actors, snatching up the roles meant for the minorities. Characters will be completely made over to fit the race of the character, or actors will embarrassingly shape shift themselves into the ethnicity the role is asking for. People have been up in arms due to the inaccurate portrayal of the racial minorities in the world of film.

Incorrect ethnically casted actors upset people not only because the characters are not representative of the appropriate ethnicity but also because the characters are not truly representative of the original character like The Last Airbender. As we know fans and fandoms play a large part in the media and hold very strong to what they believe in. When their favorite show becomes a movie they want it be correctly portrayed. Fans think of their fandom as their child, they want to be the very best that it can be, but when this doesn’t happen fans get pissed. Fans even feel like they could take the movie in to their own hands if the adaptation isn’t up to the fandoms standard. The Last Airbender’s adaptation of the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender was a major disappointment to all Avatar fans. This poor casting choice not only affected the overall quality of the movie but also how well it did the box office.

To be able to be seen by the fans it must showcase in the box office.  For starter lets tl about a more recent movie, The Martian. Although it was nominated for seven Oscars it received none, many wondering if it was due to the small amount of white washing. With a domestic total gross of over 228 million dollars they could have searched a little bit harder to make the scenes more accurate. What helped the movie was the fact that the author did not give the main character an ethnicity causing the movie to have a strong Caucasian lead. Now heading to the movie 21 which had a bit more controversy. The movies background is a group of Asian-Americans which one played on screen but again, Caucasian actors and actresses. This movie caused enough controversy that fans started boycotting on social media and bringing this subject to the public’s attention. Maybe the directors might not find their casting decisions to follow the storyline, but there are many cases where them paying a bit more attention to detail may have been for the better.

Whitewashing in Hollywood has been prevalent for the last century, and despite being a well-known issue, is still a major problem on the silver screen. It makes you ask the question, “Why?” Why would Hollywood continue to whitewash movies, even with the entire backlash against it? There are several reasons for it, that tie in perfectly with everything we’ve learned this semester. Spreadability is one reason. Hollywood is a huge business, and so movies are made with profit in mind. The movie industry is catering to who they think is going to watch their movie, and beyond that, which’s going to share it. Obviously, the producers are concerned about appealing to the white (majority in America) population. Whitewashing is a heavily economic issue that has its roots in popular culture. Another reason is the stickiness effect. In the video we watched from John Oliver, he mentions how directors will cast more famous Caucasian actors because who wants to see a movie with “Mohammad such-in-such”? Stickiness, or how well a media artifact “sticks” in a viewer’s mind, is critical for film. This principle is the entire basis behind what makes a movie successful or not. Will people keep go watch the movie? Will those same people then buy the movie, and tell their friends? Spreadabilty, stickiness, fan base influence, and the financial impact of whitewashing all play a major role in why it’s a controversial topic in the media.

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Rock 2016- Group Project

Posted by Shane on May 6, 2016

In our POP 201 class we learned about media in all forms, how it spreads, how it’s used and the advantages of having it. There are many different forms of media, the most popular of our generation being social media. For our project we decided to use social media as a tool to make a satirical political commercial. In class we learned about how satire is used in media and how effectively it can be used, so we decided to approach that by making a campaign ad for a rock. With the current popularity of the presidential race and the big question of who will be our next president, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to poke fun at the presidential race. Not only did we make a video that was posted to YouTube, but we also used Twitter to make an account for the rock candidate. While this is obviously a joke account, the tweets posted were believable enough to laugh at and to almost agree with. We wanted to make it believable enough for you to feel like you could get behind the rock.

Just as other candidates do, we took the time to really dive into who the rock was in the campaign ad by covering all of the bases. Going back to making it believable we wanted to do what any other media outlets would do, we added the allegations or scandal of the rock with another rock. We also added the firm stances the rock has on marijuana, and foreign policy. Even now in writing this blog post about the campaign ad, it seems almost believable as a real ad. In the class one of the major points we took away was that of media spreadability and how it can be effective. We took that and what we learned and applied it to our project, spreading the ad through YouTube and Twitter, both of which would be effective in a real campaign.

The links for the video and Twitter account are below:


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Pokemon Presentation

Posted by yveltalryder on May 5, 2016

Sorry its just a link. Also, when you watch the video in the Prezi the music wont shut off but you can ignore the audio, its not important. Enjoy!



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Artifact Makeup

Posted by yveltalryder on May 4, 2016

Please go ahead and laugh at my poor little video I’m too drained me to do any better……

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Final project analysis

Posted by Yasmine on May 4, 2016

This is a more in depth-analysis of my groups project, which was a fake gossip website.

By: Yasmine Sadrinia, Gabriella Shartzer, and Taylor Shelby.

We have created a gossip website that mocks the way some publications completely over-exaggerate situations, and sometimes even blatantly make up false stories to gain readers. Our website will include fake news stories about things going on at WKU. Our goal for this website is to create a page that is funny and entertaining, but also show how it resembles real-life publications in terms of how literally ANYONE can falsify information and persuade people to believe just about anything.

In today’s media, stories about celebrities and public figures are constantly splashed all over headlines. Usually those stories are about irrelevant topics, like what they’re wearing or what they’re eating for lunch. We hope our website urges people to think twice about how much of this useless information they consume. Because at what point do people start believing it? And how far is too far to take a story? At what point does the entertainment stop, and a human being is being publicly slandered? Is it okay as long as it’s funny? These are the questions that we hoped to raise as a result of viewing our website and reading the ridiculous articles.

