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Sunrise hosts on high alert

<p>The hosts of <em>Sunrise</em> are reportedly concerned about a "rat" in the Channel Seven studios, after <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/caught-out-leaked-audio-as-channel-7-stars-slam-novak">off-air footage went viral</a> of <em>7News</em> reported calling Novak Djokovic an "a**hole".</p> <p>Natalie Barr and David Koch, who are based in the Sydney offices of the Seven Network, are said to be worried that a "rat" could also leak their private conversations, according to the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10409349/Sunrise-Natalie-Barr-David-Koch-worried-rats-leaking-secrets.html">Daily Mail</a>.</p> <p>“Nat and Kochie would be wondering how many times they've had a private chat about something or someone, and will now be forced to watch every single word they say from here on in,” the source claimed, adding that “there’s a lot of backstabbing… in TV”.</p> <p>“Everyone on TV knows there's banter off-air, and when the cameras are on it's a whole other picture.”</p> <p>The leaked <em>7News</em> video went viral last week, as Channel Seven reporters Rebecca Maddern and Mark Amor discussed whether Novak Djokovic should be detained in Australia, after arriving for the Australian Open with an improper visa and vaccination exemption. </p> <p>In the footage, Rebecca remarked, <span>“Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky, a***hole,” as photos emerged of the tennis champion attending events in his native Serbia after testing positive for Covid-19. </span></p> <p>“It’s unfortunate that everybody else stuffed up around him. To go out when you know you’re Covid-positive - well, I don’t think he was even Covid-positive…”</p> <p>Mike also labelled Djokovic an “a***hole”, saying: “You’ve got a bulls**t f***ing excuse and then he fell over his own f***ing lies, which is what happens right?”</p> <p><span>After investigating how the footage emerged, the source of the leak was identified as an employee at the closed-captions company that works with Channel Seven, Ai-Media. </span></p> <p>“As a result of the investigation, Ai-Media has identified that an employee working remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak was responsible for the unauthorised distribution of the content,” the company confirmed in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.</p> <p>“Appropriate action has been taken with regard to the employee responsible.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise</em></p>

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Source of nasty Novak leak revealed!

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just one day after video footage was leaked of two Seven newsreaders slamming Novak Djokovic, an investigation by the television network </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/channel-7-identify-caption-company-aimedia-as-behind-rebecca-maddern-and-mike-amor-leak/news-story/e8dbb4eac4bd14079d3ea6baa8e3f3df" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">has identified the culprit</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All Channel 7 employees have been cleared of leaking the brutal footage, as reported by </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Australian</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, with one key detail identifying the external company who was responsible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The footage emerged on Wednesday of Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern calling the tennis star an “a**hole” before the airing of the 6pm bulletin, prompting the pair to </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/caught-out-leaked-audio-as-channel-7-stars-slam-novak" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">make headlines</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> around the country.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a**hole,” Maddern said in the clip.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s it, I mean he’s an areshole. He got a bulls*** f***ing excuse and then fell over his own f***ing lies. It’s just what happens, right, that’s what happened,” Amor said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rumours began to swirl as some attempted to identify the source of the leak, with some speculating it was a disgruntled colleague, mischievous audio director, or even a PR ploy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, a timestamp visible in the top corner of the footage led Seven’s internal investigators to caption company Ai-Media, which provides captions for the hard of hearing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Australian</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reported that high-level discussions between Seven and Ai-Media have occurred after the discovery of the timestamp - which doesn’t appear on internal Seven video outputs - led bosses to the company.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846787/novak-news2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d4dc1b4344a340598b9f19cbf15bb8a9" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">A timestamp in the top, right corner of the footage led investigators to identify who was responsible. Image: Twitter</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staff interviews and thorough IT network tracing are currently underway to determine who recorded and distributed the footage, according to the publication.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tony Abrahams, the chief executive of Ai-Media, is reportedly leading the investigation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seven Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said in a statement that the act of leaking the footage was “underhanded” and “cowardly”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues,” Mr McPherson said on Wednesday morning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Channel 7 managing director Lewis Martin followed up with reassurance while appearing on 3AW radio, saying the incident was “being looked at thoroughly”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are going to have an outcome. What has happened here is illegal,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is understood that the investigation will be finalised on Thursday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While Maddern herself has apologised for the rant, a number of viewers have seemingly <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/viewers-rally-around-rebecca-maddern-for-calling-novak-djokovic-an-ahole/news-story/9d6711693a0f61d7cf6f2c8a1dbb5a63" target="_blank">deemed it unnecessary</a>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It fact, some have claimed it was the best news segment they’d seen in a long time given it reflected the mood of a number of frustrated Aussies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every Australian needs to stand by Rebecca Maddern &amp; Mike Amor. They are only saying what we – &amp; the rest of the world is thinking,” one wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Great watch. Just saying what 90% of Australians think,” another agreed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Now this is news I’d watch. Rebecca Maddern has certainly made a strong return to Channel 7 hey,” was another response.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I hope Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern are promoted on the basis of that leaked video,” added another.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Twitter</span></em></p>

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Why TV decluttering shows need to clean up their act

<blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Homes across Britain looking fine on the outside but secretly they’re drowning on their inside…Homes, people, lives, they’re crushed by loads of stuff.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is the opening sequence of Nick Knowles’ Big House Clearout, a TV show on Channel 5 in the UK. In each episode a family have the entire contents of their home laid out on the floor of a warehouse for them to declutter. In episode one Nick says:</p> <blockquote> <p>Many many piles are going off to charity shops and stuff’s being gifted away and then of course there is the pile that is being thrown away…So now you have the fun of getting this into the skip.</p> </blockquote> <p>The family then whoop and cheer as they fill the skip with their unrecyclable and unwanted stuff.</p> <p>The house decluttering and makeover TV show is a popular format that has been re-worked over the years. Other recent examples include Hoarder SOS on Channel 4, Sort Your Life Out on BBC One and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix. I enjoy watching these shows but, as an academic who researches sustainable consumption and <a href="https://theconversation.com/i-spoke-to-minimalists-to-find-out-why-they-are-giving-up-their-personal-possessions-155353">minimalist living</a>, I’ve been worried about what happens to all the stuff that gets decluttered.</p> <p>A standard format involves a tour of the home of a family that is struggling to live with large amounts of clutter. The family’s belongings are then all taken away to be sorted or are sorted in their house. A home makeover or reorganisation is carried out, with the help of the TV show host, and a transformation to a tidy, organised home and happy family is revealed at the end.</p> <p>However, there is often little to no consideration of the environmental impact associated with these major clear-outs.</p> <p>Some decluttering shows give little consideration of where the large bags of unwanted things are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/15327086211049703?af=R&amp;ai=1gvoi&amp;mi=3ricys">going to end up</a>. Although the objects in these shows seem to magically disappear, they are still in existence somewhere in the world. Perhaps they do find a new home and are re-used – or perhaps they end up incinerated or in landfill.</p> <p>While some shows just don’t mention where the decluttered items are going to go, others turn the act of throwing them away into an enjoyable event. As mentioned above, throwing unwanted possessions in a skip destined for landfill is described as “fun”, or in the second episode: “This is the exciting bit when you get to chuck it all in the skip”. With the UK producing around <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49827945">27 million tonnes</a> of household waste in 2017, I’m not sure throwing objects into a skip is something that should be celebrated.</p> <p>Also, despite these sorts of TV shows being focused on families that clearly have tendencies to accumulate a lot of possessions, there is often little to no advice given to them from the show hosts as to how they might try and prevent accumulating so much again in the future. Only focusing on decluttering and not focusing on how things are acquired in the first place, seems to treat the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/14695405211039608">symptoms rather than the cause</a>.</p> <p>Sometimes shows do consider the wider impact of disposing of objects. For instance in Hoarder SOS there is a focus on selling some items, while in Sort Your Life Out there are clear signs put up for piles of things to donate, recycle and sell. But perhaps these good intentions are contradicted by the unsustainable central message of the format which essentially rests on people accruing lots of things, being encouraged to get rid of a lot of them, and then being offered little to no advice on how to stop this happening again.</p> <p>Overall, decluttering shows reflect excessive capitalist consumption in which people are becoming increasingly unhappy with increasing amounts of stuff and are finding greater happiness through <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1469540512444019">owning less</a>. The shows’ focus on the positive outcome of having a tidy and decluttered home is helpful for the individual’s personal happiness. But if shows do not highlight disposing of things sustainably, or not continuing to acquire objects in the future, this raises environmental waste issues.</p> <p>To be more sustainably conscious, any show promoting the personal benefits of decluttering should focus on ways of preventing unwanted objects from going into landfill. This could be through upcycling – where waste material is turned into something more valuable – or through giving unwanted items away as gifts or selling them.</p> <p>Or, perhaps a new, even more environmentally conscious TV show, could help people find ways to reduce their shopping and consumption habits, and to re-use and upcycle what they already own, to prevent the need for mass decluttering in the first place?<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/174443/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amber-martin-woodhead-1213457">Amber Martin-Woodhead</a>, Assistant professor in Human Geography, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/coventry-university-1346">Coventry University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-tv-decluttering-shows-need-to-clean-up-their-act-174443">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">GoodStudio/shutterstock</span></span></em></p> </blockquote>

