Image Credit: Bekah R. Snellville, GA
Television, to most people its mindless dribble used to pass the time, but for me television has always been something more. I look at television like another person would look at music or works of art, as something to tempt a person’s wildest imaginations and to inspire. Right now in this world people are saying that the Golden Age of television is upon us with shows like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. But I hold true that the Golden Age of television has already passed us by in each category of television, and in each one there have been near-perfect original shows that have signified its peak. In Comedy it has been the show Community, that even though is still going on, has cleverly twisted the comedy genre on its head with its individuality in a world where every other comedy have become re-skins of others. In Sci-fi/Fantasy it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which around every corner can delight, astonish, and cause despair; all in a lovely mix that eventually transcends the genre to become the ultimate coming of age tale in any medium. In Drama it was The Wire a breath-taking twist on a crime drama showing the life of the cops, drug dealers, and drug fiends in the city of Baltimore, that eventually reveals that the main characters are not people, but in fact is the city of Baltimore, not to mention it having the greatest depiction of an LGBTQ character in television history. All in all these shows’ originality shine above the rest of the blandness of regular television and show what art television truly is and can be.
Community from its start has an original opening episode, instead of the example set in Friends where one new character is introduced to an already stable yet quirky group of friends, which has been used on multiple television comedies over and over again (i.e. IT Crowd, New Girl, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, etc.) it has every character be new not only to the group, but also to each other allowing a lot of character friendships and interactions develop right before your eye. This way it allows the viewer to grow attached to an individual character whose plight is similar to his or her own, and for me that character was Abed Nadir. Abed is the media-savvy, television and movie obsessed character who I fine similar to me, not only because of this, but because of his own nature too. To be clear Abed appears to have a mild case of Asperger’s, which makes him also this solitary figure at the beginning not exactly knowing how to deal with people, so he does so through media and television. In Season 1 episode 3 the viewer sees Abed behind a camera filming a documentary about his life for his film class, using his friends as substitutes for his parents and their hostile reactions to his increasingly strange behavior behind the camera. Eventually Abed’s footage gets cut into a short film where his parents’ faces are photo shopped over his friends’ and it intercuts their hostile reactions to him and short transitions that say the year in his life his parents said it to him, it ends with his mother storming out and his father saying “I think the wrong person just left”. This tugging at the heartstrings is what makes Community great because it can do it and still do things like a paintball episode or a clip show of stuff that didn’t actually happen in the show, and give off an overall light-hearted vibe. Community is the rarest thing out there a comedy show with a heart, a heart that is willing to not only show you its happiest moments, but also its darkest.
Like Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a television show with a heart and great emotional range. It is the story of Buffy Summers, one girl in the whole world who has the power, and strength to fight the forces of darkness; she is the slayer. Buffy’s first season is like any other teen drama that uses allegorical demons and vampires to represent the current problems going on in her life, all while navigating high school. Whether its dealing with the perils of her job as a slayer and trying to balance a romantic life to which she says to her mentor and friends “it’s the 90s, the 1990s and I can do both” and “if the Apocalypse comes beep me”, sadly for her an omen of the apocalypse did come that week and almost got her date killed (Season 1 Episode 4 “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date”). Right now this may sound strange and a lot like the classical teen drama, that all gets subverted in the season finale when a prophecy states that Buffy has to die. In what will become classic Buffy style you see terrific emotional range that goes from her yelling, to this sad saying “Giles, I’m sixteen… I don’t want to die”(Season 1 Episode 12 “Prophecy Girl”). Eventually though she Buffys (instead of mans because she don’t need one) up and faces the season’s Big Bad and dies for like a split second only to be revived (she drowned) and again goes after the Big Bad. This time however he’s caught off guard surprised saying that she’s suppose to be dead, Buffy says in classic Buffy style “I may be dead, but I’m still pretty”. This time in their fight Buffy gets the upper hand and pushes him down through a whole in the ceiling right on to a large wooden spike killing the vampire. Although only the first season is described Buffy continues to transcend the problems of teenagers because she is constantly looking at her own mortality. Buffy has to deal with first loves and then having to kill him to save the world, a friend’s coming out and pseudo-drug addiction, and eventually evil itself. But Buffy doesn’t care she goes at her problems head and even ends up sacrificing her own life to save the world in what would have been the series finale, if it had not been picked up for another two seasons. Buffy the Vampire Slayer also did a completely silent episode as big ‘f you’ to the critics who said it was all dependent on dialogue. In the end Buffy showed a grasp on the human condition most other shows can’t reach and it gets to a point where it can be decisively said that through a world of magic and demons Buffy showed us what it meant to be human.
