Out-of-context Twitter accounts keep your favorite shows alive online
The joy of Parks and Recreation will never leave me, not even in the dark corners of Twitter. It’s a strange yet reaffirming thought for me and the other 166,000 people who follow the "out of context parks" account.
As its name suggests, the account takes scenes from the beloved NBC comedy and posts them without any context, leaving it up to the reader to interpret the meaning.
While not affiliated with the network or the show officially, it is still part of a burgeoning trend on the social media platform. Pop culture-based out-of-context accounts have been popping up all over the place in the last few years.
From iconic TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer to critical faves like The Good Place, from Marvel movies to recent Oscar nominee The Favourite, there are out-of-context pages devoted to all kinds of entertainment.
The basic principle boils down to the same thing: posting close captioned screenshots without additional comment. The jokes really just needs to be taken at face value and are actually the perfect buffer from a sullen cycle of bad news and bad tweets.
Why wouldn’t I want to be interrupted by Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt in the middle of my mindless Twitter scroll? As a lover of obscure board games and Adam Scott being nerdy, Cones of Dunshire will always warrant my attention.
Kaysi Long created the Parks account in the summer of 2017. She told Mashable she was inspired by a similar account dedicated to cult favorite Buffy.
"I thought it'd be fun to do the same thing for a TV show I love," she shared via email. She noticed the engagement started picking up heavily within the first 6 months.
Long binged the show and took several screen caps along the way. "I have a ton saved up now so I haven’t had to spend too much time watching it again and again. How I decide what to post is usually pretty random," she said. The exception is when there's really something timely to share.
The allure of out-of-contexts as they pertain to movies, TV, games, comic books or even people (who can say no to even more ways of taking in John Mulaney's humor) stems from the need to consume content repeatedly and quickly.
It's also the simplest form of a throwback.
When I discovered the out-of-context account for The Office, another all-time favorite, I spent a joyous 15 minutes laughing as I recalled the specific details of every post. This post got me so much that I immediately felt the need to revisit the opening of Season 4's "Money" and listen to the opening music, which is indeed very cheerful.
The concept of sharing a singular moment of dialogue goes way back. First it was posting quotes or even lyrics without any context on AIM or Facebook, and now it's as Instagram captions. It's ~cool~ and fun.
Twitter out-of-context humor is a whole other ballgame. It can be fleeting and varied, taking the most basic lines and proclaiming them to be entertaining.
For example, @NYTMinusContext tweeted nothing but random verbatim phrases from various New York Times articles. It amassed 205,000 followers in it's almost 5 years of existence. It's easy to see why.
In its more recent wave, this format gets a visual and cultural makeover. The image elevates the comedy, and it speaks to our need of dissecting pop culture at a minute level.
Twitter provides the means to do this easily.
A scene stripped down to its barest form will still come off as amusing. Emma Stone's maniacal "Fuck! fuck! fuck! fuck!" is a real mood, regardless of whether or not you've seen The Favourite.
Out-of-context accounts indirectly share a purpose: to reel you in. I started following "out of context bojack horseman" early last year without having ever seen BoJack Horseman. After liking enough tweets, I knew I had to prioritize checking this comedy off of my Netflix queue.
If just the screenshots were enough to crack me up, the entire show would definitely win me over, right? Reader, it did.
It proves out-of-context humor can please anyone and doubles as a great way to lure you into learning more about its original source.
This formula even got an official Netflix stamp of approval. To promote its original witty teen drama Sex Education, the streaming platform created a verified no context account for this extremely quotable show.
They wanted the scenes to resonate with fans and to make the people who hadn't seen the show feel the FOMO. It's a great way to keep the fandom growing, as the account's 98,000 followers show.
Famed comic book writer Gail Simone, known for her work with Deadpool and Birds of Prey, is a Twitter aficionado who has created several "ridiculous" conversation-starter pop culture hashtags, including #lackofcontexttheater in 2017.
"I love that you say something absurd, and soon, hundreds, maybe thousands of people who get the joke jump in and add to it," she told Mashable.
In this case, she wanted to point out the weird writing of comic books that, devoid of contextual panels around it, sometimes hint at mysterious psychosexual horrors and kinks. "There’s an entire 1940’s story where Batman and the Joker spend the entire issue talking about boners, and you can’t help but laugh."
Simone didn't think her hashtag would blow up the way it did but even after a couple of years, the underlying trend holds up. "I went back and read all of the tweets and they made me laugh all over again," she shared.
"It’s simply a matter of seeing something familiar and wholesome and imagining there's more to it."
It is funny to imagine an unseen world where Batman is really obsessed with Joker’s constant boners. That's why folks are so involved with the hashtag. And that's why they're so involved with the entire trend of pop culture out-of-context accounts.
Everyone gets to be in on and enjoy the joke, even if they're not fully familiar with its genesis.
via Mashable https://ift.tt/2DCFv97
March 12, 2019 at 12:32PM