Friday, April 10, 2020

Microstory 1340: Focus Group

Focus Group Moderator: I’m Focus Group Moderator, but you can just call me Mod. I want to thank you all for coming in today to get a first look at our brand new series, Ya Basic.
Teen 1: Ya basic.
Teen 1: Sorry, I didn’t mean you, specifically. I was talking more about the garbage people who wrote this.
Mod: Oh, I’m saddened to hear that.
Teen 1: Well, they can’t all be winners, can they?
Mod: I guess not. ‘Kay, so—
Teen 2: CHEESE!
Mod: I’m sorry?
Teen 2: You said queso. I felt it was my duty to translate for everyone in the room who does not speak Spanish.
Mod: Okay. Well, thanks. The first thing I want to do is get everyone’s general impression of the TV show they just watched.
Teen 3: I didn’t understand it.
Mod: All right, so it was a little confusing.
Teen 3: I wouldn’t say that. I could follow just fine, but the story didn’t make any sense. Why was the sister doing his homework? She was established as the dumber of the two, and they never explained her motivation, or his, for that matter.
Teen 4: Yeah, and the dumb things she said didn’t make sense either. It felt like all her lines were written for a boy, but then a network executive came in and said they should gender-swap it in order to be edgy and woke.
Mod: I can neither confirm, nor deny, the network’s direct involvement in creative decisions. But this is good, it’s very good. Would you characterize this show as woke?
Teen 5: Absolutely not. Her character was just as offensive as it would be had she been a boy. And just because the kids roll their eyes at their racist uncle, doesn’t mean the writers understand why it is his racism would be a bad thing in real life.
Teen 4: It felt like the uncle was supposed to be loveable and sympathetic, but the things he was saying weren’t even relatable.
Teen 6: A lot of random, made up stereotypes.
Teen Collective: [moderately in unison] Yeah, yeah...
Teen 7: All Asians are gay?
Teen 4: Yeah, what was that? Did a producer hear the word gaysian, and extrapolate too much from it?
Teen 3: Racism aside, I didn’t get why it was called Ya Basic. Who’s basic? It’s not the sister. That word doesn’t mean low intelligence, and I actually otherwise found her rather interesting.
Teen 5: I didn’t think she was interesting. I thought the whole thing was stupid, and I had a hard time paying attention to it. It was built like a sitcom, but it’s an hour long. It didn’t need to be. Half the time a character learned something, they repeated it again a few minutes later, as if you thought we’d forget.
Teen 1: Was there any significance to the banana? The character—and, thusly, the camera—stared at it for, like, thirty seconds.
Teen 2: Banana, banana!
Teen 6: Teen 2 is right; that was a reference to a completely different franchise, made by a different production company. I looked it up. And that one was for kids.
Teen 4: Was this one not for kids? I certainly felt too old for it.
Teen 7: I felt too young for it. Didn’t anyone else think the banana was a phallic symbol? The kid cracked a joke about his stamina right after that.
Teen 3: Oh, yeah, probably.
Mod: Okay, perfect. Thank you so much for your answers to these survey questions. This will greatly inform how we proceed with this production.
Teen 1: By proceed, do you mean stop?

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