Category Archives: Social Media

I’m Over Scandal

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I’ll admit, I was never a Gladiator. I got in to Scandal late. A few weeks before the second season premiere, I binge watched the first season. I loved the writing, the quick dialogue, the twists at the end of each episode and looking at Columbus Short. I couldn’t wait to live tweet the show with the rest of Twitter.

Now, in to the third season I just don’t care anymore. I had my moments when I cared. I loved when Fitz and Olivia would have their tortured love monologues. When Fitz got shot I screamed in horror. I loved reading tweets about the show and being part of that crew of Scandal watchers on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter on Thursday nights and you don’t watch Scandal, you have no idea what anyone is talking about.

It was in the middle of the second season, after Fitz found out about the voting fraud and killed Verna that I felt like the show lost its way. I didn’t care about B-613. I didn’t care about Jake or like him with Olivia. I didn’t care who the mole was. I found that the only character I really cared about was Huck. The “Seven Fifty Two” episode was one of the best episodes of TV I’ve seen in a long time.

I love Shonda Rimes. As a writer she is my inspiration. But I saw the “Daddy!” reveal at the end of the second season coming. And now in to the third season with her father being so abusive and the head of B-613, it’s getting a little far fetched.  I haven’t watched the episode with Olivia’s mother yet but just the idea that her father faked her mother’s death and  kept her locked away for over twenty years is just…dumb. I’d prefer if Olivia’s parents were some regular folk who happened to have a daughter who became super smart and successful.

Olivia is best when she’s kicking ass, telling people what to do and being a boss. I’m sick of seeing her so weepy. I’m sick of her curling up in to the fetal position whenever Fitz calls. I hated that she fought so hard to save Jake’s life. These men treat her like crap but she keeps going back to them, which is the major flaw of her character. She can fix other people’s lives but hers is screwed up. It’s getting boring. I want to see Olivia smack people down. I want her to have a relationship with a new guy (Harrison, maybe?) who’s normal. Fitz and Olivia can only chase each other for so long.

And that rape scene. Others have written about it much better than I ever could. I’ll just say, it was uncomfortable to watch and unnecessary. I always liked Mellie, she didn’t need to get raped for her to become a more sympathetic character.

I don’t watch the show on the edge of my seat anymore. I watch because I like the writing, I like Huck, Harrison, Mellie and Cyrus. It’s still an entertaining way to spend an hour. I’m just not emotionally invested anymore.

Anyone with me out there? Anyone not feeling Scandal anymore?

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Dance and YouTube

When I was younger, taping music videos was a full-time job. I remember days when I’d watch BET or MuchMusic for hours waiting for one specific video. If that video came on, I had to jump to grab the remote and press record. Most of the time it was a dance video. I’d have to tape it so I could get the choreography. I’d rewind and fast forward and pause making sure I was able to hit every single move. There were so many times I’d work up a sweat in my basement and wish people could watch me and see how I was killing the movement.

Now kids all over the world can have millions of people watch them dance thanks to YouTube. YouTube has made so many regular people instant stars by singing or doing weird stunts or having unique talents but dancers have really taken off because of YouTube.

French dancers Les Twins owe a lot of their fame to YouTube. A performance they gave at World of Dance in San Diego in 2010 has over 11 million views. Beyonce saw them dance on the internet and invited them to dance in her videos and live shows. They are worldwide stars now who have danced for other artists and teach all over the world. (I met them too, check out the post if you haven’t.)

A dance battle featuring Miley Cyrus and cast members from the movie Step Up 2 that was featured on YouTube made headlines in 2008. Celebrities got involved and people flocked to the internet to watch this dance battle. In my opinion its one of the most exciting things that’s happened on YouTube.

Now there is a new dance channel on YouTube that is all about the “dance lifestyle.” DS2DIO has four shows that feature interviews with famous dancers, videos of dancers in interesting locations and actual classes taught by choreographers to the stars. I find the classes the most interesting part of the channel. Most people will never get to take a class with Fatima Robinson, Wade Robson or Brian Friedman. Now they can because of YouTube. If I was still in the culture, I would totally set my computer up, put some comfortable clothes on, grab a water bottle and try to get the combination. Dancers are encouraged to learn the routine and post it on YouTube for other people to watch.