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‘Sex & the City’ reboot is more groan than groove, and misses the mark

<p><em>Warning: the following article contains spoilers about the “Sex and The City” reboot</em></p> <p>I started watching <em>Sex and the City</em> after the HBO series wrapped in 2004. The show’s zeitgeist rippled through conversations about sex, fashion and relationships, but I didn’t know what the buzz was all about.</p> <p>As a PhD student in the mid 2000s with no cable subscription, my visual entertainment consisted of renting VHS tapes and snuggling my cats on a navy futon.</p> <p>My friends couldn’t stop talking about the four main characters who wanted a lot from life, especially in terms of love and relationships. I often heard debates over whether someone was <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/which-sex-and-the-city-character-are-you">a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda</a>.</p> <p>From the first episode I was hooked by the edgy banter and sexual situations they got into. They were also hashing out big issues like work, friendship, LGBTQIA+ rights and most of all what sex means.</p> <p>These issues have woven their way into my career as a sexuality scholar and as a women who identifies with the sexual verve of Samantha, Miranda’s biting humour and Carrie’s writerly profession.</p> <p>But I’m aghast at <em>Sex and the City</em>‘s bougie, whitewashed and sexless reboot called <em>And Just Like That</em> which debuted on Dec. 9. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/09/arts/television/review-and-just-like-that.html"><em>New York Times</em> television critic James Poniewozik</a> describes it as being like two shows:</p> <blockquote> <p>“One, which tries to grow with the women as they navigate their 50s and mortality, is a downer, but it takes risks and in moments is very good. The other, which tries to update its sassy turn-of-the-century sensibility for an era of diversity, is painful.”</p> </blockquote> <p>What can we take away from this epic fail as a society that continues to undervalue women and shun open discussions of age, class, race and sex?</p> <h2>The Peloton Effect</h2> <p>In the first episode Big dies in Carrie’s arms after an intense Peloton (exercise bike) session in their massive Upper East Side apartment. This rather dark scene foreshadows the decline of the smart and saucy social commentary that once defined <em>Sex and the City</em>.</p> <p>The characters seem stuck in the past and confused about who they are as older women. Instead of unpacking these tensions, they’re glossed over. Given that very few characters over 50 in mainstream film and TV are women — <a href="https://seejane.org/research-informs-empowers/women-over-50-report/">as few as one in four</a> — we need shows that feature women’s complex lived experiences instead of those that bend to the whims of the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234460">male-driven entertainment industry</a></p> <p>Fingers crossed that the show bounces back with some fun, anti-ageist narratives like Peloton did after its <a href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/peloton-releases-ad-with-mr-big-chris-noth-still-alive/0392415a-8ed5-410f-acae-98b139f952cc">stocks descended following the opening episode</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cy8Zz7Q56dY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">Trailer for Sex and the City ‘And Just Like That’</span></p> <h2>Miranda</h2> <p>Miranda still has the best lines, like when she describes accidentally touching her son’s used condom over brunch: “I stepped on my son’s semen before coffee.” But she’s also framed as chronically unwoke and <a href="https://www.mediavillage.com/article/and-just-like-that-is-more-reflux-than-reboot/print/">offensive to everyone</a> — how is that comedic?</p> <p>In another scene Miranda contemplates dying her silvering hair. Going or staying grey is a hot topic among Hollywood actors, including Andie MacDowell, who <a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/andie-macdowell-gray-salt-and-pepper-hair">calls staying grey a “power move.”</a> Many if not all women grapple with this issue, which can make them feel like they must choose between <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/08952841.2021.1899744">feeling authentic and looking competent</a>. Miranda decides not to dye, which may encourage other women to resist dominant beauty trends that are designed to mask the ageing process.</p> <p>We’ve also seen Miranda partake in several morning drinks. When middle-age women drink excessively, we either laugh about it — <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14082">mummy wine memes — or pathologize it</a>. This is a topic of growing concern and bringing it out of the shadows on primetime could help women who have a problematic relationship with alcohol.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Charlotte</h2> <p>Charlotte resumes her role as the well-meaning, emotional and out-of-touch musketeer. Her character is shown parenting two very different daughters, one who may be non-binary. The challenges that this presents are worth examining given the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/13229400.2019.1650799">increasing visibility of transgender and gender-diverse children in the public sphere</a>.</p> <p>Charlotte is also depicted pressuring Carrie to attend one of her daughter’s piano recitals at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. She repeats the name of the musical academy so many times it’s no longer a semi-funny classic Charlotte move but a bloated display of class privilege.</p> <p>Her new friendship with Lisa Todd Wexley, played by accomplished Black actor Nicole Ari Parker, is also problematic. Instead of exploring the dynamics of racialized friendships, Wexley’s character is lauded for being on <em>Vogue</em>‘s best-dressed list. She’s <a href="https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-12-10/nicole-ari-parker-sex-and-the-city-and-just-like-that-black-girlfriends">even called “Black Charlotte</a>,” which is racist and drains the character of any attributes of her own.</p> <h2>Carrie</h2> <p>Seeing Carrie behind the computer screen reminds me that she has an occupation — other than being on a podcast beyond her generational reach. She’s the white cis woman on the podcast, amongst a team of racialized and non-binary hosts. Carrie appears to be there to “represent” white women, but the idea that such a representation is needed smacks of dated racialized privilege or <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549420985852">what feminist scholars call “political whiteness”</a>.</p> <p>When Carrie is asked to join sexy, confessional dialogue in a meaningful way on the podcast she is shocked. But how could someone be shocked who, decades earlier, called out the orgasm gap way before anyone else?</p> <p>It was pretty revolutionary, as Jordin Wiggins, founder of The Pleasure Collective discusses in her book <a href="https://www.thepleasurecollective.com/"><em>The Pink Canary</em></a>. Women in mid-life don’t need pearl-clutching when it comes to talking about sexuality, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903159/">we need to see women owning their desire and using their erotic voice</a>.</p> <h2>Closets to climb back into</h2> <p>As I watched Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie stroll around in expensive clothes with beautifully coiffed hair and Music School memberships I was struck by the stain of their white richness.</p> <p>I used to relate to them when they were struggling in their careers and relationships, but now in their palatial New York City apartments with massive walk-in closets, it doesn’t feel right.</p> <p>The uptake of shows like <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/dec/14/maid-the-bleak-humour-of-netflixs-hit-show-rings-true-to-victims-and-thats-not-all-it-gets-right"><em>Maid</em></a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTjlurdbNnw"><em>I May Destroy You</em></a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd2ldTR-WpI"><em>Sex Education</em></a> demonstrate what viewing audiences want to see. <a href="https://socialsciences.ucla.edu/hollywood-diversity-report-2021/">They want to see themselves</a> in their socio-economic, racialized and embodied diversity.</p> <p>Just like the crumbling patriarchy, the reign of the white, cis, hetero woman is coming to an end as the predominant representation of “women.” It’s far from the only kind of show that sells.</p> <p>The old version of SATC not only reflected our society at the time, but it also helped change it in a lot of ways. Will the ladies of the Upper East Side ever step up their Blahniks?<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/173722/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/treena-orchard-752204">Treena Orchard</a>, Associate Professor, School of Health Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-university-882">Western University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sex-and-the-city-reboot-is-more-groan-than-groove-and-misses-the-mark-173722">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: HBO Max</em></p>

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Michael K Williams and The Wire: how the show redefined television watching

