In 1973 John Lee wrote a book entitled The Colors of Love in which he laid out three types of love, comparing them to the primary colors and describing the 3 secondary colors of love as extensions of the primary colors. Boy Meets World explores all of the colors of love through its central character Corey Matthews. Arguably, most shows revolving around a family unit and involving a teenager or high school explore most of the colors, but Boy Meets World assigns these colors to its characters and continues to explore further pallete building, and it is somewhat unique in its inclusion of agape.
I was going to list the six types and show you which one each person is, but it was just turning into an ugly collage of Wikipedia and IMDb which seemed obvious. Here is the link so you can make your own collage:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_styles
 
The show takes place in “the city of brotherly love”, Philadelphia. The city is not integral to the plot, and most of the settings are the home or the school so that the show could take place anywhere. The name of the city, however, has as its root word philia which Aristotle divides into three types of friendship, scaling upward: acquaintance of utility, pleasant companion, and friendship of character. As you watch the show, you will hopefully travel through these stages with its characters or else probably abandon the show. Philia is linked back to Storge by John Lee, which, if you remember from your reading above, is a progression described as “an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity.” When starting out with most shows the viewer/character relationship is one of utility to pass the time, but perhaps the viewer begins to enjoy the show and continues watching only to begin to identify with a character and live vicariously through or modeled against their anchor point in the series. Here the viewer is experiencing Storge or going through the stages of philia with the show.
 

As I said, the other types are pretty self-explanatory based on their definitions in the linked article, but agape love —the altruistic love that flows equally from a single source to all the characters with whom it comes into contact— is embodied by Mr. Feeny. Feeny follows the major players (and especially Corey) throughout the show and while disappointed at times in their lack of love, never leaves or stops the outpouring of love, and, even though he does at times hint at Storge to Sean and Corey, his love is equal to everyone. As the purloined Fight Club quote above demonstrates, Feeny as agape is the model for the religious experience of God. However, God does not exist; it is a metaphor for that which lives inside of everyone and everything. The mystery of being. If you achieve the religious experience of God, you will have died and been reborn as one who now sees that mystery revealed inside of yourself and sees in the world that same mystery. Everything is connected. This then is the purpose of the title. Corey Matthews is the boy who is meeting the entire world within himself as modeled by the selfless love of Feeny, while exploring the various colors of love along the way. The show does lose its way near the end, and we are left with no idea whether the boy actually meets the realization of the divine within himself, but his Feeny never fails.

More TV Analysis

In 1973 John Lee wrote a book entitled The Colors of Love in which he laid out three types of love, comparing them to the primary colors and describing the 3 secondary colors of love as extensions of the primary colors. Boy Meets World explores all of the colors of love through its central character Corey Matthews. Arguably, most shows revolving around a family unit and involving a teenager or high school explore most of the colors, but Boy Meets World assigns these colors to its characters and continues to explore further pallete building, and it is somewhat unique in its inclusion of agape.

I was going to list the six types and show you which one each person is, but it was just turning into an ugly collage of Wikipedia and IMDb which seemed obvious. Here is the link so you can make your own collage:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_styles

 

The show takes place in “the city of brotherly love”, Philadelphia. The city is not integral to the plot, and most of the settings are the home or the school so that the show could take place anywhere. The name of the city, however, has as its root word philia which Aristotle divides into three types of friendship, scaling upward: acquaintance of utility, pleasant companion, and friendship of character. As you watch the show, you will hopefully travel through these stages with its characters or else probably abandon the show. Philia is linked back to Storge by John Lee, which, if you remember from your reading above, is a progression described as “an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity.” When starting out with most shows the viewer/character relationship is one of utility to pass the time, but perhaps the viewer begins to enjoy the show and continues watching only to begin to identify with a character and live vicariously through or modeled against their anchor point in the series. Here the viewer is experiencing Storge or going through the stages of philia with the show.

 

image

As I said, the other types are pretty self-explanatory based on their definitions in the linked article, but agape love —the altruistic love that flows equally from a single source to all the characters with whom it comes into contact— is embodied by Mr. Feeny. Feeny follows the major players (and especially Corey) throughout the show and while disappointed at times in their lack of love, never leaves or stops the outpouring of love, and, even though he does at times hint at Storge to Sean and Corey, his love is equal to everyone. As the purloined Fight Club quote above demonstrates, Feeny as agape is the model for the religious experience of God. However, God does not exist; it is a metaphor for that which lives inside of everyone and everything. The mystery of being. If you achieve the religious experience of God, you will have died and been reborn as one who now sees that mystery revealed inside of yourself and sees in the world that same mystery. Everything is connected. This then is the purpose of the title. Corey Matthews is the boy who is meeting the entire world within himself as modeled by the selfless love of Feeny, while exploring the various colors of love along the way. The show does lose its way near the end, and we are left with no idea whether the boy actually meets the realization of the divine within himself, but his Feeny never fails.