While Buffy focused on the human condition The Wire took society as a whole and put it under the spotlight through its tale of Baltimore. In season one The Wire appears to be just another cop drama with more focus on the drug dealers, but the show evolves into something at the end of the season, that will set the tone for the rest of the show. At the end the only some of the major players in the Baltimore drug ring are put into jail, but the drug game was still strong and it was barely even deterred. This sets the whole mood of the show that even through human effort to make things better will ultimately fail and those who doing things for their own personal gain will succeed. Though the show ultimately has a conclusion that leaves with you with a feeling of melancholy and wanting, it introduces the best LGBTQ character of all time, Omar Devon Little. Omar’s introduction to the show was beautiful, the whole projects roared with people yelling “Omar comin’! Omar comin’” and he just comes in with the most swagger filled walk with him wearing this dark trench coat, a bulletproof vest, and carrying a shotgun. The way he walks is beautiful he walks through there like he owns the place, breaks into a crack house, steals their money walks out, and no one does anything to stop him. There is a lot of antagonism directed towards Omar for what he does and also because of who he is as a gay man. He draws all this antagonism, but no one can ever touch him, he strolls through enemy territory, steals their money, and no one stands up to him. He is not just a person, but a force of nature in Baltimore, people scream his name like he’s about to barrel down on them with gale force winds. Omar is in his finest hour points out the hypocrisy in Baltimore; when he testifies in a courtroom a lawyer who works exclusively with the drug dealers accuses Omar of being a parasite who sucks the life blood out of those who suck the life blood out of the community to which Omar says “So do you man… I’ve got the shotgun, you got the briefcase, s’all in the game tho’ right?” Omar’s character is so minor too he has too little screen time yet his role is so important to what made that show so great, that even the smallest events have the biggest implications to a city.
Ultimately these shows with their heart and analysis of social and human nature show off what makes them the best shows. Community’s heart transforms it from just another comedy to a show about the sometimes ridiculous nature of life in all its forms. Buffy’s analysis of the human condition and its telling of a coming of age story separate it from all the other lackluster teen dramas involving vampires. The Wire’s views on society and its glimpses into all walks of life change it from another cop drama into a comment on society as a whole. Overall what comes out of these shows is what all good art forms attempt to do comment on different aspects of life through a small window of opportunity. In an a half hour or hour these shows can comment on life, death, loss, and happiness that have such emotional resonance that the people watching the show will connect with what each character is going through. From the demons and teenagers in Buffy, to the students of a community college in Community, and to the drug dealers and drug fiends in The Wire; these shows touch on every walk of life that a person in the US can find himself or herself in. From extreme poverty to massive wealth these shows make their viewers ask the big questions in life from whether what life really is, to what does it means to be human, to what does it means to be a member of a crumbling society. All good shows should end with a question to the viewers so, this will end similarly what do we do now that the golden age has passed?
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It is possible that in the IELTS speaking test you will be asked to describe a TV show, for example your favourite TV show or a TV show that is popular in your country. In this post, I will give you some useful tips and vocabulary to help you with that.Understand the question
Firstly, listen to the question or read the cue card carefully! If the question is about your favourite show, but you don’t have a favourite show, don’t worry. You can say something like:
Then talk about a show that you know or a show that you have heard of.Stating the name of the show
If you get a cue card about a TV show in part two of the Speaking test, you can begin your answer with something like:
If you are asked to describe what happens in the show, try to keep it simple in order to not to confuse the examiner. For example:
If you are asked how often the show is on TV, you can say:Useful vocabulary
The words below will help you talk about the different people involved in a TV show.
Learn these terms for different types of TV show:
Learn from model answers
Study video-recorded answers for Part 2
You can find lots of model and sample answers for Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test in Lectures #28-44 of the IELTS Speaking Masterclass course, an online curriculum of training materials for IELTS Speaking including videos, downloadable pdfs and an ebook.
IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.Talk about your favourite TV channel.
and explain why do you like this TV channel.
I do not watch TV that much but it is a great electronic and mass media for education and entertainment. Sometimes I watch TV, mostly in my free time and among the channels I watch, 'Discovery Channel' is my favourite one. Whenever I held the TV remote control in my hand, I look for either a news channel or Discovery channel. This is the channel I watch more often than any other channels. I watch it for 4-8 hours per week. On my day off, if I am in front of TV, I watch the great educational and recreational programs that this channel broadcasts.
It broadcasts mainly documentary programs focusing on popular science, technology and history. But recently they have started showing some other types of programs like reality shows and pseudo-technologies and entertainments. There are some unique programs that they present to their audiences like Myth Busters, Unsolved History, automobiles, and occupations etc. This channel started broadcasting from 1985 and has become one the most popular TV channels in the world because of their emphasis on high-quality programs.
I like this TV channel because of the programs and documentaries they present. Most of the programmes are thoroughly enjoyable and offer lots of information to the viewers. This is one of the great sources for me to learn history, technology and other educational knowledge. The picture quality is really nice and this channel is easily available via the cable service providers. I found this channel really interesting and I can learn many new things watching it.
Similar Cue Card Topics:
Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would also enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:
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