I saw this idea on Tumblr and thought it was fun, but I’m more of a passive Tumblr user, so I knew no one would see it or do it if I did my own there. So here we are on my blog.
So we probably all know how to play Bingo, but since I know it’s more of a North American game and I do have readers all over the world, here’s a quick explanation: Usually a Bingo card has random numbers in all the boxes, and an elected leader would call out numbers like B12 or G60 and you’d mark off what ones you have on your board in an attempt to get a straight line. The middle one is a free space. Once you get a line, you yell Bingo! and win. Pretty simple. My grandmother plays it on Friday nights, and I always ask her, “Nonna, what did you win at Bingo?” and she always shrugs and says “fifteen cents” because they play for nickles, apparently.
Anyway, on Tumblr, I’ve seen people make Bingo cards with personality traits rather than numbers to see who best aligns with them. It’s cute and a quick way to know someone.
So here’s me in a Bingo card:
Yes, I did make this on Microsoft Paint, thanks for noticing! I encourage you to play by copy/pasting the image into MS Paint and marking off what applies to you, then pasting it into a comment below or by Tweeting it at me. There’s no pressure and no winners. Unless you get all of them, in which case you’re legally obligated to be my new best friend. Otherwise, I’m just curious to see who best aligns with me, and what boxes of mine no one relates to.
And feel free to make your own! If you do, I’ll play! I just Googled ‘blank bingo template’ to get the boxes and it took me like 20 minutes to think of the traits to fill in and then another 20 minutes moving the boxes around.
Well, hopefully you found this fun and consider it Quality Blog Content, because that’s the goal, always.
‘Echo chambers’ is a term that we talked a lot about in university when discussing social media, though it was always in regards to politics. In the Trump vs Hillary election, it’s speculated that fake news and echo chambers, specifically on Facebook, played a part in Trump’s win. Google defines echo chambers as:
An environment in which a person encounters only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own, so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered.
You can understand how people stubborn in their political beliefs can be in one of these without even knowing it.
Anyway, as interesting as it is to look at echo chambers from an election perspective (that sounds sarcastic; I really do think it is interesting), I think it’s also a concept that we should consider when thinking about other things. Like fandoms. And TV shows.
In this day and age, there are TV shows available from a multitude of sources. And keeping up with them all (even from a place of awareness of their existence, not actually watching them) can be really hard. I don’t even think the people at TV Line or Entertainment Weekly know of every show currently out there. So naturally, fans of smaller shows take it upon themselves to promote the shows, usually on social media. And this is good because sometimes the recommendation of genuine fans can be far more valuable and honest than whatever publications give reviews or whatever the show promotes itself as (like how Riverdale still promotes itself as a good show worth watching…).
Anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to fans promoting shows, specifically in efforts to save shows from cancellation, is that echo chambers play a huge but silent part. And in my opinion, political views play a part in it, too. Let me give you an example so you can better understand what I’m trying to say here.
There’s a (remake of a) show called One Day At A Time that recently got cancelled from Netflix and last month got picked up by a channel called PopTV. A lot of people I follow on Twitter and Tumblr were fans of the show so though I didn’t watch it, I knew a lot about it. For those who don’t know, the show is about the life of a Latino family including a single mom, a grandmother, a gay daughter, and a son. There’s also a neighbour/family friend who is an ex-addict. The daughter also eventually dates someone who I thiiiink is non-binary. I’m telling you this because a lot of the fan-made promotions for the show highlighted not just the fact that the show was an apparent good comedy (honestly, it didn’t look that funny to me, thus why I did not watch it), but that there was a lot of good representation on the show. A family of colour! Single parent! LGBTQA characters!
Now, I’m a straight white person, so representation for me based on just that is everywhere. And when I look for TV shows to watch, I usually look for genre and plot rather than representation. Call that white privilege if you want. I do know it’s not uncommon for underrepresented people to watch a show solely for a small glimpse of representation, so appealing to this can be good. But there’s a limit. With internet and fandoms and all that, there’s a good chance that people have their finger on the pulse of things they care about a lot more, so if there is a show with LGBTQA characters, for example, especially on a large platform like Netflix, you probably would have heard of it by season two or three if this is something you care about. Does this make sense?
