Usually, when we discuss TV shows and movies, we talk about whether or not we enjoyed them. But we don’t talk about the deep concepts that went into creating the shows and films. We don’t talk about the directors’ thoughts that were implied in the context.

During my Lit. & Film class in college, the professor encouraged us to look at the different themes–filming techniques and how they worked, and what made movies/shows different from the books on which they were based. We didn’t just discuss what we liked or disliked about them; we discussed the directors’ filming techniques, the actors’ presentations, the genres and sub-genres. We talked about how just one unexpected detail could change the whole meaning of the story.

Before I took that class, I just watched movies and shows for a mindless escape from reality. After watching comedies, I just laughed. They were funny. But I didn’t see that some of them contained messages of topics like friendships: complicated bonds and routine in “How I Met Your Mother”; an extreme friendship breakup from Bridesmaids sparked by jealousy. The mood wasn’t necessarily lost on me, but I just didn’t care. I watched these films for laughs.

After my Lit. & Film class, I tried to just go to a movie for the sake of entertainment. But after awhile, I couldn’t help but observe and mentally note themes, behaviors, thoughts, and how they told the story. The professor encouraged the class to watch for details and form profound perspectives.