<p><em>This article contains spoilers for The Wire.</em></p> <p>Emmy-nominated actor Michael K Williams has died aged 54, reportedly of a <a href="https://nypost.com/2021/09/06/actor-michael-k-williams-found-dead-in-nyc-apartment/">suspected drug overdose</a>. Early last year the actor <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8CCmkpBb2g/?utm_medium=copy_link">mused on instagram</a> “How will I be remembered and what will be my legacy?”</p> <p>Undoubtedly the actor will be remembered for his breakthrough role as <a href="https://www.hbo.com/the-wire">The Wire</a>’s Omar Little. The homosexual, morally ambiguous outlaw who hunts Baltimore drug dealers for fun was somehow larger than life yet authentically believable.</p> <p>Armed with his signature sawed-off-shotgun, facial scar, duster jacket, and grin, Williams’s sheer presence played a key part in HBO’s 2002 series about <a href="https://drugpolicy.org/issues/brief-history-drug-war">America’s “war on drugs”</a>. This was the federal government’s zero-tolerance approach to illegal drug use that increased prison sentences for all drug-related incidents. Twenty years on, we can see how the programme redefined television and its impact in multiple ways.</p> <h2>1. Television as Greek tragedy</h2> <p>Unlike the then-popular <a href="https://theconversation.com/farewell-csi-the-show-that-made-forensics-fun-40857">CSI</a>-style investigative American cop show, The Wire embraces the cold-hearted nature of ancient <a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/447310">Greek tragedy</a>.</p> <p>Indifferent to individuals’ heroism and morality, the show demonstrates how the American dream remains unachievable for many. Internal politics within local government, an overworked police force and an underfunded education sector thwart individual talent and ambition. Characters are at the mercy of these institutions that stand in for traditional Greek gods.</p> <p>Omar may be the closest the show has to a heroic figure, but his attempts for redemption are rewarded by the barrel of a child’s gun as he is unceremoniously killed for a couple of dollars. He is the Achilles falling victim to Apollo’s eventual will, as envisioned by ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9qK-VGjMr8g?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>2. The visual novel</h2> <p>The show’s creator, David Simon, coined the phrase “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/10/22/stealing-life">visual novel</a>” to describe the programme’s distinctive and demanding viewing experience. Instead of each episode neatly concluding with a captured criminal, The Wire made it impossible to simply tune in at any point in the season.</p> <p>One investigation stretches over 13 hours of television, so you have room for all the regular idiosyncrasies and nuance of how people relate and how institutions work, much like a Dickens novel. Put simply, “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2009/aug/29/david-simon-edinburgh-interview-full">Fuck the casual viewer</a>” as Simon once elucidated.</p> <h2>3. Streaming series</h2> <p>The Wire heralded the binge-watching revolution when DVD box sets made consuming 13 hours of television in one sitting possible and irresistible. Compared to HBO’s other quality television dramas from the period – including <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/the-sopranos">The Sopranos</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/mar/09/rewatching-deadwood-still-the-most-extraordinary-rootin-tootin-tv-ever">Deadwood</a> – The Wire’s exploration of America’s war on drugs proved that television audiences had the patience and intelligence to consume a narrative that could be consumed as if it were one very long film.</p> <h2>4. Good guys or bad guys?</h2> <p>It’s difficult to imagine a universe where <a href="https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones">Game of Thrones</a> could have been commissioned had The Wire not blurred the previously clear division between hero and villain.</p> <p>Baltimore’s police department and Barksdale’s drug-dealing crew are presented as two social structures in a pragmatic conflict with one another. A parallel ensues between Baltimore’s criminal justice system and the laws of the street and the equal pressure they apply to individuals.</p> <p>For instance, drug kingpin Stringer Bell’s (Idris Elba) brutal murder of Omar’s lover Brandon for robbing his stash house is depicted as a logically justifiable action similar to that of the US justice system’s treatment of criminals. Without such iconic episodes, would we have been able to empathise with the callous actions of the bloodthirsty Lannisters in Game of Thrones?</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/420027/original/file-20210908-27-rd3frm.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Man in suit." /> <span class="caption">Idris Elba as drug kingpin.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.hbo.com/content/dam/hbodata/series/the-wire/character/the-street/russell-stringer-bell-1920.jpg/_jcr_content/renditions/cq5dam.web.1200.675.jpeg" class="source">HBO</a></span></p> <h2>5. Challenging the war on drugs</h2> <p>Perhaps Williams’ and the Wire’s greatest legacy will be the key role it has played in making the world increasingly sceptical of America’s war on drugs. Season four received the <a href="https://www.metacritic.com/tv/the-wire/season-4">strongest critical reception</a> for portraying how a host of school children could be forced into a life of drug abuse against their will.</p> <p>The series highlights underfunded social services, a lack of employment opportunities, “benevolent” drug dealers, and drug-addicted parents to compellingly reveal that not all addicts are addled layabouts through choice. Instead, these people have been worn down by a system and societal structure that was against them from the moment they were unlucky enough to be born black in the projects (the US’s social housing).</p> <p>A testament to just how much the show changed opinion, during his first presidential campaign <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&amp;v=w2F3eLZHmoA">Barack Obama said</a>, “Omar’s a great guy.” While Obama was keen to point out he was not endorsing the character’s lawbreaking, The Wire nevertheless helped instigate a global debate as to whether America’s war on drugs is worth its escalating cost in terms of human lives and taxpayer money.</p> <p>David Simon <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2011/06/wire-creator-david-simon-has-counter-offer-eric-holder/351634/">has since vowed he will write a sixth season</a> if drugs are legalised nationally in the US. From new Portuguese laws to Cleveland police’s <a href="https://www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/how-can-we-help/community/heroin-assisted-treatment-hat/">heroin assisted treatment programme</a>, drug addiction is now starting to be treated as a health problem, as the obituaries for <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58470253">Michael K Williams’ untimely death</a> attest. The Wire and Williams’ performance went a long way in showing that drug addiction is an illness that demands understanding and that those suffering from it need society’s help and support, not its condemnation.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167480/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-lamb-453614">Ben Lamb</a>, Senior Lecturer in Media, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/teesside-university-1230">Teesside University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/michael-k-williams-and-the-wire-how-the-show-redefined-television-watching-167480">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy</em></p>

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30 years since The Addams Family hit the big screen, it is still the perfect blend of horror and comedy

<p>The dark side of films has always had a strong relationship with the light side. Mixing comedy with horror often ensured a hit even in the early days of cinema –comedian Harold Lloyd was making such films <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-CXQspZtMs">as early as the 1920s</a>.</p> <p>This combination of light hearted horror worked on the small screen as well.</p> <p>In the 1950s and 1960s, family sitcoms The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, The Beverley Hillbillies and Leave it to Beaver were all hugely popular. But the 60s were also a time of the counter-culture revolution. Beatniks, hippies and a general anti-establishment youth culture progressively dismissed the conforming stereotypes of the wholesome family.</p> <p>From this a TV show, based on a long running New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams, was launched: The Addams Family, based around a family who, while not outright monsters, definitely played on the dark side of life.</p> <p>The series itself only ran for two seasons and was dropped for poor ratings. But in the intervening years the show’s status grew.</p> <p>Children of the 1960s to the 1980s discovered the reruns and grew in love with the weirdness and offbeat humour. These children grew into adults who never lost interest in one of the strangest shows ever made.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3jnymeJof4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>In 1991 this nostalgia culminated with the release of The Addams Family Movie.</p> <p>Set around a family of oddballs whose pastimes include grave digging, cutting the heads off roses (because the thorns are far more precious) and stealing stop signs to revel in the sound of cars crashing, 30 years on the film has not lost any of its eccentric charm or quirky sensibilities.</p> <h2>A plot for the madness</h2> <p>The Addams Family Movie starts with the dilemma of attempting to contact Gomez’s brother, Fester (who has been in the afterlife for 25 years) and constantly failing. When someone claiming to be Fester turns up (the ever-versatile Christopher Lloyd), he is quickly embraced by the Addams’s as the long-lost Uncle. What they don’t know is the fake Fester is just there to find and steal their hidden riches.</p> <p>But this whole story is just a flimsy backdrop to all the crazy jokes, one-liners and sight-gags that each member of the family gets up to throughout the film.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/G388UMkJIBE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The parents, Gomez and Morticia Addams are difficult to describe. Gomez is somewhere between a 1930s gangster and a wide eyed man-child who finds wonder at everything. But he is definitely a Renaissance man: just as skilled with a rapier sword as he is with a golf club, his dance moves are unparalleled. The late Raul Julia plays Gomez to perfection – arguably even better than John Astin who played the TV original.</p> <p>Angelica Huston steals the show as his wife Morticia. Wistful, sublime and ethereal, Huston mixes eroticism with playful innocence. She also gets many of the best lines.</p> <p>When Gomez asks Morticia if she is “Unhappy, darling?”, Morticia smoothly supines with a smile “Oh yes, yes completely” – as though that is the ultimate state of ecstasy. Gomez looks on her with constant adoring eyes, and cannot control his unbridled lust whenever Morticia speaks French.</p> <p>It is a love fuelled by constant romance. As Morticia says, “Gomez, last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me … Do it again!”. And when Gomez is racked by angst Morticia tells him “Don’t torture yourself, Gomez … that’s my job”.</p> <p>Every horror movie needs a creepy kid. And the Addams children, daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and son Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), fit the bill nicely. Wednesday is like a mini version of her mother, but in a much more dour mood, with an intense interest in instruments of torture and execution. Pugsley is more playful, always following Wednesday’s lead – to the point of climbing into her electric chair to play her game of “Is there a God?”.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5I0xFZ34uT4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>Ghoulish with heart</h2> <p>Horror is supposed to make you frightened; comedy is supposed to make you laugh. They’re genre polar opposites. Then why do horror-comedies work? The Addams Family is so accessible to a wide audience because, while it plays with the dark side of life, it’s a horror film without any of the horror. The darkness is very low level, and it isn’t represented as being real.</p> <p>This is why children and people who don’t like real horror films love it. They can dip their toes in the horror genre but it is played for laughs, not scares.</p> <p>In a way, it has a been a gateway film for when children grow older and watch real horror films. The Addams Family introduces them to the dark world, but there’s nothing to fear. For now, it’s just fun.</p> <p>Overall, though, the one thing The Addams Family movie teaches audiences is regardless if you’re a witch, or a ghoul, or even just a hand, the most important thing in life is family.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172042/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/daryl-sparkes-828631">Daryl Sparkes</a>, Senior Lecturer (Media Studies and Production), <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/30-years-since-the-addams-family-hit-the-big-screen-it-is-still-the-perfect-blend-of-horror-and-comedy-172042">original article</a>.</p>

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Hollywood has got method acting all wrong, here’s what the process is really about