So though the ODAAT creator straight up said ratings weren’t great and it eventually got cut, people were outraged that Netflix would do this. How dare they cut a show that is repping so many minorities and making so many people feel seen. How dare they do this yet give ‘worse’ shows like 13 Reasons Why more seasons. The thing is, though, Netflix is a business. As are traditional TV channels like NBC or Fox. And if a show isn’t getting the numbers it needs, then it will go. It sucks, and I’ve been mad at Netflix before too. But it’s not a hate crime. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world who don’t want to watch a show starring POC or a show that has gay characters. Maybe they’re a bigot, but maybe they just don’t find it relatable or fun. Maybe the show is on at a time they can’t watch, or they don’t even have Netflix. So no matter how vocal the fandom is and how many detailed Tumblr posts about why I should watch [insert some show here] I come across, sometimes the echo chamber is probably already developed and the limit has been mostly reached. And it’s something to consider when looking at the success of TV shows and movies over time. TV shows don’t often go up in ratings as seasons go on (huge shows like Game Of Thrones are outliers). Everyone can agree that season 4 of Agents Of SHIELD was phenomenal, but the ratings didn’t go up. By then, most everyone who wanted to watch was doing so, so me explaining in detail why you need to pick it up and highlighting all the great female characters or POC or fun plots or whatnot wouldn’t have done anything. I’d be preaching to the choir.
Actually, preaching to the choir is the perfect cliche to explain what I’m trying to say here. When it comes to fans, to entertainment, and to the internet community, it’s often that the ones most vocal about keeping shows alive/boosting ratings are the ones who already watch things and know what they like, and most of the people they promote to are similar in this way.
That’s it. I don’t have a point. It’s just something I’ve noticed as I’ve watched TV shows (and movies) rise and fall over the years. I think it’s great that some shows get a second chance and it’s due to fans campaigning and getting their voice heard. But even Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s ratings aren’t thriving, though I think it managed to get out of its echo chamber a little.
I’d love to discuss this more if you’ve got any thoughts on the matter, so leave a comment.
P.S. Related but unrelated, I think shows that shove in a lot of political issues in direct reference to hot topic political issues also play a part in turning away fans and disengaging potential viewers. Supergirl recently did a whole bunch of immigration bits among other topics, and people quit watching because of it. Where is the line of making shows realistic and thought-provoking without being preachy, annoying, or too aggressive?
A few weeks ago I was browsing Spotify’s new Friday releases when I spotted Jeremy Renner’s name (aka Hawkeye in the Marvel movies). Once in a while on social media he’ll post some image of him playing an instrument so I knew he had an interest in music. I just didn’t know he professionally records things and has several songs on Spotify.
So of course I had to listen (and you can too here). He has six songs, all singles, and I recognized a few as covers. Apparently, some of them were done as a campaign for Jeep… Anyway, he’s got a raspy voice that works well for the country/rock genre the songs are in but it isn’t very recognizable as him. Still, it’s not bad to listen to at all. I don’t know if he could ever have a thriving music career, but if he’s having fun releasing songs just for kicks (and that Jeep money), then okay! They’re good! Of course, this will forever be his best song.
And then I clicked related artists. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson.
I knew RDJ sang. Every Christmas I hear his cover of ‘River’ a lot on the radio and I love it. But I thought that was just a one-time thing. I did not know he also has a full album of songs from 2004 called The Futurist. He got out of prison and his plan to reinvent his career was with music, apparently. He’s a pretty good singer, but the music on this album just isn’t for me. It’s a little jazzy and a little slow, kind of like background restaurant music. Plus I found that often the melody he was singing didn’t really match with the instruments, but I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m not surprised the album didn’t thrive and he chose to not pursue music further. That being said, I can definitely see him in like ten years doing a better, more upbeat jazz album just for fun. He’s classy now and I think he’d be able to do it and not take it too seriously because he’s RDJ.
