Posts tagged with "analysis"

Netflix's Bridgerton illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Bridgerton, Netflix’s Take on a Period Piece

By Dana Feeney

“Bridgerton,” a dramatic and sexually charged period piece, is the first show of Shonda Rhimes‘ highly anticipated slate of content from her $150 million deal with Netflix. The showrunner Chris Van Dusen‘s adaptation of Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” novels takes classic period piece tropes and turns them on their head. The show maintains the formality of 1800s Regency age England with courtship, elegant, bejeweled costuming, and a heavy emphasis on the value of a young woman’s modesty while contrasting it with sexual tension so thick one could cut it with a knife. The eight-episode series premiered on Netflix on December 25, 2020, and has remained in the Top 10 in the United States, currently at number two.

The first season focuses on the love story of Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page. The characters spend their season enduring taunts from the anonymous Lady Whistledown, voiced by Julie Andrews, who reports the scathingly hot tea on anyone who slips up. Due to her brother’s actions, her competition, and Lady Whitstledown’s rumor mill, Daphne finds herself alone and without any viable options for an amicable marriage. These circumstances lead to the juiciest part of the story– Daphne and the Duke. The pair conspire to fake courtship and trick Lady Whistledown into reporting their love so Daphne can find a husband and the Duke can avoid all of the mothers trying to arrange his marriage with their daughters. What starts as a mutually advantageous deal for both quickly grows into a torrid love affair.

Unlike most period pieces, the producers chose to honor talent and diversity over historical accuracy. The series portrays many people of color in high places of authority, as well as mixed into the Royal Court and as tradespeople, despite the white-washed reality of 1800s British royalty. Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, was of mixed descent, the daughter of an African woman and Alphonso III of Portugal. In this story, her union with King George III leads to the inclusion of other races in proper London society. Other notable characters of color are the Lady Danbury, played by Adjoa Andoh, a widowed woman of high social status, the Duke of Hastings, one of the most eligible bachelors despite being unwilling to marry, and Marina Thompson, played by Ruby Barker, who’s beauty rivals that of the main character.

Shonda Rhimes has become one of the most successful showrunners in the game and uses this position to celebrate diversity and interracial relationships on television. Her older content approaches race in a far more color-blind fashion, unlike her more recent work with both ABC and Netflix. “Bridgerton” comes with the recognition that the characters’ social standings come with their racial identities, instead of creating a theoretically color-blind world.

Shondaland, as a production company, has a deep portfolio when it comes to diversity and inclusion. More specifically, they highlight black women across all of their content; including Miranda Bailey, Maggie Pierce, and Catherine Fox in “Grey’s Anatomy,” Annalise Keating, and Michaela Pratt in “How to Get Away with Murder,” Victoria Hughes in “Station 19,” and Olivia Pope in “Scandal.” “Bridgerton” is no different as three black women are prominent characters: The Queen, Lady Danbury, and Marina Thompson.

At first, their love story seems predictable, but in true Shonda Rhimes fashion, every obstacle that could stand in the way of a character’s happiness absolutely will. As with the other shows she has helmed, Shonda Rhimes pulls every heartstring she can find while giving the audience just enough of what they want to keep them on the edge of their seats. Throughout the series, Lady Danbury carefully plays matchmaker to help bring Simon and Daphne together again and again throughout the ups and downs of their relationship.

Simon also receives counsel from his close friend Will Mondrich, a black boxer, played by Martins Imhangbe, and his wife Alice Mondrich, played by Emma Naomi. As a couple, they are the antithesis of the Duke because they are poor and lack class status but are rich in love and family. In the eight episodes, Van Dusen and Rhimes create three-dimensional characters whose conflicts span complex issues such as love versus duty, race, class, sexuality, and childhood trauma. At times the flashbacks used to force character development feel rushed, but overall, it does create a deeper understanding of the characters’ inner worlds.