Dancers have always been in the background. It’s only recently with dance reality shows like America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance that they’re really getting the fame and recognition they deserve. When I was younger, I’d do my research and learn who each dancer was. Now a lot of dancers are recognized thanks to social media and reality shows. I think it’s great. Dancers are athletes who make music come alive.

Next time you’re bored, go on YouTube and watch some good dance videos. Here are some of my favs:

Mos Wanted Crew (the real winners of ABDC)

Les Twins, Chachi Gonzales and Smart Mark

Jabbawockeezz PYT (from ABDC)

Chris Brown doing the dougie

Beyonce rehearsing “Why Don’t You Love Me”

What are your favourite dance videos on YouTube?

 

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Frank Ocean

The big news this week was Anderson Cooper, someone who people have assumed was gay for ages, officially came out in a letter written to the Daily Beast.  The bigger news, to me and to hip hop, is R&B artist and Odd Future member Frank Ocean coming out.

I can’t think of a young black male artist in his prime ever coming out as gay. Even Luther Vandross, an R&B singer who everyone thought was gay, died without ever talking about it. Frank Ocean’s album comes out in two weeks. There are no words to describe how brave that is. One major thing that Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean have in common is they both came out using social media.

A few days ago there was online speculation about Frank Ocean’s sexuality based on lyrics from his new album. Instead of having to go on a talk show or release a statement through his publicist, he went to his Tumblr page and wrote a letter. In the letter he writes about his first love, who was a man.

Social media has been both a good and bad resource for celebrities. Using Twitter or blogs celebrities are able to control their image and speak directly to their fans without having to go through the traditional media, which is what Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean were able to do. The downside to that is celebrities have no filter and there are countless examples of stars getting in to major trouble for inappropriate tweets.

Social media like blogs and Twitter allow people to speak from the heart and be themselves. I sometimes write things on my blog that I don’t feel comfortable talking about in real life.  By Frank Ocean writing about the strong feelings of his first love,  he’s able to connect with everyone who has felt that way, no matter what.

From what I saw the reaction on social media was mostly positive. The most common response I read was he’s a great singer and songwriter and people are going to keep supporting his music no matter what. That’s the most important thing.

For a better, well written, emotional piece about Frank Ocean by dream hampton  click here.

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How Social Media Changed Award Shows

The BET Awards are this Sunday. Of course, I’m excited. I’ve watched it every year since the very first show in 2001 (I missed last year cause I was in the Dominican Republic, but it was wack.) I’m excited this year not for the performers or the surprises or that Beyonce and Jay-Z are going to be there. I’m excited to live tweet.

I still remember the first time I live tweeted an awards show. It was probably the 2009 BET Awards and I was amazed at how every person on my timeline were watching the same thing and making hilarious jokes about it. It felt like I was watching the show with a room full of people instead of being by myself.

Some of the advantages of live tweeting a television event like an awards show is the ability to use the hashtag to have your tweet seen by everyone that is following along. In this case the official hashtag is #BETAwards. You can gain followers and find new interesting people to follow as well.

BET is also using social media to promote the awards and get fans involved. They have an active Twitter page for the awards, an iPhone and Android app that fans can download, a Facebook page and behind the scenes videos and photos on the official website. They are also running contests through these social media platforms, giving away tickets to the show. This will drive even more people to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  The online community needs to be engaged in order for them to be excited to watch the show. Right now, two days before the awards, Stephen Hill, executive producer of the show is using his Twitter feed to tease surprises and spoilers for the show to get people talking. Blogs are speculating who will perform and who will show up. There has to be moments that people will want to watch on YouTube the next day.

Television itself has embraced social media. It is common to watch a show and see a hashtag in the bottom of the screen, encouraging online conversation. Most people today watch television and tweet or blog about it while their watching. It is a new trend that I really enjoy.

Follow me on Twitter at @Amanda_Akousa for my commentary during the BET Awards this Sunday July 1st at 8pm!

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