ScarJo’s music was…something else. In 2008 she did a solo album called Anywhere I Lay My Head and listening to it was rough. It’s slow, sad, folksy music and you can barely hear her voice over the music. She doesn’t have a bad voice, but this album just was not doing her any favours. I don’t know if she really intended to have a music career, but I just don’t know who would really really enjoy that music enough to see it in concert or something. A year later, though, she did a duet album with some dude named Pete Yorn and it’s still indie music, but it’s way more upbeat and cute and you can hear her a lot better. I kind of liked it. And you know what? She had another album in 2018 with Peter Yorn. Yes, 2018 as in last year. Did anyone know this? She did all that press for Marvel and never once decided to share this? Anyway, the second album is a short EP and I liked it better than the first. Fun poppy indie music that I didn’t mind listening to.
And through clicking related artists again, I then found Brie Larson’s album. In 2005 when she was 16, she released a full album called Finally Out Of P.E., and it’s exactly the kind of music you would expect from a young girl in the mid 2000’s. In the same vein as Avril Lavine and Hillary Duff, it’s just pop music but I kind of dug it, and between her, ScarJo, RDJ, and Jeremy, I liked it the best. If you are into that very specific era of music, I’d even recommend it.
So after hearing all this, I needed to know if there were other Marvel stars with secret music out there. I began searching everybody’s name on Spotify. And wouldn’t you know, several others have dabbled in music to some extent, though only some of it was new to me. Here’s what I found:
Zendaya sang a bit during her Disney days, and she sang in The Greatest Showman, which we all knew. But I did not know she also had her own album in 2013, a duet with Chris Brown (which I refused to listen to, he doesn’t deserve my stream), and a few other smaller features on songs.
Gwenyth Paltrow sung on Glee and sung in that very forgettable movie Country Strong. She clearly has no desire to make a music career, but if RDJ ever were to do another album, I could totally see her being on it.
Samuel L Jackson sang on one single song for his movie The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The song is called ‘Nobody Gets Out Alive’.
Tom Hiddleston sang in a movie called I Saw The Light as he played the main character, real-life singer Hank Williams. (Though apparently Hank’s real-life grandson thought Tom didn’t do the singing well…)
The following people have sang a few times for the show/movie they were in, but that’s essentially it: Chris Pratt (Parks And Recreation), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), and Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Tom Holland was in Billy Elliot in London, so though he’s not on an album, he can at least presumably sing enough for the West End.
And Marvel TV people are talented too: Chloe Bennet was a teenage pop star in China, Rosario Dawson was in the movie version of Rent, Iwan Rheon is an indie singer with a full album and a handful of singles, and Olivia Holt has made some music over the last four years (you can even hear her on a cover in Cloak And Dagger).
We all knew that Marvel roped in some mega talented people, but this just really solidifies the fact. As I said, I knew of a bit of this, but overall, I was very surprised to see multiple full albums. Made for one interesting morning as I listened to it all. I’m willing to bet a lot of you are in the same boat I was, so go listen and be as surprised as me!
I’m going to be honest, July was not a great month for me. There were a lot of disappointments, so I am very glad to be putting that month behind me. That being said, August doesn’t look like it’s going to be amazing, and I would really like something amazing. But there are a few fun things I’m looking forward to, and here they are:
I am finally getting out of town for the first time in over a year, and I cannot express how badly I need this. Every year my parents get together with some family friends for a weekend, and any offspring who can come do. I missed out last year. There’s a chance that no other offspring are coming this year, and for some reason, we are booked for multiple cheese factory tours, but I don’t care, because as long as I’m not stuck in my boring town, I’ll go anywhere.
In June, Archie Comics released a reboot of Jughead’s Time Police, which was a series I enjoyed finding in the digests I read as a kid. Plus, I adored the character January (who, by the way, was the only person Jughead ever loved, so take that, all you Betty/Jughead shippers). Anyway, I don’t really read comics all that much anymore, so I wasn’t going to go buy this reboot, but I noticed my local library had it, so I have it on hold. I’m not totally in love with the art style, but maybe I’ll warm up when I get into it.
FanExpo is this month. I want to go because a lot of cool people are going like the cast of Smallville and Rainn Wilson and Zachary Levi, but now that I am without employment, I feel like I shouldn’t be dropping like $100 for one day. Plus I have no one to go with. That being said, it’s not until the end of the month, so if I get a job before then or a friend is willing to go, I may be inclined to treat myself.