More TV Analysis

Mad Men is just Bewitched without the magic metaphor.

betaknowledge:

An interesting hypothesis from Rosa Menkman’s Flickstream

betaknowledge:

An interesting hypothesis from Rosa Menkman’s Flickstream

(via tvontelevision)

Every early episode of M*A*S*H starts by pushing into Radar’s POV of the helicopters coming. Radar is also often strangely prescient about the arrival of the helicopters, and the needs of his commanding officers. In an early episode he states that he is going to write a book about his experiences, and that is what we are seeing in the whole of M*A*S*H. Radar is recalling and encoding in single serving story form, the emotions and characters of those he met during his time in the war. In episode 7x02, we begin to see Radar get so enveloped in his character’s stories that he loses control of the environment and does not sense the choppers before they come. He will remove himself completely in the eighth season, giving the story over to those around him. In the remaining seasons, the credits start already pushed in on the helicopters, showing that the story can now run without the guide of the teller.

Every early episode of M*A*S*H starts by pushing into Radar’s POV of the helicopters coming. Radar is also often strangely prescient about the arrival of the helicopters, and the needs of his commanding officers. In an early episode he states that he is going to write a book about his experiences, and that is what we are seeing in the whole of M*A*S*H. Radar is recalling and encoding in single serving story form, the emotions and characters of those he met during his time in the war. In episode 7x02, we begin to see Radar get so enveloped in his character’s stories that he loses control of the environment and does not sense the choppers before they come. He will remove himself completely in the eighth season, giving the story over to those around him. In the remaining seasons, the credits start already pushed in on the helicopters, showing that the story can now run without the guide of the teller.

Dexter season 6 has been an awful series of television, of that there is little doubt, but what were they trying to get across? Dexter starts out the season looking for a religion in which to raise his son because he was told it is important, and the season proceeds to have Dexter metaphorically stalk, examine, and destroy his religious side. Dexter sees the new killer as two people at first, God and his servant. Dexter confronts the servant but dismisses him and continues to seek out God. He also enrolls his son in a religious school and feigns belief so that his son may be accepted. Dexter eventually figures out what the audience knew all along, that God does not exist and that which is being called the word of God is coming from within the misguided servant. Dexter battles his religious side, and it manages to escape his grasp. But when God seems to call for a repeat of Abraham and Isaac, Dexter defeats his religious side and refuses to submit to the test of faith. The writers did not do much to disguise the fact that God never existed, perhaps this was to show how foolish religious fanaticism is when left unchecked by reason. Almost 12 full episodes of bad TV just to get that point across does seem excessive though.

Dexter season 6 has been an awful series of television, of that there is little doubt, but what were they trying to get across? Dexter starts out the season looking for a religion in which to raise his son because he was told it is important, and the season proceeds to have Dexter metaphorically stalk, examine, and destroy his religious side. Dexter sees the new killer as two people at first, God and his servant. Dexter confronts the servant but dismisses him and continues to seek out God. He also enrolls his son in a religious school and feigns belief so that his son may be accepted. Dexter eventually figures out what the audience knew all along, that God does not exist and that which is being called the word of God is coming from within the misguided servant. Dexter battles his religious side, and it manages to escape his grasp. But when God seems to call for a repeat of Abraham and Isaac, Dexter defeats his religious side and refuses to submit to the test of faith. The writers did not do much to disguise the fact that God never existed, perhaps this was to show how foolish religious fanaticism is when left unchecked by reason. Almost 12 full episodes of bad TV just to get that point across does seem excessive though.

