Dear TV Writers: Your Fear of the Moonlighting Curse is Killing Your Show

What is the Moonlighting Curse, and why is it such a big deal to television writers? Read this in-depth look at the crippling phenomenon and find out!

Getting Rid of the Stigma: Mental Illness in Young Adult Fiction, by Megan Mann

In this piece, Megan brilliantly discusses the stigma of mental illness in literature and how some young adult novels are helping to change the landscape for this discussion.

In Appreciation of the Everyday Heroine

A mask does not a hero make. In this piece, I discuss why it's wrong to dismiss characters without costumes or masks as superheroes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Missing the Exit (The Ends of Television Shows)


“Endings are never easy; I always build them up so much in my head they can’t possibly live up to my expectations. And I just end up disappointed. […] And even though it felt warm and safe, I knew it had to end. It’s never good to live in the past too long.” – J.D., Scrubs

It’s a known and oft-spoken cliché: “All good things must come to an end.”

The problem, of course, is that people don’t want things to end. We want to hold onto what we love and cherish as long as possible. It’s not a bad desire – it means that we’re human. We have emotions and form attachments to people and things. We even form attachments to television shows. So when we hear that they are ended or cancelled, a part of us – however small – grieves.

But how do you know when a television show should end? How do you know if and/or when a cast member or character should depart? What does this introduction paragraph have to do with Chevy Chase’s abrupt departure from Community? You’re about to find out.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Q&A Friday!


Hip, hip, hooray,
it's Q&A Friday!

We'll try something fun this week, since my last post was rather serious and political-heavy. And really, the vast majority of you aren't here for that (and if you are... sorry to disappoint). I thought that this would be a nice replacement for the blog-reviews that I am used to writing up every Friday for Community or other shows. (I swear I'm going to catch up and do some Ben and Kate and Go On reviews eventually!)

So why not just have a fun day where YOU all can participate? You're so used to reading my thoughts and opinions of shows and topics that I choose. This time, it's your turn to ask the questions. The guidelines are relatively simple -- please don't ask anything that is inappropriate. Please do not spam my inbox. Please don't ask for personal details (I won't be giving you my phone number or address, sorry!).

Other than that, you are free to ask about anything you'd like! Ask about the weather, what my favorite class in school was, what the best movie I've watched recently was, or what I'm having for lunch today. You can be as general or specific as you choose. You can ask about involvement in fandoms or what I think about gas prices.

The point is that YOU are in control this week! And, if I have enough questions, I'll try to make this a semi-weekly occurrence. So where do you send these questions? You  have two options -- drop them in the "Ask Me Anything" post, or send them in an e-mail (one e-mail per person, please!) to jenniferstasak@gmail.com.

Send in your questions all day, and by 5:30PM (EST), if I have received enough questions to do a blog post, I will create one and answer the questions.

Ask away, my darling readers! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Problem I Have With Politics (Let's Get Serious)


I don't talk about politics with people often. Or ever. It's not because I'm ashamed of what I believe or value. It's because I fear discussing opinions with people in a world of "tolerance" that's not really tolerant at all. For instance, a vocal majority of the world preaches equality -- everyone has an equal right, they say, to marry who they want, do what they want, and say what they want without judgement or reserve.

... until you have an opinion that contradicts theirs. Then you're a racist, homophobic, woman-hating pig.

Gee. Seems pretty tolerant, doesn't it? People calling each other names over social media (seriously guys, what is with that?) because someone differs with you in opinion or preference doesn't make you tolerant. If you vocalize equality and tolerance and love and respect, I expect you give it in return. Instead, people are berated, bullied, and slandered because of their beliefs and values.

It all comes to a head during election years. In these years, people put aside their love of television, their good will toward men, and their generally pleasant demeanor and bombard and attack. And not everyone is this way -- a lot of people, like myself, stay silent throughout the months leading up to an election. I'm not politically educated. I don't watch CNN or any news channel regularly. I don't listen to NPR. I'm not blue or red or Democrat or Republican.

I'm Jenn, in case you were wondering.

I'm a woman who has her own set of beliefs and who didn't vote in this election.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

IT'S A PARTY POST! (20,000 times over)


IT'S PARTY POST TIME, Y'ALL!

A little over a year ago, I had this notion that I would start a blog specifically designed to review episodes of Community. I really thought, at the time, that the only people who would read it would be me and Jaime. I was expecting to probably drop off before season three was half-over -- after all, I had pretty much given up on my other blog, due to lack of motivation and inspiration. I thought this one would be the same.

And then, in a twist of happenstance, after tweeting my "Geography of Global Conflict" review on a whim to Dan Harmon, he replied. And complimented me. And flattered me. ... and then, people began to notice the blog. It was crazy, really, to see my views jump from a handful to hundreds in a matter of hours. I profusely thanked all of you who read and stuck around because of Harmon's tweet in my first video, and decided that I'd step up my game -- I was DETERMINED to stick this blog out for the remainder of the season.

But an even crazier thing happened -- the blog took on a life of its own. Yvette Nicole Brown, Alan Sepinwall, and Megan Ganz have all read and/or promoted it, and people have found it thanks to articles and the shameless promotions of my wonderful friends. It became not something that I merely "stuck out," but truly something that I enjoyed doing. That I loved, even. And I love this little blog, despite the fact that I'm not a television critic and despite the fact that I'm not the most popular person around the blog-o-sphere. Because I've found something that makes me happy, that has connected me with friends and fans, and makes me feel involved in a fandom.

Recently, I began to expand into new territories, because I want to make my blog more than just Community reviews. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE doing my analyses of episodes, and I know you all enjoy them too. But I feel like there is so much more happening with other fandoms and shows, and music and movies that I can grow from. Community was the reason I started A Still and Quiet Conscience, and it will always have a huge impact on my life, but I know it won't be the only thing I write about here. And I hope that you all stick around to follow my adventures in writing, wherever (or whenever, eh?) they may take me. :)

For now, I can only profusely thank each of you for being a part of my life over the last year and for helping this blog reach twenty thousand views today. TWENTY THOUSAND! It just blows my mind.

What are you all just sitting around for? LET'S PARTY!



Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's a Love Story, Baby Just Say "Yes" (A Little Bit of Real-Life)


As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, this weekend was my friend and co-worker Kate's wedding. It's something that she has been looking forward to for a little over a year, planning and ironing out details. I haven't been involved in very many weddings (I haven't actually gone to very many weddings... thank you, friends of mine who haven't gotten married yet!), so this was extra-special and fun for me to watch the process from engagement to altar. Kate was a very DIY bride (she made her own bridesmaid dresses, her hairpiece, signs, centerpieces, etc.), and so I enjoyed being able to watch her put together all the details that made her day so special.

So, enjoy the journey from engagement to wedding below the cut. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 5 Personal Favorite Posts (Community, Fun Stuff, and... Community)



As we approach the milestone of 20,000 views for this blog (seriously I can't even comprehend that number), I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and talk about some of the posts that I am most proud of over this past year. I've narrowed it down to five (like Kim, I can't resist the call of a "top 5" post), so if you're ready, follow me and we'll discuss some of MY personal favorite blogs, reviews, and musings. :)