Recently in Features Category

Oprah to blame for reality TV?

 Today, I read a very interesting feature by Wendy Kaminer in The Atlantic. The feature discusses that Oprah is one of the reasons why we have so many reality TV shows these days.
 The feature would be a good example of a entertainment piece, showing how a show like Oprah's could give us other media such as reality TV shows.
 Kaminer mentions that the recent White House party crashing episode and the fact that they were up for a reality TV show could be because of shows like Oprah's
 Kaminer explains that shows like Oprah's bring on people that have issues and make them public, so other will know their experience. However, because of the people who watched the guest felt bad for them, they as Kaminer put it "encouraged the practice of self-promotion."
  One example that Kaminer shows is that a girl comes onto Oprah and says that she is ugly. Oprah and the experts talk about her self-esteem and you can see the girl sit there love every single second that they are talking about her.
  The main point is that all of these shows bring in people with problems, and although they tell the whole world about their problem, most enjoy being in the spotlight.
   The story overall was good, but some of the language used was a little heavy. Also I did not think the story flowed as well as it should have.


Cooking for a Chef

  I read this cool feature by Ryan D' Agostino in the recent Esquire. The feature is based around D' Agostino's experience trying to cook dinner for famed chef Thomas Keller.
  The setting of the dinner is inside a small apartment with D' Agostino and his brother. In the beginning they are both rushing to finish the meal before Keller arrives to the apartment. At one point D' Agostino's brother Mike is only in his boxers cooking dinner, but he will not take a shower because he wants the kitchen to look perfect.
  We are taken through the feature into what the brothers felt as they tried to prepare a great meal for the "greatest chef in the world" according to D' Agostino. They are nervous what he will think as they have worked all day preparing this meal.
  Once Keller arrives, he makes it right to the kitchen to help out cooking the dinner. While in the kitchen Keller begins to teach the brothers the importance of cooking and why cooking is such a cool job to have.
   Although this is a story about cooking for the greatest chef, it is more about profiling what kind of man Keller is. The feature goes into detail on what Keller looks like, and how he asks around the kitchen when he is working, bringing the audience into the mind of a chef.
   The feature is very well written, and I enjoyed how the  author put the dialog between all of them into different paragraphs. Also i liked that D' Agostino used their abbreviations the second time he quoted them.

April Fools Joke Becomes Real

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  I came across this feature by Rob Walker on the New York Times website, and it caught 
my attention. The story is about a company that comes up with April Fools Day products to 
sell" on their website.

  The feature begins with a recap of some of the products that ThinkGeek's has produced in 
the  past on April Fools Day. Some examples are Squeez Bacon and Surgestix Inhalable 
Caffeine Stix.

  Walker says, although the costumers could not buy the products on April Fools Day, some 
have demanded that the products be made from what they saw on the site. The recent 
example of this was the demanded for the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag.

   This story is part of popular culture because many people like to do pranks on April Fools 
Day, and also that this product is from Star Wars, which is a very popular film. This feature 
fits in well with a consumer piece, giving the audience ideas on what to buy for the holiday 

 The bag is inspired by the movie "The Empire Strikes Back", when Han Solo saves Luke by
slicing into an animals body, and sticking Luke inside for warmth. The design of the bag 
represents this animal, to which Walker calls "Absurd..(but) also pretty much irresistible."
 The sleeping bag was one of the fake products put on the website, but after people 
demanded it, the company talked to LucasFilms about producing the product. LucasFilms 
agreed and now its selling on the website for $99. 

  Overall the feature was well written, but toward the end the quotes and the authors opinion 
becomes confusing. The author would use a quote and then say something inside of that 
quote using (this). 


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