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SO BAD IT’S GOOD: An Introduction to Media Analysis Through Watching Bad Media

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Room screencap

Kaelan Doyle Myerscough

Enrollment: contact kaelandm@mit.edu before day you plan to attend
Limited to 20 participants
Attendance: Participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend all three sessions

What is it that makes watching so-called “trashy TV” so fun? What does it mean for a film to be “so bad it’s good?” In such a saturated media landscape, what makes us seek out and enjoy the worst of it? And what is with all of those screenings of The Room?

In this three-day course, we will watch and analyze bad media as an introduction to media studies concepts and fields. Each class will consist of a screening and an extended discussion.

Contact: Kaelan Doyle Myerscough, kaelandm@mit.edu

The Room

Tuesday, Jan 23

The Room: The Anatomy of a Good-Bad Movie. We’ll stage a screening of The Room complete with plastic spoons and a football, then talk about what makes the film so enjoyably bad, why people think this is, and the fandom that has cropped up around it.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Wednesday, Jan 24

Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Reality TV, social media, and “trashiness.” We’ll use the Kardashian empire to talk about how and in what contexts people watch TV and consume social media, and how the contemporary internet landscape has reshaped reality TV.

Monster Factory

Thursday, Jan 25

Monster Factory: Bad games and the art of making fun of them. What makes bad games enjoyable, and how is this different from bad film and television? We’ll watch a few works by YouTube creators to figure this out, and then get our hands dirty with character creators and make some monsters of our own.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Thursday, January 25, 2018
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MIT Building 5, Room 217
55 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 United States
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