<p>So-called method acting seems to be having a moment. <a href="https://www.nme.com/features/film-interviews/benedict-cumberbatch-interview-radiohead-the-power-of-the-dog-3097698">Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst</a> apparently didn’t speak to each other on the set of their new film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10293406/">Power of the Dog</a>, to help them stay in character. While Lady Gaga is said to have spoken entirely with an Italian accent for nine months while working on her new film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11214590/">House of Gucci</a> – using it even when <a href="https://inews.co.uk/culture/film/lady-gaga-method-acting-house-of-gucci-extreme-accent-1308207">calling her mother</a>.</p> <p>Jared Leto is <a href="https://www.thewrap.com/jared-leto-method-acting-examples-movies/">also a fan</a>. While playing the Joker in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1386697/">Suicide Squad</a>, Leto is said to have sent animal carcasses to his castmates. <a href="https://fabiosa.com/ctclb-rsvlk-auokh-pbimk-phnkz-this-is-extreme-matthew-mcconaughey-nearly-went-blind-as-a-result-of-dramatic-weight-for-a-film-role/">Matthew McConaughey</a>, meanwhile, lost so much weight he started to go blind for his role in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/">Dallas Buyers Club</a>. And <a href="https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/daniel-day-lewis-method-acting-in-my-left-foot/">Daniel Day-Lewis</a> demanded that production staff pushed him around in a wheelchair and spoon-fed him for his performance in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097937/">My Left Foot</a>, where he played Christy Brown, a painter born with cerebral palsy.</p> <p>But not everyone is keen. Actor <a href="https://www.thethings.com/martin-freeman-jim-carres-method-acting-controversy-man-on-the-moon-hate/">Martin Freeman</a> recently called out Jim Carrey for his over-the-top antics during the filming of the 1999 film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0125664/">Man on the Moon</a>, which included “stuffing his pockets with smelly cheese and hanging out with Hell’s Angels”. Freeman said: “It was the most self-aggrandising, selfish, narcissistic fucking bollocks I have ever seen…You need to keep grounded in reality, and that’s not to say you don’t lose yourself in the time between ‘action’ and ‘cut’, but I think the rest of it is absolute pretentious nonsense”.</p> <h2>What is method acting?</h2> <p>While many actors may aim to fully “become” their character with the use of method acting it seems there is a serious misunderstanding of the term and what its founder actually had in mind.</p> <p>The originator of “the method” was US acting coach Lee Strasberg who crafted an acting technique in the 1930s that he claimed was based on the work of Konstantin Stanislavski, a Russian theatre practitioner. In his book <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/A_Dream_of_Passion.html?id=jQPsAAAAMAAJ&amp;redir_esc=y">A Dream of Passion</a>, Strasberg stated his belief that “the fundamental work of the actor – the training of his internal skills – is preceded by the development of the actor’s relaxation and concentration”. The goal of these exercises is to “free the expression of the actor” because “neuromuscular tension makes it difficult for thought, sensations, and emotions to be transmitted and properly experienced”.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LRDPo0CHrko?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>An exercise in a standard method based training session has the actor sit in a chair and put themselves into a highly relaxed state. They will then explore a memory from their past where they experienced very strong emotions. As the exercise proceeds, the actor describes what they were wearing, what the temperature of the place was like, and how it affected them until they feel the original emotion. Strasberg believed that this exercise created a path for actors to recreate the same emotion over and over, on-demand, with complete control since because it is a “remembered emotion” it will not be felt like a real emotion. It is not about what happened to the actor but rather “what he sees, hears, touches, tastes, smells, and what he is experiencing”.</p> <p>Essentially, the method actor will be “using his own reality to properly relate to that of the character in the scene”. In short, the actor should behave in a real manner, really performing an action or feeling an emotion rather than pretending to do so. At no point does Strasberg expect a method actor to carry this work outside of the theatre or sound stage, instead, they should be feeling real emotions and behaviours in the performance.</p> <h2>Staying in character</h2> <p>Where confusion seems to set in is with the notion that a method actor should “live the life of the character” full time. This paraphrasing derives from Stanislavski but is incomplete. What he said in his seminal acting text, <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/An_Actor_Prepares/Ihl5CgAAQBAJ?hl=en&amp;gbpv=1&amp;printsec=frontcover">An Actor Prepares</a>, is: “In our art, you must live the part every moment you are playing it, and every time.” Which is to say, live the life of the character on stage.</p> <p>Neither he nor Strasberg ever said to go further than that. But, oddly, it’s what many people consider the method to be – immersing the self so deeply, that the actor is no longer “themselves” but this other person. It might be pedantic to say so, but this is not method acting. It is very much something else.</p> <p>It’s also worth, perhaps, being sceptical of many of the tales of actors immersing themselves so deeply. It makes a great story, but ask yourself if the actor is living the life of a character from 100 years ago, how do they get to the set each day? Do they still carry a smartphone? How do they do their shopping?</p> <p>Looking more deeply at the Cumberbatch story, <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/kirsten-dunst-benedict-cumberbatch-power-of-the-dog-b1963367.html">Dunst has confirmed</a> that they didn’t speak on set because the characters so despised each other. But she continued: “He’s so sweet. And he’s so British. Polite British, you know? I was like, ‘I can’t talk to you!… We didn’t talk at all during the filming unless we were out to dinner on a weekend, all together, or playing with our kids.”</p> <p>It seems then that they didn’t speak on set because they and their families were becoming such good friends, they didn’t want that to accidentally colour their performances. This has nothing to do with method acting.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172568/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/eric-hetzler-1293767">Eric Hetzler</a>, Senior Lecturer, Department of Media and Performance, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/hollywood-has-got-method-acting-all-wrong-heres-what-the-process-is-really-about-172568">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock</em></p>

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Sam Frost says goodbye to Summer Bay

<p dir="ltr">Sam Frost, former reality TV star turned actress on<span> </span><em>Home and Away,<span> </span></em>has quit the soap after four years as Jasmine Delaney.</p> <p dir="ltr">Frost faced intense backlash after<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/abbie-chatfield-destroys-sam-frost-over-anti-vax-rant" target="_blank">sharing a video</a><span> </span>in October about her decision to not get vaccinated, including a call-out by fellow<span> </span><em>Bachelor<span> </span></em>alum Abbie Chatfield. It later emerged that Frost’s character on<span> </span><em>Home and Away<span> </span></em>would be<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/sam-frost-to-be-written-out-of-home-and-away" target="_blank">temporarily written out of the show</a><span> </span>until she received her vaccinations, which she had finally agreed to get, but only after a planned medical procedure in January. Channel 7 had given all employees a deadline of early November to make a decision about their vaccination status.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the time, Frost wrote on Instagram, “I’m not leaving Home &amp; Away. I’ve got a medical procedure booked in for January. So I won’t be fully vaxxed until mid-late February. I will be written out temporarily. Jazzy is going on an off-screen adventure for a few weeks.. But I’ll be back ❤️ My bosses are amazing, we’ve been in open communication for months. Very grateful we were able to make a plan that works for everyone.”</p> <p dir="ltr">That is obviously no longer the case, as Frost is now leaving the show for good. It is believed she wants to be closer to family and friends in Victoria.</p> <p dir="ltr">Frost will film her final scenes at Sydney’s Eveleigh Studios on Friday. She first appeared on the show in 2017, and was nominated for a Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent in 2018. She first rose to fame as the winner of the second season of<span> </span><em>The Bachelor Australia<span> </span></em>in 2014, and starred as<span> </span><em>The Bachelorette<span> </span></em>the following year.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Hanna Lassen/WireImage</em></p>

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First look at the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary reunion

<p>As 2021 marks 20 years since <em>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone</em> hit the big screen, the cast of the iconic franchise are set to reunite in a special anniversary reunion. </p> <p><em><span>Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts </span></em><span>will see the star-studded cast reminisce about the years they brought the wizarding world to life, and the everlasting impact the franchise has had on fans around the world. </span></p> <p><span>The special will bring cast such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton and many more back to Hogwarts for the first time since 2011, when the final film in the franchise was released. </span></p> <p><span>Notably missing from the line-up is Harry Potter writer J.K Rowling, who was not invited to the reunion due to </span>recent transphobic comments. </p> <p>In June 2020, <span>Rowling tweeted an article with the title, "Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate".</span></p> <p><span>Finding issue with the opinion </span>piece, Rowling added, <span>"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"</span></p> <p>The transphobic comments prompted the star cast of the Harry Potter movies to come out against her stance, with Emma Watson writing, <span>"Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are." </span></p> <p><span>"I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are."</span></p> <p><em><span>Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts</span></em><span> is set to air in Australia on New Year's Day, January 1, 2022, on the Binge streaming service.</span></p> <p><span>Check out the teaser trailer below. </span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X2RzASP6cbA" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Warner Bros - HBO Max</em></p>

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Are you binge-watching too much? How to know if your TV habits are a problem – and what to do about it