“Bridgerton” dives wholeheartedly into the social, emotional, and sexual lives of its characters. Any viewer familiar with other Shondaland shows knows they do not shy away from passionate scenes or sensitive topics, but all of their prior content was limited by network television decency standards. The genre tends to be chaste and formal, but this series allows its characters drugs, alcohol, passionate sex, explosive arguments, and an attempted rape scene. Instead of maintaining eloquent composure shown in shows like “The Crown” (another Netflix Original), the flirtation and frustration between characters are all too familiar to real life as not even the Queen is above gossip, manipulation, and meddling.

The soundtrack and editing lend heavily to the tension development in scenes that will make your heart ache throughout the series. The soundtrack is another well done modern inclusion that defies the period piece genre with instrumental versions of songs by Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and more. The eloquent juxtaposition of the classic string instruments and modern pop songs creates a familiarity that draws the viewer deeper into the world.The ballroom scene scored with a Vitamin String Quartet cover of Shawn Mendes’ song “In My Blood” hits every musical and emotional beat as the camera cuts closer and closer, the background blurs, and the music swells. Expertly, tension builds with inside jokes, the brush of hands, and the change of attention from the world around to only seeing each other.

For anyone seeking binge-worthy entertainment during these quarantine days, “Bridgerton” is on Netflix here, and its soundtrack is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and iTunes, find it here. The next season is not yet confirmed by Netflix, but it is rumored to be in development according to What’s On Netflix. Shondaland’s next project with Netflix is a documentary drama series called “Inventing Anna,” which is set to release early 2021.

Streaming, tv, film, Nielsen story illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

STREAMING PLATFORMS LEADING THE WAY 

IN ON-SCREEN DIVERSE REPRESENTATION

Diversity at all-time high due to growing television landscape but notable disparities persist

The explosion of new television platforms across broadcast, streaming and cable has led to an increase in on-screen representation of diverse identity groups, according to Nielsen’s latest Diverse Intelligence Series report: Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV. 

Among the 300 most-viewed programs in 2019, 92% had some level of diversity in the cast (i.e. women, people of color or LGBTQ+). Whites, African Americans and LGBTQ+ had the largest overall share of screen while Women, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans were underrepresented relative to their population estimates. The report uncovers notable differences in identity group representation across different platforms; with streaming over-indexing on representation for certain identity groups versus traditional broadcast and cable.

In this report, Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV, Nielsen reports on scripted, reality, variety and news programming on key metrics: 

  • Share of Screen (SOS): composition of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program
  • Inclusion Opportunity Index (IOI): compares the SOS of an identity group (e.g. women) to their representation in population estimates
  • Inclusion Audience Index (IAI): compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in a program’s audience.

The report is powered by Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, a new solution delivering cutting-edge metrics created from Gracenote content metadata and Nielsen audience measurement data, providing the industry with consistent and reliable measurement of granular viewing. The report also leverages Gracenote Video Descriptors, metadata relating to story, mood, character, theme and scenario in each program. 

Key insights from the report include:

Overall, representation of diverse identity groups in on-screen programming is low across all media platforms. Streaming fares better for inclusion followed by broadcast and cable. Viewing audiences are increasingly seeking content that tells their stories. As a result, people are migrating to platforms that have broad and more diverse content offerings. 

  • Representation by platform (Broadcast, Cable, Streaming): Nearly one-third of the content on cable doesn’t have parity representation of Indigenous, People of Color (Black, Native American, Asian & Pacific islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle eastern/ North African, Multiracial), Women or LGBTQ talent. 
  • Subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represents several identity groups e.g. Blacks, Hispanic and Asians well, helping us understand, in part, why more diverse audiences are subscribing to streaming services than the general population.
  • Representation of identity groups by genre (e.g. comedy, drama, news): 
    • While women are not well represented in any single genre, the highest representation for women is in science fiction, drama, comedy and horror. 
    • Women have the lowest representation in news. 
    • People of color representation is at parity in music and drama, followed by science fiction and action and adventure.  
    • People of color have least relative representation in news. 
    • News does prominently feature LGBTQ talent on-screen. 
    • Reality and horror programming also prominently feature LGBTQ talent. 

