All posts tagged tv

Oh!  I heard the words bildungsroman and picaresque narrative today as I was watching my recorded version of last night’s most recent Pretty Little Liars.  Yes, you heard me right, I really did say Pretty Little Liars, which, as you know is that show on ABC Family geared for teens, but also based loosely on the original book series by Sara Shepard. I have to reluctantly admit that Teen TV is sort of a guilty pleasure for me.  As an adult person looking in, I thought it was really interesting that those particular literary words were used in the academic decathlon battle scene with Spencer and Mona. For me, it sort of brought to mind Huck Finn, and I wondered if those words were picked to appeal to a large number of teens who might actually have read that popular high school book.  Or maybe, since it was academic decathlon, they were picked just because they are weird, fun, and confusing words to say all on their own.  In my own experience, my former students took great joy in saying bildungsroman out loud over and over because it was probably the strangest word they’d encountered up to that point in their literary experience.

Something interesting to note is that someone could probably make a case for Pretty Little Liars itself to be a bildungsroman of sorts;  and maybe some really adventurous person might try to reveal the activities of the characters in general as picaresque, but I am not sure that would be entirely appropriate.  In any regards, it was fun to hear those words as they flashed by the screen, and I felt glad to know that somewhere out there somebody literary noticed and appreciated the effort.

If  you for some reason are not familiar with the terms bildungsroman or picaresque narrative, you should look them up!  The title of this blog might be a hint for one of the words, but if you look it up yourself, you will probably remember it better!

I really never thought I would hear an Emily Dickinson reference on the Food Network, but thanks to Alton Brown on the most recent release of Iron Chef America this evening, I have now heard it with my own ears.  Mr. Brown begins the show by reading Dickinson’s lines that say “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers — / That perches in the soul . . .” and then he embellishes the fact that such serene things are competitively “crushed” by the powerful and awesome Iron Chefs in their Kitchen Stadium.  Actually having some experience reading this poem made the laugh even bigger for me as I listened to Mr. Brown’s version.  Literature is not extinct!