Speaking of being unemployed, the one somewhat decent thing about it is having a lot of time to kill, so I want to use the time to write more and watch some TV shows I’ve been putting off. Last week I watched Schitt’s Creek and I loved it. So there are a few series (and even some movies and musical boots) I’ll probably get to this month. Sometimes I ask myself, do I watch way too many TV shows as a way to fill a void in my life? And while the answer is almost definitely yes, I still enjoy it and enjoy being able to enter a new world. It’s a happy place for me.
Anyway, that’s my August. It’s also my best friend’s birthday this month, so there is a good likelihood that there’ll be a social gathering, and I enjoy those. Otherwise, it’s just job applications and a messy sleep schedule for me. Hopefully your August is looking better, and if it is, I’d love to see a MLA post of your own!
I haven’t done a blog award thing in a while and I’ve actually never been bestowed this one, so since Bizarre Brunette has so kindly passed it on to me, it shall be done!
For those who don’t know, these little blogging awards are just little games passed around blogs. There’s no winner or anything. If nominated people want to, they usually answer the questions/do the thing in a post and nominate more people and ask their own questions.
Here are the questions I have been asked:
1. If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
Honestly, probably Jesus (assuming he’s real). I think it’d be interesting to get the answers to all the things religious people are fighting about these days. Does Jesus really hate gays? Would he be okay with a woman priest? Why doesn’t God talk to us anymore? I think if we had those answers, the world would be a lot better.
2. What’s your favorite podcast you’re listening to right now?
I don’t listen to any podcasts. I prefer listening to music, and honestly, there are so many podcasts these days that I wouldn’t even know where to start if I wanted to get into one.
3. What’s your favorite part about being a geek?
Unabashed love for things. There’s no space for shame. I can geek out about Marvel movies or some TV show or something and it’s okay and even appreciated in fandoms and outside of them too.
4. What’s the latest game you’ve gotten into?
I don’t play video games anymore and no one around me really plays board games, but in the winter at the curling club I learned a dice game called Left Right Centre and it’s really fun and easy. My dad and I made a homemade version, so we play that sometimes when people come over.
5. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Not to sound like a stick in the mud, but I have to say bad grammar. Mistakes are mistakes, and I make them too, but it kind of annoys me that there are people who purposely don’t care about the errors they continually make. Like I hate when people do ellipsis with only two dots, or put an exclamation point after a space like this ! And on Facebook or in a text message, it doesn’t matter that much, but in blog posts or in LinkedIn posts where there should be a level of professionalism, it just bothers me a lot. But I know it shouldn’t.
6. What’s a series you hate, but everyone else loves?
Hmmm. I mean, I don’t know if I hate Riverdale. And I know there are a lot of people who also don’t like The Big Bang Theory, so I know I’m not alone there. I guess maybe Seinfeld? It wasn’t a completely terrible show and I like Julia Louis Dryfus, but I didn’t find the show that funny and I have no interest in rewatching any of it, but I know it’s a classic and a favourite for a lot of people. I guess if I hate a show, I wouldn’t have watched it, and if I haven’t watched enough, I wouldn’t say I hated it.
7. What’s your favorite hobby? (besides looking at a screen)
People have hobbies off a computer? Can’t relate. Okay, I’m only partly kidding. My answer is curling. It was really fun last winter, and I’m already registered for more this winter, even though I have no idea what my life is going to look like come October. When I got back into it last year, I didn’t realize how much I needed to get out of the house and just do something else, but I came to really, really enjoy it. Plus, since I curled on Sundays and Wednesdays, it really helped break up my week.
Obviously there is no pressure for the following bloggers to do this, but here’s who I’m nominating:
And the questions I’m asking are:
1. How much money would it take for you to delete your blog on the spot and never start a new one?
2. What is your favourite Pokemon?
3. Who is an actor/actress you hate but for no particular reason?
4. How many email accounts do you have?
5. What’s something from childhood that you miss?
6. What is your favourite musical?
7. Who is your favourite Kardashian (or extended family member) and why?
Thanks again to Bizarre Brunette for passing this to me! I had fun!