<p>The term “binge-watch” was a contender for the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year. Although it didn’t win (“selfie” ultimately <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/18/5120390/selfie-is-the-2013-oxford-dictionaries-word-of-the-year">took the crown</a>), this pointed to the rise of what was becoming a popular activity of watching multiple episodes of a TV show in a single sitting.</p> <p>Today, millions of us – including me – regularly consume our favourite series in this way. The proliferation of streaming services over recent years has made it very easy to do. Unsurprisingly, during COVID lockdowns, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178120313020?via%3Dihub">research shows</a> many of us spent more time binge-watching than usual.</p> <p>But can binge-watching become problematic or addictive? And if you can’t tear yourself away, what can you do?</p> <p>Problematic binge-watching isn’t defined by the number of episodes watched (although most researchers agree it’s at least two in a row), or a specific number of hours spent in front of the TV or computer screen. As with other addictive behaviours, more important is whether binge-watching is having a negative impact on other aspects of the person’s life.</p> <p>Over many years studying addiction, I’ve argued that all addictive behaviours comprise <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14659890500114359">six core components</a>. In relation to binge-watching, this would mean:</p> <ol> <li> <p>Binge-watching is the most important thing in the person’s life (salience)</p> </li> <li> <p>The person engages in binge-watching as a way of reliably changing their mood: to feel better in the short-term or to temporarily escape from something negative in their life (mood modification)</p> </li> <li> <p>Binge-watching compromises key aspects of the person’s life like relationships and education or work (conflict)</p> </li> <li> <p>The number of hours the person spends binge-watching each day has increased significantly over time (tolerance)</p> </li> <li> <p>The person experiences psychological and/or physiological withdrawal symptoms if they’re unable to binge-watch (withdrawal)</p> </li> <li> <p>If the person manages to temporarily stop binge-watching, when they engage in the activity again, they go straight back into the cycle they were in previously (relapse).</p> </li> </ol> <p>In my view, any person who fulfils these six components would be genuinely addicted to binge-watching. A person who only fulfils some of these may be exhibiting problematic binge-watching, but wouldn’t be classed as addicted by my criteria.</p> <p>Like many other behavioural addictions, such as sex addiction, work addiction and exercise addiction, binge-watching addiction is not officially recognised in any psychiatric manuals. We also don’t have accurate estimates of the prevalence of problematic binge-watching. But research into this phenomenon is growing.</p> <h2>A look at the evidence</h2> <p>In the <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.743870/full">latest study</a> on this topic, a research team in Poland surveyed 645 young adults, all of whom reported that they had watched at least two episodes of one show in a single sitting. The researchers wanted to understand some of the factors underlying problematic binge-watching.</p> <p>The authors (who based their definition of problematic binge-watching partly on my <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14659890500114359">components model of addiction</a>) used a questionnaire they developed in an <a href="https://www.termedia.pl/Characteristics-of-people-s-binge-watching-behavior-in-the-entering-into-early-adulthood-period-of-life,74,35865,0,1.html">earlier study</a> to assess problematic binge-watching among participants. Questions included: “How often do you neglect your duties in favour of watching series?” “How often do you feel sad or irritated when you can’t watch the TV series?” and “How often do you neglect your sleep to binge-watch series?”</p> <p>Participants had to give answers on a six-point scale from one (never) to six (always). A score above a certain threshold was deemed indicative of problematic binge-watching.</p> <p>Using a range of other scales, the researchers found that impulse control difficulties, lack of premeditation (difficulties in planning and evaluating the consequences of a given behaviour), watching to escape and forget about problems, and watching to avoid feeling lonely were among the most significant predictors of problematic binge-watching.</p> <p>Using the same data, the researchers reported in an <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.689944/full">earlier study</a> that problematic binge-watching had a significant association with anxiety-depressive syndrome. The greater the symptoms of anxiety and depression, the more problematic a person’s binge-watching was.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/435590/original/file-20211203-23-1o4rtql.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A man on his laptop, appears to be watching something." /> <span class="caption">There is a growing body of evidence about the psychology of binge-watching.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/handsome-young-bald-black-man-glasses-1789219070" class="source">Dragon Images/Shutterstock</a></span></p> <p>Other studies have reported <a href="https://www.mediawatchjournal.in/new-era-of-tv-watching-behavior-binge-watching-and-its-psychological-effects-2/">similar findings</a>. A study of <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/3/1168">Taiwanese adults</a>, for example, found problematic binge-watching was associated with depression, anxiety around social interaction and loneliness.</p> <p>An <a href="https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/honors-theses/98/">American study</a> found the behaviour was associated with depression and attachment anxiety. Most related studies – like <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1354856519890856">this one</a> from Portugal – have also shown escapism to be a key motivation of problematic binge-watching.</p> <p>In terms of personality traits, <a href="https://akjournals.com/view/journals/2006/6/4/article-p472.xml">research</a> has shown that problematic binge-watching appears to be associated with low conscientiousness (characterised by being impulsive, careless and disorganised) and high neuroticism (characterised by being anxious and prone to negative emotions). We see these types of associations in addictive behaviours more generally.</p> <h2>Breaking the habit</h2> <p>If you want to cut down on the number of episodes you watch in one sitting, my golden rule is to stop watching mid-way through an episode. It’s really hard to stop watching at the end of an episode as so often the show ends with a cliff-hanger.</p> <p>I also suggest setting realistic daily limits. For me, it’s 2.5 hours if I have work the next day, or up to five hours if I don’t. And only start watching as a reward to yourself after you’ve done everything you need to in terms of work and social obligations.</p> <p>Remember, the difference between a healthy enthusiasm and an addiction is that the former adds to your life, whereas the latter detracts from it. If you feel binge-watching is taking over your life, you should seek a referral from your GP to see a clinical psychologist. Most addictions are symptomatic of other underlying problems.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172817/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-griffiths-116704">Mark Griffiths</a>, Director of the International Gaming Research Unit and Professor of Behavioural Addiction, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-you-binge-watching-too-much-how-to-know-if-your-tv-habits-are-a-problem-and-what-to-do-about-it-172817">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: SeventyFour/Shutterstock</em></p>

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Mel Gibson called out by West Wing star in scathing op-ed

<p><em>West Wing</em> actor Joshua Malina has called out Mel Gibson and his employment in show business amid the controversial scandals surrounding the actor. </p> <p>Malina, who plays Will Bailey on the political drama, has questioned why Gibson is still employed in Hollywood despite his long history of alleged anti-Semitism, homophobia and bigotry. </p> <p>In a recent op-ed for The Atlantic titled <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2021/12/mel-gibson-anti-semitism/620873/" target="_blank">Cancel Mel Gibson</a>, Malina wondered why Hollywood's 'cancel culture' seemingly doesn't apply to Gibson. </p> <p><span>"Gibson is a well-known Jew-hater (anti-Semite is too mild). His prejudices are well documented," Malina wrote. </span></p> <p><span>"So my question is, what does a guy have to do these days to get put on Hollywood's no-fly list? I'm a character actor. I tend to take the jobs that come my way. But — and this hurts to write — you couldn't pay me enough to work with Mel Gibson." </span></p> <p><span>Mel Gibson has reportedly been cast in the upcoming John Wick prequel spin-off series titled <em>The Continental</em>, and is also rumoured to be in talks to direct <em>Lethal Weapon 5</em>. </span></p> <p><span>Malina continued, wondering when someone's ignorance and hatred outweighs their impressive resume. </span></p> <p><span>"Now, I love the <em>Lethal Weapon</em> movies (at least the first few). And Danny Glover's a gem," Malina continued. </span></p> <p><span>"But Gibson? Yes, he's a talented man. Many horrible people produce wonderful art. Put me down as an ardent fan of Roald Dahl, Pablo Picasso, and Edith Wharton; can't get enough of what they're selling." </span></p> <p><span>"But these three had the good taste to die. That makes it a lot easier to enjoy their output. Gibson lives. And Tinseltown need not employ him further."</span></p> <p><span>Joshua Malina goes on to say that the point of 'cancel culture' is to hold people accountable for their actions, but those in Hollywood often get a free pass because of their celebrity status. </span></p> <p><span>"If Gibson is welcomed back to direct the latest instalment of this beloved franchise, it may be time to stop publishing think pieces about the power of 'cancel culture,'" Malina wrote. </span></p> <p><span>"Because if he can continue to find big bucks and approbation in Hollywood, cancel culture simply does not exist."</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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“I cried”: Nat Barr speaks out on social media trolling

<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sunrise</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> co-host Natalie Barr has spoken candidly about the personal impact social media trolling has had on her.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Barr was among the guests at the 9th Annual Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future Awards held at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday. She shared how “dangerous” social media attacks over a particular segment of the breakfast show had affected her.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CW7g3isFlYL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CW7g3isFlYL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Natalie Barr (@natalie_barr7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have had to turn off notifications on Twitter,” she </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/sunrise-cohost-natalie-barr-in-tears-over-social-media-trolling/news-story/b443b0a06c50b280f033b8bfef73b2c7" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> during a panel discussion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I cried, I went into a corner, then I thought, ‘I’m strong but what about the poor 15-year-old girl in the school yard? How does she cope with this?’.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Barr replaced Samantha Armytage as a </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sunrise</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> host in March, and now works alongside broadcaster David “Kochie” Koch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In June, Armytage penned an eyebrow-raising tweet claiming Barr had wanted her job for a long time before she made her shock departure.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Look.. I’m out. Nat’s wanted the job, forever.. &amp; she’s finally got it,” Armytage tweeted. “She just needs to get on &amp; enjoy it - &amp; forget about me.. (even though I’m unforgettable 😜😂😂😂.)”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Look.. I’m out.<br />Nat’s wanted the job, forever.. &amp; she’s finally got it.<br />She just needs to get on &amp; enjoy it - &amp; forget about me..(even though I’m unforgettable 😜😂😂😂.) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/peaceout?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#peaceout</a> <a href="https://t.co/HXU60pBvps">https://t.co/HXU60pBvps</a></p> — Samantha Armytage (@sam_armytage) <a href="https://twitter.com/sam_armytage/status/1406762169543266305?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The tweet came </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/forget-about-me-samantha-armytage-tells-natalie-barr-to-move-on" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">shortly after</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Barr spoke to </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Australian Women’s Weekly</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about her relationship with Armytage, saying they didn’t have much in common outside of work, and sparking rumours of a feud between them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We got along very well in the office, for sure,” Barr said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But the truth is we didn’t really see each other outside the office. We had vastly different lives, I guess. We were in different places. She was hanging with her friends, and I was spending time with my family. So, yes, we were in different places.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The rumours had previously gained traction after Koch revealed that he and Barr were not invited to Armytage’s farewell lunch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She later unfollowed her </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Sunrise</em> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">colleagues on Instagram.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @natalie_barr7 (Instagram)</span></em></p>

