Streaming has not only revolutionised the way we consume TV Shows and Films, but it has also brought about a massive change in social trends and expression thereof.
Today, we are taking a look at some of the streaming shows that have been a catalyst in these major cultural changes surrounding communication at mass and social expression.
1. Succession: Succession, the HBO series which has won 13 Emmys already so far during its run, has perfectly encapsulated the current political and media climate we live in and features a critical portrayal of the media world and its impact on our society. The show follows the Roy family, who own one of the world’s largest conservative media networks, Waystar, which they use to promote their interests and agendas of themselves and those who side with them.
Succession paints a clever portrait of how communication runs the world and how a simple narrative can be a powerful means used to just about achieve anything in this world. Logan Roy, the CEO of Waystar, is a media mogul who has started and ended wars, has put presidents and prime ministers in power, and has kicked them off their high horse when they rendered useless. The show is Shakespearean but in the most modern way possible. It shows how much of an impact the rich and the powerful can have in shaping public opinion and how their narrative can manipulate and control public discourse around just about any significant political and societal cause.
During the show’s course, its lead cast is dealing with their own trauma and emotional baggage while also trying to take control of this larger-than-life thing called “Waystar,” the magnitude and significance of which to the bigger world even they probably don’t comprehend fully.
Media plays a huge role in forming public opinions and shaping people’s beliefs and ideologies. Communication at mass affects the intrapersonal and interpersonal communication between people, and Succession fiddles around that idea throughout the show, as not even the most elite and richest are immune to gossip and chatter, with everyone around them using information as a means to rise to the top.
The show has perfectly mirrored our modern world and has generated important conversations and understanding around media narrative and how it is affecting everyone every single day. Succession has been one of the biggest shows of the year, averaging over 8 million viewers in the United States across Traditional TV and Streaming.
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2. Ted Lasso: Ted Lasso is another show that has really exploded since the pandemic and has won 11 Emmys in its first two seasons. The show took life from a Saturday Night Live sketch about an American football coach, Ted Lasso, who is hired to coach an English Soccer Team, despite knowing nothing about the sport altogether.
While on the surface, the show seems to be about soccer, this hit Apple TV+ series is more about an honest portrayal of mental health, emotional vulnerability and expression of oneself than it is about soccer. Throughout the series, we see Ted, the show’s protagonist himself, dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and panic attacks. Despite the fact that he is a kind and empathetic man and encourages his players to speak out about their well-being, he himself does not know how to seek help, and we see him learning to do just that through therapy and other means and accept himself during the course of the show.
One of the major themes of the show is openness and honest communication and how much of a healthy change that could bring about in life. Ted Lasso also subverts traditional notions of masculinity as the show highlights the importance of speaking out amongst men and the challenges that surround it.
Ted Lasso has been very vocal about emotional expression and banishing the stigma around mental health. The show has generated conversations about bringing about changes in social norms regarding mental health and creating a culture of understanding and support around it. Especially amidst a global pandemic, the show put therapy and counselling and seeking help in a positive light, alongside bringing some heartfelt TV drama to us every week.
The Ted Lasso cast even got to speak and address the POTUS and the White House this year about mental health and relayed the message of the show, a pretty impressive feat and use of the power and influence the show has gained.
3. Bridgerton: Bridgerton has quickly become one of Netflix’s Most-Watched and wildly celebrated TV Shows ever. The show has been constantly praised for its diverse set of characters and its novel take on a period romance drama.
The show gained spark because of its cultural and sexual representation and diversity, which has been seen as more relatable and radical by young adults and millennials. Around the premiere of its second season, the show started generating quite a lot of buzz in social media for subverting the genre, and soon enough, literally, everyone was talking about it, and it was a part of just about every pop-cultural conversation.
Bridgerton brought about a renaissance to period dramas, as not only more people got curious about the Regency Era, but more than ever, both literary and visual forms of period media saw a huge spike and demand from the new generation audiences. The show also led to a massive number of people reading dictionaries to understand classic English better while Streaming services started acquiring and creating new period pieces similar to Bridgerton.
4. Euphoria: HBO’s Euphoria has been praised for its raw and honest depiction of teenagers and social media in the modern sphere.
Surrounded by a backdrop of drugs, sex, and mental health, the show has not only shed some light on some important issues that general society either considers taboo or quite controversial but has also initiated healthier conversations about these topics.
It has been a much-celebrated show among younger audiences, with the series diving deep into subjects such as sexual exploration and substance abuse. The show has also contributed to creating more conversations surrounding empathy towards people who really struggle with these problems.
5. Stranger Things: With Season 4 of Stranger Things, the series became the Second Most-Watched TV Show on Netflix of All Time, only behind Squid Game, as over 100 million people around the world tuned into the show per episode during its debut month.
The show has been a cultural phenomenon in every sense ever since its release in 2017. In many ways, it was the first of its kind “water cooler” streaming show, the TV show that became an ice-breaker in a social setting and was an active topic of discussion among friend groups as well as even in workplaces.
There are some things which we can all find comfort and familiarity with and which we can all relate to in some sense or another, and nostalgia for the time that has passed is one of them. Stranger Things is set in the 80s, and nostalgia has been a major part of its success. The youth was being introduced to some things and ideas for the first time, while the older generation got to revisit their youth, creating a common point of communication and attraction between both generations, bridging the gap between them. Somehow, Stranger Things really made it work to a prolific degree of success.
As you delve into the captivating world of streaming shows and their profound influence on our cultural landscape, I invite you to explore a thought-provoking realm of communication and abstract ideas.
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