All audiences, regardless of how they identify, like to see diversity in the content they view on TV. Programs that represent multiple identity groups evenly yield higher overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.  

Quality of representation matters too. The themes and narratives depicted on-screen can contribute to identity formation and social perceptions. As the industry seeks to improve diversity on-screen, content creators and publishers should consider the context in which women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ talent are presented. Equally important is investing in marketing those diverse programs so that they are watched.

  • Women insights
    • Comprise 52% of the U.S. population; show up on screen only 38% of the time
    • Women 50+ years old 
      • 60% less likely to see themselves in programming than in the general population, and 2x the representation of men 50+
      • Women 50+ comprise 20% of the population and 20% of all TV viewers, but have a SOS of less than 8%
      • Men 50+ years old are 17% of the total population and have SOS of 14%
  • LGBTQ+ insights
    • 1 out of 4 top performing programs across cable, broadcast and streaming have relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members 
    • Total SOS for LGBTQ was 7%. LGBTQ people are 4.5% of the population so across all platforms we see fair representation
    • The highest level of representation is on SVOD (8% SOS), followed by cable (7%) then broadcast (5%). 

Aligning representative casting and content themes is an area of opportunity. In the programming where identity groups see themselves represented at parity, these are the themes that are most present: 

  • Latinas: dysfunction, emotional, suspenseful, melodramatic, police stations
  • Black women: emotional, personal relationships, sons, investigation, rivalry
  • Black men: investigation, thrilling, streets, pursuit, teamwork, discovery
  • East Asians: challenge, courage and bravery, justice, sons, discovery
  • South/Southeast Asian males: thrilling, awakening, offices, courtrooms
  • White women: friendship, family, love, husbands, daughters

Nielsen’s findings aim to show media owners the degree to which their programming is inclusive, coupled with the diversity of the audience they draw. Additionally, brands and agencies will now be able to measure their advertising investment and alignment to inclusive content. The identity groups measured included: Female, Male & Expansive Gender Identities, Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian & Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/North African, Multiracial, White, Native American/Native Alaskan, and Sexual Orientation. The data, which was both intersectional and granular, enables Nielsen to look at specific identity subsegments like Afro-Latino or Southeast Asian. 

“At Nielsen, we believe that the audience is everything and that inclusion is a prerequisite of a healthy media ecosystem, ensuring all communities and individuals are heard and seen,” stated Tina Wilson, Nielsen EVP, Media Analytics and Marketing Outcomes. “The call for inclusive programming that breaks traditional stereotypes and gives a voice to underrepresented groups has never been louder.”

“This work underscores the essential importance of on-screen representation in an increasingly diverse audience landscape,” said Sandra Sims-Williams, Nielsen SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Not only is the business case for inclusion made but it also provides practical recommendations on how media companies can address inclusion gaps. This is a must-read for any media professional who wants to be part of the change that today’s television viewers demand.”

For more details and insights, download Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation & Inclusion on TV. Please visit nielsen.com/inclusionanalytics to learn more. Join the discussion on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and follow us on Twitter (@NielsenKnows).

ABOUT NIELSEN 

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

“PANDEMIC!” – New Slavoj Žižek Book

The Book:

As an unprecedented global pandemic sweeps the planet, who better than the supercharged Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek to uncover its deeper meanings, marvel at its mind-boggling paradoxes and speculate on the profundity of its consequences?

We live in a moment when the greatest act of love is to stay distant from the object of your affection. When governments renowned for ruthless cuts in public spending can suddenly conjure up trillions. When toilet paper becomes a commodity as precious as diamonds. And when, according to Žižek, a new form of communism – the outlines of which can already be seen in the very heartlands of neoliberalism – may be the only way of averting a descent into global barbarism.

