Evaluative Argument Responding to a Review of a TV Show
Length: 4.5 6 pages
This unit, we will discuss television episodes in relation to relevant reviews. For this paper, you will respond critically and thoughtfully to a respectable review of an episode. Respectable in this case means from some sort of media-related outlet (credible newspaper, TV-related website, critic, &c.). Do not use personal blogs unless the person is an expert in something like Media Studies or a noted critic.
(This is the link to the review I will be doing)^ It is “Preacher: Call and Response” season 1, episode 10
For this paper, you will specifically explain what makes the review effective or ineffective (or both), providing evidence from the episode that demonstrates the validity of your thesis. Such being the case, you should provide direct quotation from the review, and direct quotation and/or paraphrase from the episode where relevant.
Note: The review will be your primary text, and the episode your secondary. Focus on evaluating the review rather than the episode. The episode is your evidence as to whether or not the review is effective. As such, you are NOT writing a review; you are critiquing the argumentation of the review.
Your paper is not to be opinion-based. Remain objective and examine the rhetorical strategies used by the reviewer in relation to plot convention, narrative structure, &c. from the episode. If a reviewer uses evidence from the episode that you feel necessary for your argument, you must expand upon it and add to the conversation.
If you would like to write on a film instead, you must get approval no later than Friday, 9/23. If you decide to write on an a film without approval, your paper will be docked 10%.
Alasdair Wilkins review, titled Does Continuity Matter on a Halloween Bobs Burgers?, is effective overall as Wilkins demonstrates that, although the episode is structurally problematic, it does rely on often-witty shifts. Wilkins notes, This isnt the most finely structured Bobs Burgers, as evidenced by the fact that the main story came up a couple minutes short, and so the last bit of the episode is devoted to the Boyz 4 Now video that just dropped (Wilkins). Fortunately, the writers of Bobs Burgers seem to have anticipated this problem. Earlier in the episode, the Belcher family hears the song on the radio in part (The Hauntening). In doing so, the writers clearly connect the video at the end to the remainder of the episode itself. The reference does much to make the music video relevant by giving at least some suggestion that it might come up again later. Still, this does not completely compensate for the abrupt ending of the episode overall. Never does the song come up again until after the main plot has ended, suggesting only a loose connection.
Wilkins critique also suggests that the structure of this boy-band music video in the episode may feel tacked-on or superfluous, but is ultimately redeemed by having the entire family sit[ting] around and offer[ing] running commentary on the video (Wilkins). The quick shift in the episode is apparent when the main narrative is complete. Almost immediately, the viewer is presented with a title card: Boyz 4 Now Presents I Love U So Much (Its Scary) (The Hauntening). The rapid cut suggests that Wilkins claim is valid, that the writers did not make the needed length and used filler to complete the episode. It may appear an afterthought due to the lack of coherent flow. However, the music video is thematically related to the larger whole (it is the Halloween episode, after all). Further, rather than just fill time with a humorous video (like the much-critiqued Conway Twitty sequences in Family Guy), the episode uses the commentary that Wilkins points out to enhance the humor of the otherwise cheesy Halloween-themed Boyz 4 Now video. [The paragraph would continue to discuss the music video and the commentary as relevant but still slightly rough structurally.]
The Hauntening. Bobs Burgers. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 18 Oct. 2015. Television.
Wilkins, Alasdair. Does Continuity Matter on a Halloween Bobs Burgers? A.V. Club. Onion,
Inc., 18 Oct. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
Some questions you might consider are:
First and foremost, is the reviewers claim effective?
How will you validate your own claim?
What is the major critique the reviewer suggests?
What elements of plot and structure are relevant to a discussion of the review?
What other aspects (i.e. film/animation techniques, sound effects, &c.) come under discussion?
Is there bias in the review? Logical fallacies?
Feel free to explore other questions not on the list above.
A strong essay will:
Examine the rhetoric of the reviewer in depth.
Thoroughly evaluate claims of the reviewer against the episode itself.
Remain objective in discussing the episode and review. (Again, this paper is NOT about how you feel about either text. It is an evaluative critique of the review.)
Organize the paragraphs with clear topic sentences that connect directly to the thesis.
Final Notes about Paper 2:
A paper that is mostly or all summary will receive a failing grade.
A Works Cited is required for this paper and constitutes 10%. It should include only two sources: The review of the episode and The TV show episode
Do not rely on other peoples ideas for this paper; I want your unique analysis. Under no circumstances should you use another persons analysis as your own. Such is plagiarism.