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Alec Baldwin denies pulling trigger

<p>Alec Baldwin has said he did not pull the trigger on the gun that accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October. </p> <p>In a preview for his first tell-all interview since the incident, Alec Baldwin sits down with ABC's George Stephanopoulos as the journalist asks the actor if the shooting was part of the script. </p> <p><span>“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin says. </span></p> <p><span>Stephanopoulos confirms, “So you never pulled the trigger?” to which Baldwin answers, “No, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never.”</span></p> <p><span>During an appearance on Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos described his 80-minute interview with Alec as "very candid", as the actor seemed "devastated" yet "forthcoming".</span></p> <p><span>“I’ve done thousands of interviews in the last 20 years at ABC,” he said. “This was the most intense I’ve ever experienced.”</span></p> <p><span>During the preview for the interview, Alec Baldwin said that the incident was the worst thing that has ever happened to him. </span></p> <p><span>“Yep … yeah, because I think back and I think of ‘what could I have done?’”</span></p> <p><span>Halyna Hutchins was killed, and director Joel Souza injured, when the gun went off during rehearsals for the upcoming film <em>Rust</em> on a ranch outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. </span></p> <p><span>The Santa Fe county sheriff's office is still investigating the shooting, in particular how live </span>ammunition rounds ended up on the set and into Baldwin's hands. </p> <p>Check out the preview to the tell-all interview below.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Eu8jODyHmlk" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Youtube - ABC News</em></p>

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Dogs and TV: here’s what we know about how they respond

<p>On the face of it, a recently launched <a href="https://www.dogtv.com/about/">TV channel</a> dedicated to dogs seems, well, barking mad. But our pets often spend long periods of time home alone, and providing some form of enrichment and stimulation can be very beneficial to dogs and their owners alike.</p> <p>During the pandemic, many dogs enjoyed having their owners around more often than normal due to the public health restrictions. But the gradual return to the workplace, along with increasingly busy social calendars, has meant that our dogs are once again spending more time <a href="https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/latest/issues-campaigns/dog-welfare-crisis">in their own company</a>.</p> <p>Some of our canine friends – particularly those dogs who have only known life with their owners since the pandemic began – are now experiencing some difficulties adapting to this new lifestyle. So, any tool which can provide stimulation and entertainment can be helpful to minimise their distress and keep them happy and healthy.</p> <h2>Canine separation anxiety is real</h2> <p>Some dogs relish their time alone. It gives them a chance to grab some valuable resting and relaxation time – indeed, dogs can benefit from up to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.12.006">16 hours of sleep per day</a>.</p> <p>Sadly, other dogs find being left alone rather <a href="https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/219/4/javma.2001.219.460.xml">more worrying</a>, which can lead to some problematic <a href="https://www.canisbonus.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sherman-Understanding-separation-anxiety-2008.pdf">separation-related behaviours</a>.</p> <p>Excessive barking or howling, reactivity to external sounds and movement, or even <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159110000377?via%3Dihub">destructive behaviour</a> are commonly reported.</p> <p>While these are upsetting and sometimes inconvenient for us, often causing expense and occasionally difficult relationships with neighbours, they are also clear signs of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159199000118?via%3Dihub">emotional distress</a> in our dogs.</p> <h2>How to help dogs relax when home alone</h2> <p>In combination with supportive training, there are a <a href="https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/217/3/javma.2000.217.342.xml">number of recommended ways</a> to make alone time a little easier for our dogs. These include using interactive feeding toys, creating quiet, safe spaces for them, as well as going for a walk with your dog before you go out.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/432399/original/file-20211117-21-m6jp7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Two brown and white dogs running dirt road during daytime" /> <span class="caption">Exercise is an excellent way to help alleviate anxiety in dogs.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/T-0EW-SEbsE" class="source">Alvan Nee / Unsplash</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" class="license">CC BY</a></span></p> <p>Another common method is to leave on the radio or TV for your dog when they are alone, to <a href="https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/behaviour/separationrelatedbehaviour/treatment">minimise disturbances</a> from outside. My own dogs often spend their days listening to classical music, which has been shown to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938415001092?via%3Dihub">reduce stress</a> in kennelled dogs.</p> <h2>Do dogs relate to TV visuals?</h2> <p>It is widely acknowledged that dogs do not watch TV in the same way as we do – a box-set binge means sofa time with their favourite person rather than catching up on the latest hit drama. But our dogs will probably be aware that we settle down and relax when the TV is on, so that association might be useful in encouraging them to be calm, even when we are not there.</p> <p>Dogs do not <a href="http://ethology.eu/the-dogs-color-vision-and-what-it-means-for-our-training/">see colour</a> like us either – they see the world in more muted colours but can better detect contrast in dim light.</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-011-0442-1">Movement on screen</a> can be detected by dogs and there are plenty of reports of dogs watching and reacting to moving animals, cars or other objects on TV.</p> <p>For breeds and types that are stimulated by <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.04.011">chasing objects</a>, movement on TV can create interest and perhaps even activity – you might want to be careful about what is around your TV though, just in case your dog’s interest becomes more animated.</p> <p>A key question is whether dogs can recognise what they see on screen. Dogs can certainly respond to images, and use <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/video/dog-nose-to-use-touch-screen/#:%7E:text=Scientists%2520are%2520teaching%2520dogs%2520to%2520use%2520touch-screen%2520computers,era%2520in%2520space%2520delayed%2520due%2520to%2520rainy%2520weather%20%22%22">touch screen </a> devices after training. But it is much more challenging to understand what they actually see.</p> <p>Dogs do not seem to fully respond to their own reflection <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1558787811000396?via%3Dihub">in a mirror</a> meaning that we cannot really be sure if they recognise another dog on screen.</p> <p>Scent is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7fXa2Occ_U">significant sense</a> for our dogs, especially in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-74784-5">recognising each other</a>, and this is clearly missing when a dog watches TV. But, perhaps by combining the sights and sounds of dogs and other animals, our dogs can still be interested and stimulated by a TV in a positive way.</p> <h2>Dogs are sensitive to sound</h2> <p>Dogs have very sensitive hearing. They are adept at orienting themselves to the origin of sounds. The typical <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-021-01571-8">head tilt of dogs</a> when spoken to – or when they hear a particular type of sound – helps them to work out where the sound has come from.</p> <p>Certain noises and frequencies will also either excite or soothe our dogs – my own spaniels react excitedly to the sound of pheasant calls common in TV period dramas.</p> <p>Having a radio or TV on can give the impression of “normality” and a presence in the home, which can be reassuring. It can also be useful in training and desensitising dogs to the sound of unusual noises that might be frightening, or to disguise and drown out external noises that might disturb them.</p> <p>Dogs who are <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-much-exercise-does-dog-need/">physically</a> and <a href="https://www.veterinarians.org/mental-stimulation-for-dogs/">mentally stimulated</a> tend to be happier, better behaved and have better relationships with us.</p> <p>By making their world an interesting and enriching place, with opportunities to learn about the world and make positive associations with sights and sounds, we can help them relax and reduce any anxiety which life may bring.</p> <p>TV, radio or <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-23525-3_58">training tools</a>, in combination with other beneficial lifestyle choices such <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141907">as exercise</a>, diet, companionship and training, can go a long way towards having a happy and healthy dog.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172012/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jacqueline-boyd-178858">Jacqueline Boyd</a>, Senior Lecturer in Animal Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dogs-and-tv-heres-what-we-know-about-how-they-respond-172012">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Sq lim / Unsplash</em></p>

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Prince Harry forces controversial ‘Megxit’ doco to change name

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The second instalment of the BBC’s controversial documentary about the royal family has been renamed after Prince Harry criticised it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The UK’s </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2021/11/27/bbc-documentary-claims-palace-senior-source-helped-war-against/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sunday Telegraph</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reported that the second documentary will be called ‘Sussexit’ rather than ‘Megxit’ following remarks from the prince saying the title was a “misogynistic” phrase “created by a troll”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Part two of the controversial documentary series is </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/royals/bbc-renames-second-part-of-controversial-royal-documentary-to-sussexit-to-appease-prince-harry/cc0e1d8a-393a-4a26-884b-729ce44c0506" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">expected</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to document the reasons why the Sussexes stepped down from royal duties. The </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Telegraph</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has reported that it will examine the effect of  Diana’s relationship with the press on Harry and Prince William as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Claims that Harry and Meghan lacked support while they were royals are likely to be aired, as well as an unknown situation where a senior member of the royal household helped a tabloid in its case against Meghan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The controversially-named sequel comes after Part One, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Princes and the Press</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, prompted the royal family to </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/royals-release-extraordinary-joint-statement" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">issue a rare joint statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> condemning its “overblown and unfounded” claims.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House came together to share their anger over not having the opportunity to vet the documentary before it was broadcast.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy,” the statement directed at the BBC read.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“However, too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harry has </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/technology/prince-harry-says-megxit-is-a-misogynistic-term" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">previously</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> called out the use of the term ‘Megxit’ to refer to his and Meghan’s decision to step away from royal life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Appearing on a panel hosted by WIRED Magazine earlier this month, the prince said the term was originally coined by an internet troll.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term, and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media,” he said during the panel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But it began with a troll.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The final part of the BBC documentary is due to air on Monday night.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ casts Canada as a racial utopia

