Category Archives: 100205 – Secondary Sexual Characteristics

Lesson Resources – Secondary Sexual Characteristics

Many people tell us they don’t really remember what a “secondary sexual characteristic” is, which makes this a little hard to understand. That link should refresh your students’ memories.

This is a good time to mention the Media Education Foundation, which also has great, longer-form, more serious videos about many of the topics we cover. If you’re talking about representation of women in the media, representation of men in the media, or gender codes in general, they’ve got videos for you.

Keep in mind that because this episode spoofs a sex education video, if you have high school students or younger, you may find it necessary to get permission slips if you plan on screening this episode.

One Year On: A Report

When The Media Show had been in production for about a year, AfterEd TV’s managers asked me to write up a summary of the past year. This was what I wrote, covering production, publicity, and distribution. Note that our take on YouTube and deviantArt has changed in the year since.

Look at the episodes before and after this document. Did we manage to make the appropriate changes? Which parts of this assessment were correct, and which do you think were off-base?


Weekly production may be overrated.

By now, we have a good, if small, core of subscribers on YouTube and followers on Facebook. A large number of our YouTube views come from the subscriber pages. This probably means people are finding us automatically, without being reminded a new episode is up because of what day it is.
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Production: Adding more characters

In the second-to-last season of the show, we added a handful more regular characters. The Intern showed up more often; we introduced the Monster of Next Week, and we re-introduced Bryan, the show’s only regular human character.

Selling You and Secondary Sexual Characteristics feature Bryan, who originally talked about his job at a TV ratings company in the Product Placement episode. We loved Bryan’s sense of humor — that deep-kiss with Weena in the outtakes was a total surprise! — but the real reason we invited him back had more to do with the balance of the show than with individual jokes.

We thought that if we had one human character, who acted a little like a parent, it would give Erna and Weena more of a chance to be who they were, rather than going out of character to say certain lines just because the plot demanded them. With Bryan around, the girls were free to fight among themselves and just flat-out be “the angry punk” or “the fangirl.” Neither puppet would be burdened with having to give a long explanation by herself, or acting as the voice of reason.

The Intern also freed them up to do this, too; with her around, neither of the sisters would have to be the one who “didn’t get” something about the Internet or advertising. Having one hapless character be a punching bag also makes for some great gags.

And then the Monster of Next Week… well, we just kept him around because we thought he was awesome, and the fans thought so too :) One fan promised (threatened?) to come back to check and ensure the Monster Of Next Week would really be back the next week!

Take a look at some of the earlier episodes. Are there any lines which Erna or Weena say which you don’t think fit their characters, and would have been a better fit for another character? Try editing these episodes. Mix in footage of the Intern or the Monster of the Week with those lines re-recorded by you for that character (or even Bryan, if you don’t mind the dubbing being a little off). Share the re-edited versions with your peers, along with the originals. What do you think the effect is when other characters say the lines instead?

Storyboards – Secondary Sexual Characteristics

I thought visuals would be key to making it clear what we were talking about in this episode. So I had a very clear picture for how I wanted it to look. I sketched out storyboards to more clearly communicate to Nick, who was doing the cinematography.

My drawing isn’t great — if it had been better, I might have had an easier time communicating that I wanted Nick to shoot right into the front of the projector. As it was, I had to explain that verbally. Between the verbal description and the terrible sketch, I got the look I wanted.

Matt, who was helping, pointed out that this was the exact same shot used on Pee Wee’s Playhouse back in the day, at the beginning of the King of Cartoons segments! I guess I must have been channeling that.

(NOTE: This video was a parody of sex education videos, so the episode and the storyboard contain images which one might see in a sex education video. Proceed with caution.)