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Becky: Hi everyone, and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com. This is Culture Class, Season 3, Lesson 11 - The Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Entertainment. I’m Becky.
Eric: And I’m Eric. We have an entertaining lesson planned for you, and we hope you love it.
Becky: We certainly learned a lot researching this lesson!
Eric: Let’s get to it!
Becky: Okay so, number 5 of our Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Entertainment is that entertainment can take many forms.
Eric: That’s right. From storytelling to football, from magic shows to fireworks, just about anything that interests you or makes you laugh can be considered entertainment.
Becky: Today there are many types of entertainment that can be found in all kinds of places.
Eric: Many years ago, entertainment was mostly going to the theater. And I don’t mean the movie theater. I mean the old Shakespearean theater.
Becky: However, with the invention of movies, the Internet, cameras, and audio recording equipment, entertainment has become a lot more accessible. A lot of the time, you don’t even have to leave your house to be entertained.
Eric: And since entertainment is now much more accessible, there are also more types of entertainment than there ever were before.
Becky: Take TV. You can see movies, sporting events, comedies, commercials, and even music concerts.
Eric: Which brings us to our next topic. Number 4 in our top 5 most important things to understand about entertainment is that there are six general categories.
Becky: Those six categories are music, games, comedy, theater/cinema/performance, literature, and sport.
Eric: Now, each of those different types of entertainment appeals more or less to different people. Beyond that, each one of these categories contains many different subcategories.
Becky: For example, under the games category, you can find old board games like monopoly, paper games like tic-tac-toe, as well as computer games like World of Warcraft. You can play Solitaire with cards or on a computer, but either way you’re still in the games category.
Eric: Now we did kind of group theater, cinema, and performance into one category. This might seem odd, because they are very different. Movies need certain technology, like cameras, projectors, and microphones, that theater doesn’t need at all. Movies don’t change, no matter how many times you play them. But even if you go to a play every night, things will be different. The actor might give a riveting performance one night, he might fall off the stage the next night.
Becky: However, theater and cinema are essentially the same; actors acting to tell a story. That’s why we put them in the same category.
Eric: The same thing happens with sports. There are many types of sports. For example, some of the obvious ones would be American football, soccer, basketball, track and field, but it also includes things like hunting, weightlifting, and car racing.
Becky: Now, as we said before, many years ago not all of these different categories existed. Which brings us to our next point.
Eric: Number 3 in our top 5 most important things to understand about entertainment is that it changes.
Becky: And this is really a very important thing to understand about entertainment. Sometimes we think that entertainment and what other people consider entertainment is static, or that it doesn’t change. It will always be the same.
Eric: However, entertainment changes according to many different factors. Technology is one of the big factors. For example, in larger cities in the United States you have large city orchestras. All of those instruments had to be invented and, at some point in our history, they didn’t exist.
Becky: So, in other words, no one could enjoy the sound of a drum or a flute if there was no such thing as a drum or a flute.
Eric: The two most obvious examples today, especially in the United States, are movies and video games. Video games in particular have become so popular in the United States that just making them is a multibillion dollar industry.
Becky: Which brings us to our next point. Number 2 in our top 5 most important things to understand about entertainment is that it’s an industry. In other words, it’s a business where people produce or manufacture something. Some people make money and some lose money.
Eric: That may seem odd, especially since entertainment is supposed to be all about “fun.” In general, entertainment is meant to relax people. So, after a long day working, entertainment helps individuals to relax and rest at night.
Becky: What it takes to relax someone is different from one person to the other and even from one day to another. For example, one night I might want to read a book but another night I’d rather watch a movie or go play soccer with my friends.
Eric: But those things require a lot of time and money behind the scenes. For example, in order for me to have movies to watch, someone needs to come up with a script, another person has to find the money to make it, someone has to find the actors, the actors have to act, and so on.
Becky: The same thing is true for sports, music, or even video games. Someone needs to make them first, before anyone can be entertained by them. But since there are so many people in the world, that means there’s a lot of money that people will pay in order to be entertained.
Eric: But we should note that most of the time when someone says “the entertainment industry,” they are talking about mass media.
Becky: This means the companies that make hugely popular products that make a lot of money, especially if they make movies, TV, music, and video games. We’re going to be talking a lot about them throughout the series.
Eric: I hope all of that makes sense. I remember when I was younger I used to get frustrated with the entertainment companies and movie companies because they would keep making movies that I didn’t want to watch and make video games that were too violent or too boring for my taste.
Becky: That’s how I used to think too, until I realized that many of those games weren’t actually made for me. A lot of people in the entertainment businesses are making things that they think the most amount of people will like or find interesting. That means a lot of the time they make that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Eric: Yes, that’s why almost every actor is really good-looking or why you see a lot of violence in movies. These are things that everyone likes or is intrigued by, and since entertainment is an industry, that means more money for these businesses.
Becky: Now, when I go looking to find a movie to watch, I treat it like going to the supermarket.
Eric: Oh really?
Becky: Yeah. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of movies that I will never want to watch, just like there are hundreds of types of food I will never eat. I pick what I want. But when I go to the supermarket to buy strawberries and all the strawberries are rotten, or gone, or unripe, then I just don’t get strawberries. I get something else.
Eric: And that’s how you choose movies?
Becky: Exactly. If I want to watch a comedy, and I can’t find any good comedies, then I might watch an action movie or a drama. Just because the movie is a comedy, doesn’t mean that it will be good and that I will like it. Just like if the strawberry is rotten I’m not going to eat it.
Eric: Still I think you would be upset if you went to a supermarket and they were only selling strawberries. Which brings us to Number 1 in our top 5.
Becky: That’s right! Number 1 in our top 5 most important things to understand about entertainment is that it is meant to be entertaining.
Eric: Why is that number one? That seems kind of obvious.
Becky: And it should be obvious. That’s what it’s supposed to be. The reason we’ve put that as number one is because sometimes the “entertaining” part can get lost or forgotten.
Eric: What exactly is defined as "entertaining" is completely left up to you. For some of you, documentaries are entertaining and for others romance novels are entertaining, and for others, dance performances are entertaining.
Becky: In fact, for most of you, all of those things are probably entertaining at some point. The reason we mention that entertainment should be entertaining and we've put it at our number 1 is because you need to find what's entertaining to you and enjoy it.
Eric: That's right. You'll often meet people who will tell you that certain movies, music genres, or novels are more important or better than others for whatever reason. And in certain contexts, they may be right.
Becky: For example, if you’re a professional movie critic, you should know quite a bit about movies and how to analyze them, and can judge which movies are well-made. In fact, movie critics are often highly trained in what they do.
Eric: But if you just want to have fun, you don't need to know all of that. You just need to know what you like.
Becky: For example, there’s a TV show I watch almost every day. The format looks like a newsroom and the host pretends to be a new anchor. However, since he's a comedian, everything he says is meant to be funny, not factual.
Eric: Okay.
Becky: Some of my friends and family were actually disappointed in me because I watch this program. They don't think it's a good show and don't think he's funny, and therefore, don't think I should be watching it. But I do think it's funny, so I watch it.
Eric: And that's our tip. In the end, entertainment is more about you and what you like than about businesses, movie genres, pop stars, or famous books. Okay, that’s all for this lesson.
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Eric: Bye!