What is television, but a meditation on a theme, to which you return every week? Community is gone for now, but hopefully it will be back, and if I may serve as a Community apologist for a moment, I would like to talk about the meditation of Community.
I have talked to and read from many people that dislike Community and describe it as a live action Family Guy, stringing together pop culture references ad nauseum in lieu of a plot. I disagree with this viewpoint, but I understand that it may come from a place of differing mythologies. I posted a screenshot from episode 3x01 because it is exemplary of my point. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film which I have meditated over many times and have attempted to tease apart the layers of meaning in its final scenes. Having personally worked over the narrative on my own, I have come to various conclusions about the transcendent journey that the character must take to arrive outside of himself and watch himself die, so that he may see his part in the larger whole of humanity and all existence, to be reborn as an enlightened being. By tying Jeff into this story with a few quick scenes, the writers of Community have immediately started speaking to me regarding what their goal for Jeff is in this story and what his journey should be, but I do not know yet if Jeff will follow the same path of the film, they still have something more to say about what the film meant and how it applies in this situation. This economy of language through pop culture mythology allows so much more to be put into a 22 minute show, if I speak the language. Some references, I admit, I do not get on first viewing. I understood that they were referencing Dead Poets Society in episode 1x03, but I had not meditated on that film, and I did not know what the writers wanted me to understand when everyone stands up on their desks and one person falls down. So, I watched Dead Poets Society, and suddenly, after investing an hour and a half, that 3 minute scene in the show reveals several more layers of meaning than the one sight gag I had gotten from it on first viewing. They are not using new archetypes, but then neither are the pieces they are referencing, the point of these metaphors is to talk about larger concepts and to provide a point of entry for your personal exploration of the concept. What Community does so well is say “ok, you know about the death and rebirth and seeing the planet as a whole that the space fetus goes through in 2001, but now look at how that concept also applies to interpersonal relationships and group dynamics here.” Once it evokes the memory of the mythology that you have meditated on and you are in the realm of the indescribable idea that you have worked through personally, then it anchors that to the character and combines it or contrasts it with another idea. If you remember the end of episode 3x01, Jeff emerges from the 2001 reference as the lead character of The Shining. So not only are we taking Jeff who should be an enlightened space fetus now, and having to immediately recast him in the role of a violent Jack Torrance and figure out the implications of that, but we are also reminded that both of these are films of Stanley Kubrick, and so, we are asked to examine the themes of his characters from an auteur standpoint. There is no mention of Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Killing, or A Clockwork Orange, but the mention of Kubrick by contrasting two of his films embodied in the same character, brings to mind the ideas of group dynamics in relation to the individual within the group in those 4 films, and that was what we were exploring in this episode to start with, so many more layers were added by that one change, depending on your previous meditation on Kubrick’s work.
When Community combines these mythologies well, it really is a masterful show. The point of meditation to which we are returning every week with Community then is that pop culture is our current mythology and what these meditations on the mythology mean to us.

What is television, but a meditation on a theme, to which you return every week? Community is gone for now, but hopefully it will be back, and if I may serve as a Community apologist for a moment, I would like to talk about the meditation of Community.

I have talked to and read from many people that dislike Community and describe it as a live action Family Guy, stringing together pop culture references ad nauseum in lieu of a plot. I disagree with this viewpoint, but I understand that it may come from a place of differing mythologies. I posted a screenshot from episode 3x01 because it is exemplary of my point. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film which I have meditated over many times and have attempted to tease apart the layers of meaning in its final scenes. Having personally worked over the narrative on my own, I have come to various conclusions about the transcendent journey that the character must take to arrive outside of himself and watch himself die, so that he may see his part in the larger whole of humanity and all existence, to be reborn as an enlightened being. By tying Jeff into this story with a few quick scenes, the writers of Community have immediately started speaking to me regarding what their goal for Jeff is in this story and what his journey should be, but I do not know yet if Jeff will follow the same path of the film, they still have something more to say about what the film meant and how it applies in this situation. This economy of language through pop culture mythology allows so much more to be put into a 22 minute show, if I speak the language. Some references, I admit, I do not get on first viewing. I understood that they were referencing Dead Poets Society in episode 1x03, but I had not meditated on that film, and I did not know what the writers wanted me to understand when everyone stands up on their desks and one person falls down. So, I watched Dead Poets Society, and suddenly, after investing an hour and a half, that 3 minute scene in the show reveals several more layers of meaning than the one sight gag I had gotten from it on first viewing. They are not using new archetypes, but then neither are the pieces they are referencing, the point of these metaphors is to talk about larger concepts and to provide a point of entry for your personal exploration of the concept. What Community does so well is say “ok, you know about the death and rebirth and seeing the planet as a whole that the space fetus goes through in 2001, but now look at how that concept also applies to interpersonal relationships and group dynamics here.” Once it evokes the memory of the mythology that you have meditated on and you are in the realm of the indescribable idea that you have worked through personally, then it anchors that to the character and combines it or contrasts it with another idea. If you remember the end of episode 3x01, Jeff emerges from the 2001 reference as the lead character of The Shining. So not only are we taking Jeff who should be an enlightened space fetus now, and having to immediately recast him in the role of a violent Jack Torrance and figure out the implications of that, but we are also reminded that both of these are films of Stanley Kubrick, and so, we are asked to examine the themes of his characters from an auteur standpoint. There is no mention of Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Killing, or A Clockwork Orange, but the mention of Kubrick by contrasting two of his films embodied in the same character, brings to mind the ideas of group dynamics in relation to the individual within the group in those 4 films, and that was what we were exploring in this episode to start with, so many more layers were added by that one change, depending on your previous meditation on Kubrick’s work.

