Links + Things: Terrifying Roosters, Beautiful Book Covers & Gendered Television Criticism

Links + Things: Terrifying Roosters, Beautiful Book Covers & Gendered Television Criticism

Hi y'all! Happy Friday and welcome to another installment of Links & Things! Let's get down to business...  

Video of Awesome

File this under "Important Videos You Must Share," a rooster terrifies a reporter. (Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I've had my own rooster concerns for some time now.) 

Required Reading

Just as films labeled as romcoms become marginalized under the sexist label of “chick flicks,” primetime dramas labeled as “soaps” become “women’s shows.” And, unfortunately, once it’s limited to that label, the show loses its credibility.

Just look at “Scandal.” The Shonda Rhimes-helmed ABC series is one of — if not the — most intelligent series on network TV. With its emotional intensity and complex, always-twisting plot, “Scandal” embraces its identity as a full-out soap. Sure, its storylines are often implausible and sometimes straight-up unbelievable, but since when is plausibility essential to great television? While “Scandal” often isn’t taken seriously for its more outlandish moments, other shows like “Breaking Bad” are given free pass after free pass. We let “Breaking Bad” get away with improbable feats, because the things that truly matter — emotions, characters — are believable.

The same is true for “Scandal,” which may get wacky with its plot points, but is bitingly real when it comes to its characters’ emotions and the complex issues that inform the story: power, race, sex, morality. And yet, people pigeonhole “Scandal” into the category of “guilty pleasure” TV, while more male-centric series that stay clean of the gendered “soap” label are held up as beacons of today’s golden age of television.
— Kayla Upadhyaya: The glass ceiling of TV’s golden age - The Michigan Daily

Apologies for the excessive quoting of Kayla Upadhyaya's phenomenal piece about television and gender and the notion of credibility in what's largely considered a "golden age" of television.  I am quite fascinated by the way gender influences our perception of what's "good" versus "fluffy," and Upadhyaya brilliantly dissects this issue.

Which is the major problem with avoiding spoilers in 2013: A lot of the audience isn’t trying to. For all of the talk about DVRs and segmented viewing and death of the monoculture, we still really enjoy a Television Event. Everyone wants a viewing community, with hundreds of recaps and GIFs and witty jokes to make us feel like we’re not alone on the couch. So when an opportunity like the Breaking Bad finale presents itself, the community goes hog-wild. That is not going to change anytime soon, and unless you’re one of the sad souls stuck on season three, it’s actually kind of fun. So just think of television finales like the Super Bowl: You’re either going to watch with everyone, or you’re going to hear about it all week from everyone else. Acceptance is the first step to not being so angry all the time.
— Sorry, You Can’t Avoid Spoilers Anymore | Amanda Dobbins | Vulture

The spoiler battles on Twitter/Facebook/Etc are quite interesting, right? Awhile back someone "yelled" at me on Twitter for "spoiling" Dawson's Creek--a show that ended 10 years ago! I am pretty good at avoiding spoilers by either avoiding social media when something's on or using the snazzy mute filters. Anyway, there are some interesting thoughts on the subject on Vulture.

There was a time when Facebook users could make themselves “unsearchable” by changing a privacy setting called “Who can search for me by name?” Their accounts would still be visible to people who clicked their names in a News Feed story or on a mutual friends’ timeline, but the random person who they met in a bar the previous evening could not find them using the Facebook search bar. Facebook quietly announced it was axing that feature for people who weren’t already using it in December. Today, the company announced it will take it away from everybody else in the coming weeks.
— Facebook Users Can No Longer Hide From Search | Fast Company

This short piece in Fast Company is important information for anyone who previously had their privacy on Facebook locked down regarding the search function (I did). I'm pretty sad about this, as while I don't use Facebook a lot, I have kept an account because there are some family members and friends I wouldn't otherwise hear from if not for Facebook. I do not use it for work, and keep my settings so it's hard to find me--I'm not sure what I'll do now that this is changing.  

Further Reading

Recently in Cover Art

    Hollywood Crush revealed the cover to the sequel of Suzanne Young's fantastic allegorical YA novel, The Program. The Treatment's cover is just as creepy and grim as the first book's was. This is definitely one I'm hotly anticipating.

    I read Elizabeth Scott's forthcoming release, Heartbeat, last night and absolutely loved it. Yesterday, unveiled the cover, which perfectly captures the mood of the novel. There is an interesting backstory to this cover, as Harlequin Teen made the bold move to delay the book's release until the cover was exactly right.

    Cheapo Books

    By Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Meding
    • Even if you're not an urban fantasy fan--or if you have UF burnout--you've got to take advantage of this deal for the first book in Jenn Bennett's fantastic Arcadia Bell series. It's $1.99 for the Kindle edition and it's one of my favorites.   
    • Carniepunk is a solid anthology of highly-regarded authors' urban fantasy short stories. I have an ARC and kind of jumped around to the authors who I most wanted to read. It's $1.99 on Kindle. 
    • We love Chuck Wendig. He's newest novel is a YA dystopian about, well, corn. The ebook is $1.99 (if you're a member of the Amazon lending library thingie, this one can be borrowed for free).  

    Have an awesome weekend, all! 

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    Romance, Post-High School Paths & Sexism in Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

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    Teaching the Classics: The Scarlet Letter

    Teaching the Classics: The Scarlet Letter