<p>When Hulu’s series <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em> premiered in 2017, reviewers noted <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/arts/television/review-the-handmaids-tale-creates-a-chilling-mans-world.html">its gripping drama and dystopian exploration</a> of rape culture and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/26/the-handmaids-tale-year-trump-misogyny-metoo">misogyny at a time when both were hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidency</a>.</p> <p>The series is adapted from Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. It has won numerous awards and was recently renewed for <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a35130606/handmaids-tale-season-5-news-date-cast-spoilers-trailer/">a fifth season</a>. But some commentators, including writer Ellen E. Jones, have <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">criticized the series for its use of colour-blind casting that created inclusivity but otherwise ignored race in storylines</a>. Others, including Noah Berlatsky, have analyzed how both the series and novel <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">erase Black people’s history</a>.</p> <p>Our research examines representations of <a href="https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/R/Race-in-Young-Adult-Speculative-Fiction">race in speculative fiction</a> and of <a href="https://www.mqup.ca/reading-between-the-borderlines-products-9780773555136.php">Canada in U.S. literature</a>, leading us to notice how Hulu’s series represents race and national difference.</p> <p>The show positions Canada as a morally superior nation that has rejected the dystopian society’s repressive and exclusionist thinking. This is especially apparent in Season 4’s focus on characters’ escape to Canada, a theme that references older abolitionist narratives. In so doing, the show obscures Canada’s history of slavery, colonialism and racism.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/81PyH5TH-NQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </p> <h2>Atwood’s dystopian world</h2> <p>Both the novel and show draw on U.S. history to imagine a dystopian world facing an unexplained fertility crisis. Gilead, a <a href="https://lithub.com/margaret-atwood-on-how-she-came-to-write-the-handmaids-tale">theocratic nation led by religious fundamentalists</a>, has overthrown the U.S. government. Atwood’s female narrator is an <a href="https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA206534450&amp;sid=googleScholar&amp;v=2.1&amp;it=r&amp;linkaccess=abs&amp;issn=00294047&amp;p=AONE&amp;sw=w&amp;userGroupName=anon%7Ec0791e64">educated white woman</a> forced to become a “handmaid.” Each month, a commander rapes her in a religious fertility ceremony. Babies born to handmaids are raised by commanders and their wives. The sole purpose of the handmaids is to rebuild Gilead’s population.</p> <p>Writer Priya Nair explains that Atwood’s novel draws on the historical <a href="https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/anti-blackness-handmaids-tale">oppression of Black enslaved women and applies it to fictional white women</a>. For example, <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Dark-Horizons-Science-Fiction-and-the-Dystopian-Imagination/Moylan-Baccolini/p/book/9780415966146">handmaids who are disobedient</a> are beaten or hanged.</p> <p>Despite clear parallels to slavery, Atwood only obliquely references slavery when the narrator <a href="https://msmagazine.com/2017/05/02/whats-not-said-handmaids-tale/">explains that the “Children of Ham</a>” have been relocated to the Dakotas. “Children of Ham” is a Biblical phrase that was <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/01/arts/from-noah-s-curse-to-slavery-s-rationale.html">used historically to justify enslaving Africans</a>.</p> <p>Nair also notes that the novel focuses on white women’s oppression, while seemingly ignoring “the historical realities of an American dystopia founded on anti-Black violence.”</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433508/original/file-20211123-26-1jbixok.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A crowd of women, of white, Black and Asian identities, seen in cloaks and bonnets." /> <span class="caption">Actors are seen at the filming of Handmaid’s Tale at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., February 2019.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Victoria Pickering/Flickr)</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-NC-ND</a></span></p> <p>While the novel relies on historical experiences of Black Americans, its characters are predominantly white, a feature of Gilead that Atwood maintains in the 2019 follow-up <em>The Testaments</em>. As reviewer Danielle Kurtzleben notes, in this second instalment: “<a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/755868251/the-testaments-takes-us-back-to-gilead-for-a-fast-paced-female-centered-adventur">Readers hoping to hear more about race in Gilead will be sorely disappointed</a>.”</p> <p>Atwood intentionally framed Gilead as both misogynist and racist: <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">the theocracy is interested only in reproducing white babies and, therefore, only enslaving white women</a>.</p> <h2>Colour-blind casting in Hulu’s adaptation</h2> <p>In adapting the novel, Hulu relied on a diverse cast of actors. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005253/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">White actor Elisabeth Moss</a> plays June and <a href="https://blackbookmag.com/arts-culture/essay-the-handmaids-tale-star-o-t-fagbenle-on-racial-fairness-in-the-entertainment-industry/">Black British actor</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1282966/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">O-T Fagbenle</a> portrays her husband Luke. <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/samira-wiley-on-doing-right-by-her-handmaids-tale-character-her-wife-the-queer-black-community-herself-8732193">Black actor</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4148126/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Samira Wiley</a> was cast as June’s best friend Moira. Actors of colour portray characters of all class positions in Gilead’s society.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433506/original/file-20211123-25-401rkr.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="A Black woman dressed glamorously in red lipstick is seen arriving at an event in front of a Hulu / Handmaid's Tale sign." /></p> <p><span class="caption">Samira Wiley, who plays Moira, arrives for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ FYC Phase 2 Event in August 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Shutterstock)</span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0588005/">Executive producer Bruce Miller</a> acknowledges that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">he cast actors of colour</a> in many roles to avoid creating an all-white world, which would result in a racist TV show. The show doesn’t address race, he explained, because: “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">It just felt like in a world where birth rates have fallen so precipitously, fertility would trump everything</a>.”</p> <p>The show then relies on colour-blind casting and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/06/16/the-handmaids-tale-proves-that-colorblind-casting-isnt-enough/">colour-blind storytelling</a>.</p> <p>In Atwood’s novel, Canada is <a href="https://the-handmaids-tale.fandom.com/wiki/Canada">the place to which handmaids escape</a>, fleeing there on the Underground Femaleroad — a term that clearly invokes <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/underground-railroad">the Underground Railroad</a>.</p> <p>In Hulu’s series, handmaids — <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5931656/?ref_=ttep_ep10">including Moira</a> — escape from Gilead to Canada where they find protection and safety, and are able to rebuild their lives. The series draws on older literary traditions that have been integral to maintaining the myth of Canada as free from racism.</p> <h2>Draws on abolitionist narratives</h2> <p>In the 1840s and 1850s, U.S. abolitionist authors intentionally represented Canada as a racial haven. By casting <a href="https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jcs.2020-0025">Canada as morally superior</a>, abolitionists imagined what the U.S. might look like if slavery were abolished.</p> <p>Abolitionist authors like Black songwriter and poet <a href="https://southernspaces.org/2020/white-people-america-1854/">Joshua McCarter Simpson</a> and white novelist <a href="https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/harriet-beecher-stowe/harriet-beecher-stowe-life/">Harriet Beecher Stowe</a> celebrated Canada as a place that resisted racial violence and provided legal protection for Black refugees fleeing U.S. slavery.</p> <p>Some abolitionists sought to capture the nuanced accounts of Black refugees in Canada. Abolitionist editor <a href="https://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/drew/drew.html">Benjamin Drew</a> published oral testimonies of Black refugees, including their experiences of racism in Ontario.</p> <p>Others, like Stowe, minimized the difficulties of the lived experiences of Black Canadians, focusing on stories of Black success in Canada. These celebratory narratives dominated representations of Canada in U.S. literature.</p> <h2>Canada as utopia?</h2> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433513/original/file-20211123-20-1n4hkjj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="A group of women in red cloaks and bonnets are seen walking by a cluster of trees outside." /></p> <p><span class="caption">Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ escape-to-Canada stories draw on historical narratives by abolitionists.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Victoria Pickering/Flickr)</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-NC-ND</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/chairholders-titulaires/profile-eng.aspx?profileId=4528">Literary scholar Nancy Kang</a> argues these abolitionist stories constructed an “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/40033673">allegory of Canadian freedom reigning triumphant over American bondage</a>.”</p> <p>Hulu’s <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em> escape-to-Canada stories draw on these historical narratives. The handmaid Emily, portrayed by white actor <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088127/">Alexis Bledel</a>, escapes Gilead dramatically, entering Canada by <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8363118/?ref_=ttep_ep1">wading across a rushing river</a>, nearly losing June’s daughter. Once across, she weeps over the baby, recreating an iconic scene from Stowe’s <a href="http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/uncletom/uthp.html"><em>Uncle Tom’s Cabin</em></a>, when the enslaved Eliza escapes slave-catchers by fleeing across a river with her child.</p> <p>Later in the episode, an Asian Canadian doctor welcomes Emily to Canada, saying: “You’re safe here.”</p> <p>On some level, Hulu’s use of colour-blind casting, as Berlatsky notes, “addresses the narrative’s debt to African-American history.” But viewers are still watching an adaptation of a novel whose emotional horror is based on imagining violent, racist aspects of U.S. history <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">as if the atrocities happened to white people</a>.</p> <h2>Myths of Canada</h2> <p>The series avoids Canada’s history of anti-Black racism, slavery and state violence against Black bodies, as detailed by gender studies and Black/African diaspora scholar <a href="https://wgsi.utoronto.ca/person/robyn-maynard/">Robyn Maynard</a> in <a href="https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/policing-black-lives"><em>Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present</em></a>. It also overlooks Canada’s colonial <a href="https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1450124405592/1529106060525">violence toward Indigenous peoples</a>. These <a href="https://theconversation.com/canadas-shameful-history-of-sterilizing-indigenous-women-107876">forms of violence</a> are intertwined with seeking control over women’s reproductive rights and sexual freedom.</p> <p>The series also overlooks Canada’s history of <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/chinese-immigration-act">racist immigration</a> <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/auschwitz-jews-not-welcome-in-wartime-canada">and asylum</a> policies.</p> <p>Hulu’s series does explore some of the consequences of patriarchal oppression. But the show’s positioning of Canada as a racial haven obscures <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/racism">its history</a> and the <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/m_blog/dont-believe-the-hype-canada-is-not-a-nation-of-cultural-tolerance">contemporary reality of racism</a> experienced by BIPOC women and communities in Canada.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167766/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miranda-green-barteet-1254372">Miranda Green-Barteet</a>, Associate Professor, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-university-882">Western University</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-maclean-1261523">Alyssa MacLean</a>, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Writing Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-university-882">Western University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/hulus-the-handmaids-tale-casts-canada-as-a-racial-utopia-167766">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Hulu</em></p>

