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The Colbert Report

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The Colbert Report: The entire concept for this satirical news program is the rediculous nature of the host character. This becomes somewhat complicated in distinction from its actor of the same name. However, the character of the host is an exaggerated conservative anchor stereotype. His ignorance and other problems are fabricated to comedic effect. Additionally, the character emphasizes many of the points being made by distancing them from association with a serious and concerted argument. Some, however, don’t seem to get it. The character famously made a speech at a White House correspondent’s dinner which left former president Bush irate.

The Aporia is that the real Stephen Colbert is not an ignorant archconservative. The wholehearted agreement of an idiot is used to damn by faint praise, to good effect. This is one of the most effective uses of Aporia I have seen. On an unrelated note, I am surprised by the lack of a complete liberal bias in the show. It relies on other methods to mock left-wing viewpoints however.

Categories: aporia, humor, news, TV episode

Consuela: The problem with the help.

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Consuela, from Family Guy: This character is a clear and unashamed racial stereotype and plays on concerns and misconceptions about the character of the Hispanic maid. Prominent in her character is her supposed inability to properly understand the English language, which is used several times in the series to comedic effect. Also used is her fear of authority figures and immigration services. However, in some later scenes, it is shown that she actually has an astute understanding of the language when it would not be detrimental to her to feign ignorance, such as when talking to Stewie, the baby of the family and openly admitting to stealing his play money.

Aporia. It’s actually the common concern with migrant workers that they claim difficulty with the English language when they are, in fact, proficient. Supposedly to avoid conversation that they don’t want to have, such as regards a bill or the like. Consuela appears to do it for amusement, which is fine.

Categories: aporia, deception, humor, TV episode

New Mexico: The Fugue State

December 9, 2011 2 comments

Walter’s Fugue State in Breaking Bad: This series follows the character Walter White who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Being a proud man, he refuses financial help, and wants to pay for his treatment and leave a substantial amount of money for his family. He does this by manufacturing crystal meth. He obviously hides this from his family, who are very suspicious of his absences. When he is kidnapped by a drug dealer for a number of days, he has to concoct a story to explain why he has been missing and out of contact.

He walks into a grocery store, naked, and claims not to remember anything. His doctors diagnose the event as a fugue state. This is clearly somewhat suspect, and while his doctors are fooled, his wife seems to understand something is up. In the end this does not go well for him. (Very little, if anything, does in the whole series) However, he does get the alibi he wanted and that’s better than spending his last months in jail, I suppose.

This is pretty much textbook Aporia, and in fact uses both kinds (feigned and real) to fairly good effect. First, he does fake the fugue state entirely. He doesn’t remember a thing. That is creating a difficulty related to his illness (or Chemo in this case) that suits his need (for an alibi) without inviting questions. However, alone this would be fairly ineffective. His behavior leading up to the event was rather suspicious. He exaggerates both his illness and his happiness to return home in order to dissuade questions. After all, who would question too deeply a man dying of cancer?

Well…his own wife for one. It goes badly. Watch the series.

Charientismus in George Lopez Show

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The George Lopez Show gets cancelled- Lopez himself makes joke about it

            Charientismus is very evident in this example I have chosen. On an episode of the George Lopez Show, Lopez explains that the show is being cancelled. He says, “In case you haven’t heard the news, TBS has decided not to renew Lopez tonight and tomorrow will be our last night. The unemployment rate is high and for Latinos it just got a little higher”. This is evidently a serious situation (especially for Lopez) and he is making a joke out of it. In most of the other examples I’ve used of charientismus- people are using it to be “smart-alecks”, but in t his situation Lopez is actually using charientismus to his benefit and making light of an otherwise sad situation. Lopez is portraying himself as carefree and dignified. He could have spoken badly about TBS but he chose to make a joke out of it- which is ironic because his show is a comedy.

The Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LVcoj7p_IA

Charientismus in Days of Our Lives

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Days of Our Lives: Smoothing it Over

The next text that has charientismus is an episode of Days of Our Lives. In this episode, the younger members of the cast who attend college are working on their website. This website is something they have been taking very seriously and it is affecting their everyday lives. If they mess up on the website, many bad things might happen to them- including expulsion. In this episode, they are dealing with a malfunction in the website and their stress level seems very high. One of the guys is talking about how they must fix this and it is a very serious issue. Then, the other college student who is a part of this website says, “Listen ladies, we need to keep this in the vault.” By saying this, he is making light of the very serious situation. Obviously, the people he is speaking with are not ladies- and by saying this he is making a joke in the serious situation. I do not think that the other guys think it is funny, though.

The Link:Days of Our Lives

Categories: charientismus, TV episode

Charientismus in Pan Am

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Pan Am: Episode 5

            The next example of charientismus I found was in an episode of Pan Am. In this episode, one of  the stewardesses is talking to one of her co-workers about how she pawned her engagement ring. The stewardess is very upset and is looking for guidance in the situation. When referring to the pawn, she says “They just sold it to a man in Harlem.. they can do that?” Her co-worker (a pilot) responds with, “It’s in the how to pawn manual.” Obviously, there is no “How to pawn manual” so he is turning this serious situation into a funny one by his comment. This is a clear usage of charientismus. The stewardess does not seem amused by his comment and rolls her eyes.

Link: http://www.sidereel.com/pan_am/season-1/episode-5/links/10604274

Charientismus in The Office

December 8, 2011 2 comments

The Office: Michael Scott makes stress relief session comedic

The first example of charientismus I am choosing to analyze is a segment from The Office. This show is known its funny characters and ironic situations. In this episode, all of the people that work at Dunder Mifflin are participating in a stress relief session. This session is supposed to be very serious and is being used to help the employees relieve some of their work related stress. Michael Scott, the regional manager, is leading the session and tells everyone to come in and sit down. Meredith, one of the employees, then sits in front of Michael. She sits Indian style in front of him with a dress on. Michael then says, “My God if you’re wearing a dress please keep your knees together nobody wants to see that.” Michael is turning this serious situation into a funny one by saying that comment to Meredith. After he says the statement, it is obvious that the mood of the room changes. Meredith began walking in very serious, and once she sat down and heard the comment, she looked very uncomfortable. The use of charientismus is evident here by Michael’s funny comment in a serious situation.

Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkeVbfilJys&feature=related