The Cutprice Guignol

The Sixth Year: American Sigh Story

Category: Discussion

How Youtube Has Changed The Way We Gossip

I’ve written a lot about Youtube before. As one of the primo video streaming platforms on the planet, it’s an almost unavoidable part of popular culture. And, for my money, it’s been changing the way we interact with major facets of the media – from Petscops’ horror to Shane Dawson’s, uh, we’ll call them documentaries, Youtube is hacking its way through the undergrowth of the curious, still relatively new place it holds in pop culture.

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TV Shows That Aged Seriously Badly

Some shows just aren’t made to go back to. I have no doubt, for example, that Riverdale is going to be looked back upon with bafflement and as a cosmic glitch in the space-time continuum – but today (for once) I’m not talking about Riverdale. No, I want to take a look at some of the shows from yesteryear that just don’t stand up to closer inspection – okay, some of these may not be that old, but I think it’s time for me to jam my nose into them and get down to some good snarkin’ anyway. To the list!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Harm

Well, I got you there with that clickbait title, didn’t I? This isn’t actually going to be a guide on how to self-harm, because I feel like my desperation for views hasn’t quite dipped that far yet. But I do want to talk about the stuff you may not know about self-harm, and why it doesn’t necessarily work the way you might think it does. Trigger warning for discussion of self-harm and suicide.

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The True Successor to The Simpsons

Lots of shows have come for the crown of The Simpsons. And what a crown it is – after running for nearly thirty years, The Simpsons is one of those pop culture mainstays that started out critiquing the media around it before it became inexorably absorbed, an indelible part of the pop culture landscape and the reigning champion against which all other animated comedies shall be compared. It found a sugar-sweet spot between unbelievably sharp comedy, social commentary, and a warm good-hearted attempt at showing, in some way or another, what life was actually like for regular working-class families, and, as I’ve said before, is one of the shows that more or less invented television in my universe.

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The Acceptable Eating Disorder

Trigger Warning for discussion of anorexia, bulimia, and general eating disorder behaviour.

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True Crime, Voyeurism, and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

“Don’t watch “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” alone. Trust me on this one,” Netflix US tweeted out at the start of the weekend, when their latest true crime documentary hit screens. Directed by Joe Berlinger, and based around the interviews conducted by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth with Bundy before his execution in 1989. Promoted like a lurid horror film and breathlessly trailed as a fascinating look into the mind of a brilliant, sadistic murderer, I already had my doubts about it before I so much as sat down in front of the first episode.

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A Year Without Alcohol

So, I’ve been sober for a year.

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This is my cat, sitting on me as I write this, high off her face on treats and superiority. 

Just over a year, actually – at about ten to eleven the New Year’s Eve before last, I drank half a glass of really bad red wine that stained the inside of my lips and gave me a headache. And that was the last time I drank alcohol.

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Unheard, Unimportant, and Untreated: Why We Need to Talk About Vaginismus

Okay, let me set the scene. It’s the middle of the day, busy street, bright sunshine, cold air. There’s me: I’m in ripped jeans and a green shirt. I’m gripping hold of the railing surrounding a communal public garden and I am crying so hard I can’t see. Fifteen minutes ago, I got my first smear test, the nurse putting a thin swab inside my vagina to check on my pelvic health, and it hurt so much she had to put her elbows on my knees to keep my legs from snapping together on instinct. I wish this is the first time that something like this has happened, but it isn’t. And that’s why I’m crying.

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The Haunting of Hill House and the Ghosts of Trauma

So, I’ve just recovered from watching The Haunting of Hill House a few weeks ago and boy, do I have some shit to say. From sensational performances, amazing cinematography, fabulous direction, and the only jumpscare that actually got my bowels to twitch in terror, this is quite simply one of the best horror shows I’ve ever seen in my life. No, scratch that – one of the best pieces of horror media I’ve ever come across. Following the interlocking stories of the Crane family, the show investigates both the past of the Cranes, living in the haunted Hill House as children and parents, and their lives after the haunting at the hands of the Hill House ghosts as adults. If you haven’t seen it, off you go and watch it now – spoilers ahead, and I don’t want to ruin anything for you.

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The Mess of Jake Paul

So, in case you missed it, let me catch you up on the current drama consuming Youtube and the surrounding social media platforms right now: Shane Dawson, a thirty-year-old Youtube monarch with eighteen million followers, has recently turned his hand to making series surrounding controversial Youtubers (including Jefferee Starr and Tara Mongeau). These videos, investigating the motivations, histories, and businesses of these creators, have proved incredibly popular and often offer redemption for creators consumed by the controversy surrounding them, put forth as documentaries (even though they lack any real journalistic bite).

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