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The Beatles: Get Back review – Peter Jackson’s TV series is a thrilling, funny (and long) treat for fans

<p>The Beatles’ Get Back project, undertaken in January 1969, has finally been completed. Again.</p> <p>For most of the last 50 years it has been known as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_It_Be_(1970_film)">Let it Be</a>, a film and LP record released in 1970. The project, conceived by Paul McCartney, was originally intended to be a television special documenting the band’s preparation for a live concert (their first in two and a half years). Because of the performance element, the Beatles decided to get back to their roots and only develop material that could be played without adding overdubs.</p> <p>As it happened, the concert didn’t go ahead, the Beatles famously deciding instead to play a short unannounced gig on the roof of their headquarters. The TV special became a feature film, and the audio was handed over to the “wall of sound” producer, Phil Spector (leading to controversial results).</p> <p>Meanwhile, in the early 1980s, the Beatles withdrew the film version (a fly-on-the-wall documentary directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) from circulation.</p> <p>Lindsay-Hogg’s Let it Be is remembered as a portrait of a band in the process of breaking up. And indeed, George Harrison did briefly quit the band early into the four-week project, though Lindsay-Hogg’s documentary does not cover this episode.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433853/original/file-20211125-17-14zc63j.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433853/original/file-20211125-17-14zc63j.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">George Harrison in Get Back.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, WingNut Films</span></span></p> <p>Let it Be was seen as a downer in part because the Beatles, especially Lennon, were keen to trash it in the light of the band’s breakup (which occurred just weeks before the release of Let it Be, both film and album). As Lennon said in December 1970, the shoot was “hell”, and Spector was “given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit”.</p> <h2>A different tenor</h2> <p>While the newly released The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson, covers Harrison’s departure and return, Jackson’s film is tonally different from Lindsay-Hogg’s. According to Jackson, the dour account of Let it Be is inaccurate, since there is much “joy” and friendship evident in the 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio tape that has been sitting in a vault for half a century.</p> <p>Much of this audio has long been available as bootlegs, informing written accounts of this period of the Beatles’ history. The audio without the video, however, doesn’t always tell the whole story.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hmDy9x3AUc0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>While Jackson and his team haven’t shied away from the moments of friction, ennui, and aimlessness experienced by the band, the tenor of Get Back is more upbeat than Lindsay-Hogg’s version (though there is perhaps more levity in that film than Jackson or its reputation allows).</p> <p>But Get Back is not just a recut of Let it Be; it is a documentary in its own right, a film about the making of a film. Lindsay-Hogg is now a character in the drama of trying to work out what the project is about, and how it will end.</p> <p>Unlike the cinema verité style of Let it Be, Get Back gives much-needed context in the form of titles naming the protagonists and songs, as well as explaining what is happening. The use of a day-by-day countdown to the live performance gives the otherwise shapeless events a sense of narrative and even tension.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nSrCk1icisI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Get Back was to be a feature film with a theatrical release, but COVID-19 led to a rescheduling and reconceptualising of the work, so that it became a documentary for Disney+. Recent reports were that the series would be a three-part series with a six-hour running time.</p> <h2>The climactic rooftop concert</h2> <p>As it turns out, that running time is closer to eight hours. (Let it Be is a mere 80 minutes long.) Almost all of these eight hours show the Beatles at work on a sound stage (at Twickenham Film Studios) or in an ad hoc recording studio (put together in the Beatles’ Apple headquarters, when – after Harrison’s walkout – it was decided that Twickenham wasn’t conducive to creativity).</p> <p>The Apple studio is clearly more pleasant, and the tone is further lightened when the Beatles are joined by an outsider, their old friend Billy Preston, on keyboards (a crucial moment for the project).</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/385eTo76OzA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>There is nevertheless something of a hermetic feel to most of Get Back, so that when the Beatles and Preston head up to the rooftop to play in public – the cinematic “payoff” that the band and Lindsay-Hogg had been looking for throughout the project – there is a palpable sense of release.</p> <p>And the famous rooftop concert, presented with creative use of split screen, is stunningly good (and is also, for the first time, presented in its 42-minute entirety).</p> <p>After the countless run throughs and takes of the same songs over the preceding weeks (as well as numerous covers and early Beatles tunes), the sense of energy and the quality of playing gives the film the climactic moment that it needs, complete with police officers demanding, albeit politely, that the Beatles stop breaching the peace of London’s West End.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/I392lK8QUhQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>Cigarettes, cups of tea, and white bread</h2> <p>Get Back is very different from Let it Be in part due to Jackson’s editing, especially his use of montage, which produces a dynamic, sometimes frenetic, energy. Beyond these stylistic elements, Get Back is notable as a technical feat.</p> <p>It looks and sounds astonishingly good, not something that was ever said about Let it Be. Jackson and his technical team have employed the kind of film restoration techniques used in his war documentary <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7905466/">They Shall Not Grow Old</a> (2018).</p> <p>The vision in Get Back is beautifully saturated, sharp, and less grainy than Lindsay-Hogg’s film. Harrison and Starr, in their sartorial splendour, often resemble their cartoon equivalents from <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063823/">Yellow Submarine</a> (1968).</p> <p>If there is anything unvarnished about Jackson’s film it is the sight of people apparently living off cigarettes, cups of tea, and white bread. Also notably “historical” is the homosocial nature of the project; almost all of the active participants are men. Even Yoko Ono, who sits beside Lennon throughout, is almost entirely silent (save for her vocal participation in a couple of impromptu jams).</p> <p>While the film has been painstakingly restored, the soundtrack has been almost remade. Much of the audio was recorded on mono quarter-inch tape. Jackson’s technical team used machine learning to effectively “remix” these mono tapes, allowing Jackson to hone in on individual voices masked by other sound sources (voices or musical instruments).</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433854/original/file-20211125-19-e4obm5.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433854/original/file-20211125-19-e4obm5.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">John Lennon in Get Back.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, WingNut Films</span></span></p> <p>This is an extraordinary technological breakthrough, allowing key conversations to be heard properly for the first time, and for the remixing of the play throughs and rehearsals of songs, which weren’t being recorded as “takes” on the eight-track system.</p> <p>Get Back is a treat for any Beatles fan. It’s a reminder, too, if one is needed, that some classic songs were recorded for the project. (Given that McCartney supplied at least three of these classics – Let it Be, The Long and Winding Road, and Get Back – it’s unsurprising that he has long been unsatisfied with the way they were originally showcased.)</p> <p>But Jackson’s film isn’t all sweetness and light. Lennon, for instance, is dismissive of Harrison’s I, Me, Mine, and he makes a throwaway joke about Bob Wooler, a Liverpool disc jockey whom Lennon assaulted in 1963. Also notable is the relative absence of George Martin, who largely hands production duties to his sound engineer, Glyn Johns, surely a sign that Martin found something amiss with the project.</p> <p>And indeed numerous sequences show a band lacking focus and discipline. Get Back, then, is unquestionably a mixed bag: thrilling, compelling, and funny, but also sometimes just a little boring.</p> <p>In this, Jackson has been true to the original project. His extraordinary TV series is essential viewing for anyone interested in popular music.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172404/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-mccooey-308502">David McCooey</a>, Professor of Writing and Literature, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-beatles-get-back-review-peter-jacksons-tv-series-is-a-thrilling-funny-and-long-treat-for-fans-172404">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Apple Corps Ltd</em></p>

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