Written with his customary brio and love of analogies in popular culture (Quentin Tarantino and H. G. Wells sit next to Hegel and Marx), Žižek provides a concise and provocative snapshot of the crisis as it widens, engulfing us all.

Purchase “PANDEMIC!” HERE

The Author:

Slavoj Žižek is one of the most prolific and well-known philosophers and cultural theorists in the world today. His inventive, provocative body of work mixes Hegelian metaphysics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxist dialectic in order to challenge conventional wisdom and accepted verities on both the left and the right.

The Praise:

“An impressive feat… [Žižek] at his most powerful.” —  The Guardian

“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” — The New Yorker

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” — Adam Kirsch, The New Republic

Key to Auto Dealer Satisfaction

As auto dealers confront a rapidly changing consumer landscape in which many customers now apply for credit online before visiting a dealership, the experienced and empowered credit and sales personnel at captive and non-captive lenders are becoming critical elements in the success of an automotive finance operation. According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study,SM the ability to answer dealer questions correctly the first time, facilitate electronic transactions and resolve contracts quickly is key to helping dealers successfully navigate the changing marketplace.

“Dealers are able to put together more attractive, seamless transactions for their customers when they are able to work in lock-step with lenders they trust to deliver fast, accurate and competitive products,” said Jim Houston, Senior Director, Automotive Finance Intelligence at J.D. Power. “That relationship becomes more important as vehicle sales slow and more buyers may seek to secure financing outside of the dealership. Credit analysts and sales personnel perform some of the most important functions for dealers looking to match customers purchase with the right financial transaction. When these teams are available, knowledgeable and empowered, they improve dealer satisfaction and enhance the lender’s value proposition.”

The 2019 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on 16,870 retail credit and 2,117 floor plan provider evaluations from dealer personnel, a 17% increase in response rate from the 2018 study. The study was fielded in April-May 2019, measuring auto dealer satisfaction in three segments of lenders: non-captive, captive mass market and floor planning. The non-captive analysis evaluates the dealer/lender relationship across three factors: relationship; provider offerings; and application/approval process. In the captive segment, four factors are evaluated: relationship; provider offerings; application/approval process; and lease return. Three factors are measured in the floor planning segment: relationship; portfolio management; and provider credit line.

Pirelli: World Leader in Sustainability

Results of annual review

Pirelli is the world leader in Sustainability in the Auto Components sector on the Dow Jones World and Europe indices. This is the result that emerged from the annual review of the indices conducted by RobecoSam and S&P Dow Jones and which will take effect from September 24th. Pirelli recorded a total score of 81 points compared with the sector average of 32. Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones sustainability indices are among the most important market indices regarding sustainability at the world level. Involving over 2,000 companies from 60 industrial sectors, the analysis is based on the integrated evaluation of economic, environmental and social factors, that are the three aspects which define the concept of sustainability in terms of enduring value creation for all stakeholders.

The Economist x Midterms

Today The Economist launched its first real-time midterm model, which uses statistical forecasting to predict how many seats in the House of Representatives each party is likely to win in this year’s US midterm elections.

View the model here:

Applying cutting-edge machine-learning techniques to political science, the model combines information from polling, past elections, special elections, fundraising, ideology and “fundamental” factors like the economy and incumbency.  It has been trained on every election cycle since 1942 and nearly 6,500 historical district races. The model will conduct 4.35 million simulated elections every day until the vote, live-updating to incorporate up-to-the-minute data.

The Economist’s midterm model currently predicts that Democrats have a 2 in 3 (or 65%) chance of taking the House, and holding an average of 222 seats, or 4 more than is needed for a majority.  It shows that there is a 95% chance that the Democrats will hold between 206 and 241 seats.

The Economist’s data team plans to launch a similar model to forecast Senate results later in the year once primaries are complete and more polls become available.

Find out more about The Economist’s midterm model here.