12 thoughts on “A Defense of Snark

  1. This is why I frequently use the term “filmmakers” rather than “costume designer” when I’m talking about who is making decisions on costume movies/TV. Because I know that often, the costume designer is told what to do!

    1. Right! I think it’s easy to loose track of WHO is actually calling the shots, when you see some of the truly hideous stuff that gets passed off as costume. For instance, I’m 99% certain that the reason the costumes of The Tudors, especially in the first few seasons, was so horrific was because the producers could give a shit and had provided almost no budget for a cast that was going to be spending a significant amount of time naked anyway.

    2. Or the generically all-purpose “they” — meaning, every damn person involved in the production. Because you never really know. Sometimes it’s the director’s wack-a-doodle Artistic Vision (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” is an opera!), but sometimes the story was written as a riff on history before the director got to it. Sometimes (esp. with TV; hello The CW & “Reign”), market forces are more at play, & you have studios & producers giving creative advice. And then, at the last minute, sometimes an actor refuses to wear a certain thing that was lovingly crafted in a period fashion (Raquel Welch in “Three Musketeers”). Doesn’t make it right, but each production does have it’s own story.

      And because they’re in the public arena, they are fair game for snark, IMNSHO.

  2. I think snark is absolutely legitimate in a context of the film/TV industry. So I basically agree with everything that was said in this post.

    That said: how will I deal with my withdrawals now that Snark Week is coming to an end? I’m at a loss. Can I suggest a recurring snark post, maybe weekly (e.g. Snark Sunday/Saturday in the spirit of TBT. Or any day, but alliterations are go)?

    Anyway, thank you for this week and all the snark! Your (all three of course) make posts that are interesting, often informative and make me laugh so I can ask for not much more.

    1. Thank you for enjoying Frock Flicks! And we will try to incorporate more SW type posts going forward because we also have been enjoying the heck out of all the discussion here and on Facebook!

  3. Responsibly directed snark is amazing, useful, and hilarious. I ditto the request for continued snark, as I have not laughed that hard in a long time. This week has been glorious!!

  4. Your Snark Week has filled my Regretsy Void. Please don’t stop! Snark on, you beautiful bitches!

  5. As modern media consumers, I think it’s our right and even our responsibility to feed back to media producers with our experience of their product, and snark in this case should be considered the same as satire. As Trystan says, once their creation is released into the public arena then it’s free to be responded to and against. As per the recent discussions about free speech and terrorism, this is a case of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, but at the same time that doesn’t stop me from disapproving publically, loudly and colourfully ;-)

  6. I spent my early career as a historical interpreter and became a colonial American history professor who teaches in period clothing and uses historical objects, films and music in my classes. I am on a research sabbatical this semester and am really missing the more playful historian I am when I’m in a classroom so I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that you have written in the last week! But one of the things I do as a professor is teaching my students to carefully assess all source material around them and those assessments can take many forms, whether it’s the formal criticism of an academic article or more lighthearted (but still carefully thought out) pieces like these. And yes, I think these are necessary skills for anyone to have.

  7. Long live the snark! Mostly because I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

    As you said, “please snark responsibly”. Like most good comedy, you are punching up, not down. Media is fair game for criticism, especially when it is presented as history.

  8. I think snark can be bad sometimes, but I think what you’re doing is fine and funny. You have a set goal, which is a critique of how historically accurate the costumes/designs are, but you can also separate that from just having fun. And you never come across as mean, at least not to me, just precise. (Like when I do Dickens Fair in the Adventurer’s Club, and one of the ladies points something out to me about my dress/outfit that could be better or fixed. It’s not mean or cruel, it’s just saying, “Hey, you missed a spot there.”)

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