English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: bright

Quick, Quirky, Quintessential New Girl

In season 6 episodes 12 and 13, New Girl cinematography and direction is fast paced and filled with humor. While New Girl is a relatively short show, lasting about 20 minutes per episode, the jokes are plentiful, and the shots reflect this. The shortness of the show and its humorous nature means that quick cuts are most popular. While petty banter among the gang consists of many quick shots, the show does have its longer shots. In more serious scenes, there are more long takes, letting the viewer take in the character’s facial features and responses. For example, when Nick’s girlfriend admits to him that she is excited to read his book but worried that she’ll fall asleep, the camera zoned in on her face, letting the viewer see how genuine she is being.

Nick and Reagan share a heart to heart in a long take on the show

Long takes are not confined to serious moments, however. New Girl has a plethora of awkward moments, mostly but not always made possible by the star of the show Jessica Day. In episode 12, The Cubical, Winston got a long shot after he made a bad joke at the dinner table, pausing just long enough to let the awkward set in for the viewer and the other characters.

The show’s color scheme is quite colorful. Jess usually wears a colorful wardrobe consisting of bright reds, yellows and greens. The show’s bright and chipper color scheme is reflective of the show as a whole. New Girl is a comedic sit com. It’s not a drama. It’s not meant to be heavy, and the color scheme reflects that.

So much brightness. So much color. 

The Cubical and Cece’s Boys do not appear to stand out visually in some way from other episodes. The quickness of pace, bright colors, and quirky characters are plentiful. If anything, I would say that there are more longer, serious takes in these two episodes. Nearing the end of the season, the drama is amping up. Nick’s concerns with his girlfriend Reagan are apparent and reflected in close up, longer takes. The same can be said for Jess’s relationship with her boyfriend; though, their relationship is a little more lighthearted.

Fresh Outta Film School

Fresh Off the Boat has a fresh visual design. The colors are bright, the cuts are quick, and the color scheme is warm. This show is so wholesome that it even reflects in the visual design. The colors are warm schemed, reflecting the warmth of the show and the inviting characters as the series wants to display their family dynamic. This has the effect of carrying over the program’s lightheartedness. There are no gloomy days, dark scenes, or special effects in the show. It is very clean cut and looks bright and cheery even when nighttime scenes are shown.

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fight like sisters, love like sisters

The show has mostly longer scenes, with a plotline falling over an average to long timeframe, but shots are quick and clean. Conversations between characters are shot with quick cuts between each perspective, ping-ponging between lines of dialogue. Every once in a while scenes are shot differently, like the opening of Episode 7, when the Huang’s are in a mock robbery scene. The opening of the showtimes special edits with riffs and music. The narration is paired with shots, especially when narrating the thoughts of multiple characters at a time, which the show does often. These long takes help the development of the show by allowing for longer jokes and humor with better punchlines and more drama between the characters. Scene 7 also shows a fantasy of Eddie Huang wanting to hit on his crush, who he is intimidated by, by showing her his music taste. In this scene, he gets up to walk back to her and enters a fantasy edit with backup dancers and an autotuned bus driver. More intimate scenes, like one on one conversations between the mom and dad, are shot closer up, leading you into the conversation as if you were there. If it weren’t shot this close, it would feel as though you are observing something private, and may lose engagement with viewers.

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the way they look at each other <3

I find the intro of the show interesting cinematographically because it uses unique panning styles and zooms not used in the actual showtime. In the title sequence as well as most of Eddie’s scenes, the music is paired with the style of the shot. Zooms have riffs, sexy scenes have jazz, happy scenes have elevator music and Eddie’s got his 2pac. Is this show Straight Outta Compton or Straight Outta Suburbia?

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