Tag Archives: pop culture

News

Tortoise Tuesday: Evidence/Analysis in Project Runway

Believe it or not, even unscripted competition shows can be understood through writing lexicon terms!

Project Runway: All Stars is a fashion face-off show where seasoned designers compete in weekly challenges for a grand prize of $100,000. Despite being unscripted, All Stars still successfully develops an argument in each episode regarding who wins and loses each challenge by providing evidence and analysis through the structure of the show. The evidence is presented in the first half of the show, as viewers watch designers go through the process of creating their looks. Through a carefully edited mixture of primary sources—like design sketches, footage of the designers working, and interviews with designers about their looks (excerpted below from episode 10 of season 5; spoiler warning!)—and secondary sources—like workroom advice from their mentor Anne Fulenwider and interviews with designers about their competitors’ looks—the audience is able to see what design choices and fashion contexts direct the analysis provided in the second half of the show. This analysis comes in the form of comments and deliberations from judges, some of which are excerpted below. The judges, who are iconic fashion designers or models themselves, discuss which elements of the designs worked and which did not. Viewers follow the logic of these critiques as they ultimately culminate in the thesis of each episode, that is, whose design was the most successful and whose was the least.

By the end of each challenge, viewers remain either convinced or unconvinced by the evidence and analysis Project Runway: All Stars presents to support each outcome. Regardless of whether they agree or not, viewers still find themselves entertained by the structure of the show’s evidence and analysis, and they inevitably find themselves tuning in week after week to experience it all over again.

— Leina Thurn ’20

Orienting

PSY’s “Gangnam Style”: A Social Critique of Korean Consumption Patterns and the Media’s Perpetuation of Nationalism

In a Tortoiseshell: This essay is about the Korean media’s nationalist sentiments, as seen through its reaction to PSY’s ridiculously popular music video “Gangnam Style.”  The following excerpt situates “Gangnam Style” as a satirical commentary, orienting the reader to the actual features of the Gangnam district and how those features clash with the song’s representation. Continue reading

Motive

Saratoga Billboard: The Façade of Advertising

In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt, Sewheat demonstrates a clear command of motive, addressing the existing scholarly commentary on Ralph Steiner’s Saratoga Billboard (1929), which only provide literal interpretations of the work’s subject matter, and then moving beyond the scope of current scholarship to analyze the piece from an artistic perspective.   

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