Friday, January 20, 2017

A Refreshing Take on Adulthood

Tracey Gordon is a 24-year-old virgin living at home in London, England. Her lack of the life experiences shapes her journey into “real” adulthood in the show “Chewing Gum.” The film rejects the dominant ideology of how many young people are living in a society focused on wealth and material possessions.

Sellnow’s explanation of this dominant ideology-based perspective explains how pop culture is controlled by the great force of cis-gender groups. However, Tracey is seen far-removed from this storytelling as viewers see her struggle between fitting in and learning what makes her unique. Her journey can result in conflict for viewers due to the perception of how things ought to be.

For example, viewers watch her struggle to interact with men, continue interactions involving awkward decision-making, and hope she choosing to align within the ways of “normal” adulthood. Even her affordable, estate housing is filled with a diverse group of neighbors and passersby while she makes her way to work as a saleswoman at a convenience store. The show challenges the rhetoric of success conveyed to young adults who are encouraged to purchase overpriced housing and work longer hours to afford that living space.

My love for this show is found in the comedy and relatable scenes between Tracey and her friends, but moments of second-hand embarrassment consume my perspective when she acts on unknown experience. Her strict upbringing and uncomfortable moments bring viewers to tune in weekly, but the show’s subject of struggling to align with the dominant culture may be very telling in how our desires in materials and success may not have any depth in relation to the tricky and realistic human experience.

Discussion Questions

1. Have you preferred storytelling that portrays characters against neo-marxism and its ideology?
2. How can this trend of realistic plot lines carry to films? Is this possible?
3. What shows are you currently watching that ignore the expected state of normality?

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