Not only do we wonder how its possible for anyone to believe these unauthorized and unaccredited stories, but it raises another idea: what is it that motivates the people who write them?

My group came up with the theory that maybe some of these “writers” are in fear of disappointing loved ones, or even themselves. Getting a big break in the world if writing is nearly impossible, so perhaps people think that the only way for them to get noticed is to write completely outrageous pieces and hope that it goes viral and a big time publication comes crawling at their feet. Again, that scenario is extremely unlikely.

Our group agrees that starting down the path of posting dishonest content online, in print, or any other medium is a very slippery slope. If they don’t experience consequences or backlash the first time, it is likely they’ll do it again. And again. And again.

While it may seem like lies are only created by lowly common folk like you and me, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This theme of making stuff up has spread to scientists and data researches who fake numbers and statistics to sway towards a certain bias the publication is trying to achieve.

What our group wanted everyone to take away from this was simple: don’t be gullible. Check sources. Understand the difference between FACT and OPINION. This media-driven world is ever-changing, and it is up to us as consumers and creators to make that world a more honest place. Peace, understanding, open-mindedness and all the things that make this country thrive can all be sparked through education. The internet is the best resource for education that our planet has, and when it is abused and used for the wrong reasons, we are hindering ourselves from growing as individuals and as a species.

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Fandoms Come In All Shapes and Sizes

Posted by araethom on May 4, 2016

Fandoms Come In All Shapes and Sizes

(above is the link to our powerpoint)

I think our presentation is not only a great representation of fandoms, but also spreadability.
Fans can be relaxed and enjoy their fandom in quiet or they can be a bit crazed. I would say our group represented the “crazed fan”. These fans know almost every detail of this celebrity’s life. They follow them on every social media, go to concerts (if they’re a musician), and base their life on this celebrity.
There are fandoms for almost anything in popular culture you can imagine. Television shows, movies, artists, video games, anything. It’s crazy how we are fans of so many things. You don’t realize it until someone brings it to your attention.
Fans play a huge part in spreadability. Fans follow their chosen celebrity or pop culture item on social media. They can retweet this person on Twitter. Like their picture on Instagram. View their videos on Youtube. Listen to their music on Spotify. Buy their music. Share any information they post on any site. Before the internet and social media, fans helped celebrity’s spreadability by just listening to them on the radio, buying their music in stores, watching television or going to the movies. As technology improves and grows, so does fandom and how fans interact with each other and their fandom.

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Group Project: Sports

Posted by hannierosefit on May 3, 2016

Group Project: Austin Beard, Michael Epperson, Hannah Hamill, Trey Robinson


For our group project, we created a website that highlights top news stories of the day/week/moment and discuss them with a lens reflecting aspects of pop culture that we have read about over the semester. We picked what we feel are the top sports in American culture: football, basketball, baseball, and soccer.

Over the semester, the subject that stuck out to us the most was pro wrestling and the idea of it being more than just the sport itself. With wrestling, there are characters, scenes planned out, and fans playing along. While the sports that we picked are not scripted, there are many parts of them that are blown up specifically for the media and fan purposes. Rivalries between athletes are always created and exploited. Once one is created, the athletes (whether they actually hate each other or not) can take it to another level.

Sports also use the big tournaments to rack up money and viewers. On our website, two of the articles up right now discuss the playoffs and the NCAA tournament. Both are times that networks gain new viewers and popularity. There are many fans who will only watch the sport during these times which is why ads, commercials, sponsors, etc. increase. For instance, during March Madness, there are several networks that show games, many apps you can download to fill out brackets/watch games, etc. Restaurants, companies, and businesses will also use these events to entice people to come watch the games there or receive a deal because of these sports events.

A lot of people only watch media that regards sports such as games or ESPN or only follow media that is regarding it and there are twitter accounts, websites, specific television channels, etc. devoted to these fans. They reach out to viewers on all forms of media and get viewers to care about the players, teams, etc.’s personal lives and not just their athletic abilities.

Our website does this as well. By telling the top news stories of the moment, we are then able to look at how it is personally affecting the athlete or the team. Where these aspects of sports are not why fans turn to games, they are part of the reasons they pay attention to it. The drama created around players, teams, and sports is due to the media and fans and are a part of pop culture that will only continue to develop.

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Recast: a criticism of white washed Hollywood

Posted by rileystivers on May 2, 2016

PC PP Group

Analyst coming soon….

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April 18th

Posted by duncanmcken on May 2, 2016

For some reason when I began Li’s “Transnational Audiences and East Asian Television” the brief craze that came with Psy’s ‘Gangam Style’, a song that became a US hit and then the artist lost immediate U.S. attention when he began to make anti American remarks at concerts came to mind… and then it was gone.

I was amazed to find out that these “transnational” fans will go to such lengths to make the content they enjoy that much more spreadable, via dubbing and editing. It’s these “amateur fan subtitling teams” that I believe will become the future, as well as continue the access and progress of media. My head was almost spinning at this point in the article, following the various ways and paths the media was being spread. This content only goes on to be spread even further through upload sites and from there perhaps more interactions with “amateur fan subtitling teams”. Another way media spreads closely to this can be seen in the popularity and spread of music. However the difference here being that the music usually isn’t transformed or dubbed over, but in a sense shapes and influences the sounds of that area. For instance one of my current favorite bands that are now becoming ever so popular is the Australian band Tame Impala. The mastermind behind the group, Kevin Parker was heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s music and even British Invasion bands (another example within something I’m attempting to make an example of). Now with this influence, Parker and Tame Impala have reached US and European success, ironically to the music to which they draw their sound from.

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