Below is the link to my final project
Below is the link to my website. This is a fake subscription service blog for a digital version of the class ‘book club’.
UPDATE: Just realized I posted the wrong link. Here is the right one:
I found all my materials through the Library (Pierre) My parents Netflix accounts (The OA, Russian Doll) Amazon Kindle/Audible (The Night Circus/ Also Pierre) Or links provided in class/google (S Town, Other articles) and Steam/YouTube (Life is Strange)
This class has shown me that storytelling can be experienced through a variety of mediums. For example, there are audiobooks, podcasts, interactive games, films, and TV shows. I needed to obtain a number of resources for this course. I liked that we were not limited to one place to access the resources.
I accessed most of the content through the course website. This includes the short films, S-Town, and the Stranger than Fiction script. I borrowed Pierre; or, The Ambiguities from UNC Chapel Hill Libraries. I watched The OA and Russian Doll on Netflix. This was an easy resource to access because I used my family’s Netflix account. Initially, I planned on accessing The Night Circus through Audible. However, I decided to use a free version on YouTube that I liked. I used Steam to play Life is Strange. I like Steam because it offers many deals and I was able to purchase the game at a discount as a result. Overall, I found the resources for this course easy to obtain and I liked that we had the freedom to choose what website or service we wanted.
I first heard of S-Town through a friend last summer and was immediately interested. I’ve always liked listening to murder stories and podcasts, but haven’t necessarily found one that I’ve loved until S-Town. I’ve enjoyed listening to the stories shared on “My Favorite Murder” with Georgia and Karen, but I found this one to be more interesting with Brian Reed doing a real investigation. I don’t think I’ve binged a story like this since watching Sons of Anarchy.
When I first started listening to S-Town I was lured in after the first episode. Brian Reed has a real calming voice which made it easy to follow along and remember the important details that he brings up throughout the series. The eerie setting of a rural Alabama town was something I thought that really added to the intensity of the story. There was something about this John character that made me want to continue listening after every episode. The mix of a wealthy landowner with a rural Alabama mad scientist was the perfect character to add to a fishy murder story.
My first takeaway is that I felt that the maze that John had was very representative of the story as a whole. The maze, with 64 solutions, felt like the perfect depiction of how the investigation and story unfolded. The more and more Brian spoke with John and the people of Woodstock, the crazier the story became. I think this is a reason that I and many others found it so easy to binge-listen to S-Town. As soon as you thought you know what was going to happen and where the story was headed, something would pop up that would change the entire story.
John’s witty comments and funny sayings for everything kept me intrigued, but more importantly it was the way that Brian Reed and the creators formed such a narrative for the investigation. I felt invested in this little, small town and wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on. Listening to the podcast makes you feel like you’re there investigating the crime with Brian Reed. I think they did a good job of this through Brian Reed giving his personal thoughts and comments on different situations (for example: the tattoo parlor with Tyler).
I didn’t enjoy the way that the podcast ended and felt kind of empty. When John died, I really wondered what direction the story would go. I noticed that after he took his life, I found that I wasn’t as eager to listen to the next episode as I was in previous episodes. John was such an important character in this podcast and I feel like that is what made S-Town so successful. It is a story that is so weird, but you just can’t stop listening because it is so entertaining. Overall, I would recommend S-Town to anyone and think that it is one of the best podcasts in the last three years.
Stranger Than Fiction… this screenplay/play write was most definitely one of my favorite materials we’ve looked at in my English 137 class. There aren’t many negative things anyone can say about this work of literature. First and foremost, let’s talk about the plot. The plot is extremely unlike any other narrative I can think of. Harold Crick, the main character, is a tremendously OCD guy that doesn’t really have much of a life other than his work at the IRS… until he begins to hear a woman’s voice narrating everything he does in his head. Meanwhile, Karen Eiffel is writing a novel about Harold Crick without even knowing of his existence. Long story short, Eiffel was planning to end her novel with Harold’s death, but it turns out to end with a love story between Harold and Ana Pascal and a happy ending.
The way that Harold gets over his OCD by trying to cope with the thought that he could die any day soon is interesting and sweet. Harold goes from a boring IRS agent to a man that falls in love with not only a girl but with playing the guitar, eating cookies, and living his life to the fullest. I was nervous in the beginning that Harold really was going to die, and that Karen wouldn’t change the ending to her novel, but I was pleasantly surprised with the ending of the plot.
Now on to the topic of Harold’s watch. Harold has a watch that seems to have a fictional aspect of it in the movie, and it represents the way that Harold is so OCD over time and numbers. For example, Harold gets to the bus at the exact same time every single day and brushes his teeth the exact same amount of times every single day. The watch plays an important part in this plot because when Harold’s watch stops working, he sets it to the wrong time which leads him to get to the bus stop at a slightly different time than he normally would, saving a child’s life and almost dying. Furthermore, the topic of time has been something we have focused on in my English 137 class which made the relation of time to Harold’s life all the more intriguing.
Overall, I found this play funny, sweet, and a great life lesson: live in the moment and stop worrying so much about what your next move is – focus on the now. This was not only a great play but an awesome movie and I rate it 5 stars.
For my #QuestusLibris I made a podcast where I discuss how I acquired each text and what I thought about each different form/medium of storytelling. Enjoy!
The first few episodes of the Netflix Original show, Russian Doll, definitely caught my attention. The excitement of the partying scenes, the thrill of life, the unexpected outcomes of minor decisions and carelessness. Within the first few minutes of watching this show, I got the idea that Nadia was not a very put together or type-A person. In fact, I was surprised to find out that she was successful in her life and worked as a leading software developer for a huge video game company.
As the show gets deeper, there are many themes and symbols that begin to take hold. The ideas of parallelism and mirroring are very apparent throughout the entire season of the show. To begin, the other main character of the show, Allan, parallels Nadia in a lot of ways. Not only is he stuck in this looping narrative with Nadia, but when they find each other, a lot falls into place. One thing that particularly stuck out to me was the fact that Nadia is a video game developer who had never played her game, and Allan was a gamer that played Nadia’s game a lot. This gave me the idea from early on, that they would learn a lot from each other. I thought that the relations of their characters was interesting and introspective due to the way they find each other and figure out how to be better people.
The main characters also have relationships with people around them in foiling ways. Since Allan is an overly careful, maybe even OCD type-A personality, it makes it hard for others to maintain relationships with him, since he always feels the need to be in control. On the other hand, Nadia is maybe too careless and seems to find herself unable to commit to true relationships for fear of following in her mother’s footsteps. They both do have very close friendships who seem to be supportive of them in their times of need, but for the most part, they are both running away from something, which reflects heavily in their romantic relations. I think these are both aspects that a lot of individuals can relate to, which makes the show easier to connect to. Personally, I feel as though I share similar characteristics and issues in maintaining relationships, so I mindlessly kept watching till someone told me how to fix my own issues. Of course that didn’t happen and I didn’t fully expect that, but seeing people overcome what seems like fate is especially empowering.
The main idea of bettering themselves falls together once they realize that they have terrible coping mechanisms. I thought the show was very visually pleasing and enjoyed it for the most part, but the first few episodes were very repetitive and a little bit boring for my tastes. I would recommend this show to any netflix fanatic, or anyone really. Russian Doll is, simply put, and unraveling of self, promoting the expansion of moralistic intentions.