Chewing Gum and Transparent Conventions

BY REECE GUIDA

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After finishing Black Mirror I turned to a sitcom that the same creators produced called Chewing Gum, which I think has the same metatheatrical effect that’s the decidedly darker Black Mirror. Instead of monochromatic technological dystopia, Chewing Gum’s colorful aesthetic parallels the light-hearted nature with which the show deals with modern social issues, especially religion and sexuality. Chewing Gum differs from Black Mirror in meta-ness,  such as with a blatant breaking of the fourth wall as literal narrative aside,  where the protagonist confides in us during her first time, for example. This undercuts typically dumb comedic plotlines with weird insight. On the other hand, Black Mirror does this through critiques of social media embodied in social, but physically present, interactions. Both, however, arrive at the ultimate viewpoint that people fundamentally misunderstand each other. My favorite episode of this new series was the third one, “Possession,” where the main character accidentally takes too much ecstasy but is saved from the scorn of her religious family: her sister thinks she is possessed by a demon and proceeds to exorcise her. I recommend this show for anyone who thinks modern life is incredibly awkward.

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