When Community combines these mythologies well, it really is a masterful show. The point of meditation to which we are returning every week with Community then is that pop culture is our current mythology and what these meditations on the mythology mean to us.

Troy and Abed have made a space for Annie that they think she will like, all the while ignoring their holodeck/dreamatorium in which they can imagine anything, because they cannot imagine Annie outside of the box they have created to put her in. Annie only discovers their empty imagination regarding her, when she attempts to get blankets to make the whole apartment resemble the box they have created for her, making everyone equals in the space. Once Troy and Abed use their imagination space to manifest what Annie might want, they supplant their old space with an empty imagination and move into the box they had originally created for Annie.

Jeannie is emancipated from  subservience to a master in the first episode, but she chooses to stay with  Major Nelson of her own volition. She has a vast amount of power (more so than any of the men who are from varying branches of the armed sevices), but  often she does not know how to use it in the current social clime, which is in a state of transition. Many  times she tries to help the man she has chosen to be with, but she ends  up bringing greater scrutiny to him and their relationship because she  outweighs the balance of power in the household.

The psychiatrist Dr. Bellows represents the old guard of domestic sensibilities  (people who live together should be married and the husband should have  the power in the household). When Jeannie’s power manifests around or  overtakes that of Major Nelson, Dr. Bellows scrutinizes Major Nelson and  sees him as an anomaly. Whenever Dr. Bellows attempts to deride Major  Nelson publicly before an authority figure, he is seen as the one who is  an anomaly and is then in turn scrutinized for his ineptitude due to adherence  to outmoded beliefs.

Major Nelson’s friend, Major Healey is a known womanizer and his desire for interaction with Jeannie is different from Major Nelson’s. Healey would like to use Jeannie to fulfill his desires, and he does not understand why Major Nelson does not have Jeannie blink him up riches and power. Nelson falls prey to this commanding mentality at times, but it almost always back fires. Jeannie does wish to provide things for Major Nelson, to make him happy because she loves him, but again, without agreement the attempts almost always backfire and must be solved through agreement of Major Nelson and Jeannie.

Contrary to this message for equality in a modern relationship, however, Jeannie is always powerless to do anything whenever Major Nelson or anyone else corks her bottle. She may only exercise her power again once her bottle is uncorked.

Jeannie is emancipated from subservience to a master in the first episode, but she chooses to stay with Major Nelson of her own volition. She has a vast amount of power (more so than any of the men who are from varying branches of the armed sevices), but often she does not know how to use it in the current social clime, which is in a state of transition. Many times she tries to help the man she has chosen to be with, but she ends up bringing greater scrutiny to him and their relationship because she outweighs the balance of power in the household.

The psychiatrist Dr. Bellows represents the old guard of domestic sensibilities (people who live together should be married and the husband should have the power in the household). When Jeannie’s power manifests around or overtakes that of Major Nelson, Dr. Bellows scrutinizes Major Nelson and sees him as an anomaly. Whenever Dr. Bellows attempts to deride Major Nelson publicly before an authority figure, he is seen as the one who is an anomaly and is then in turn scrutinized for his ineptitude due to adherence to outmoded beliefs.

Major Nelson’s friend, Major Healey is a known womanizer and his desire for interaction with Jeannie is different from Major Nelson’s. Healey would like to use Jeannie to fulfill his desires, and he does not understand why Major Nelson does not have Jeannie blink him up riches and power. Nelson falls prey to this commanding mentality at times, but it almost always back fires. Jeannie does wish to provide things for Major Nelson, to make him happy because she loves him, but again, without agreement the attempts almost always backfire and must be solved through agreement of Major Nelson and Jeannie.

Contrary to this message for equality in a modern relationship, however, Jeannie is always powerless to do anything whenever Major Nelson or anyone else corks her bottle. She may only exercise her power again once her bottle is uncorked.


"I think that sometimes when you are sad and angry, and you don’t want to take it out on someone, you take it out on yourself."

What if The Big C lasts for a total of 5 seasons? Each season will continue to subtly deal with a separate stage of grief from the Kubler-Ross model. This season is anger, but what it is showing through secondary characters, is that these stages of grief are inherent in everyday life.

"I think that sometimes when you are sad and angry, and you don’t want to take it out on someone, you take it out on yourself."

What if The Big C lasts for a total of 5 seasons? Each season will continue to subtly deal with a separate stage of grief from the Kubler-Ross model. This season is anger, but what it is showing through secondary characters, is that these stages of grief are inherent in everyday life.