thatcow

The message in the medium

This short is born of the frustration of being stereotyped and misunderstood by a dominant culture. We watch our two characters, bigger and louder and everything we remember, only more so. They talk at each other, around this theme of stereotypes, twisting it around, challenging us to move past what we think we know.

It's interesting to note that the I Love Lucy show was groundbreaking in its own right, showing a mixed marriage, and a Latino man as a prominent figure in showbusiness - neither of which were common or even encouraged at the time. Still, it was a comedy, and humor often depends on being bigger than life, of blowing up the stereotypes and making light of them. From an activist point of view, you could say the show was too successful, a cultural icon that left too big an imprint on the American psyche. You could argue that a more moderate hit would have broken the same ground, and left room for new and more varied treatments of race.

So, how does one review a short like this? The delivery of the message is clever, certainly, but not deep - yet how much depth do you expect from a three minute short? In this case, we have to look at both its effectiveness and its entertainment value. It's not unusual for a message to overshadow a film, but in this case, it's a fairly narrow distinction. With the message being so much front and center, the short is on the borderline of losing the audience, but still works, if you manage to stay on board.

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