Jeremy Stewart’s Everything I Learned Came From The Television is a rather obvious yet well-crafted critique of media consumption. This 15-minute short film exposes the destructive effects that media and television have on the human mind. Whether the impact is subtle or overt, mass media generally tells us how to think and what to buy.
The film centers around a young woman named Hannah (Brittany Lynn Blanchard), who’s first seen staring directly at box television sets stacked next to each other in a dark, vacant room. Hannah looks to be hypnotized, as her eyes radiate a cloudy-white color and remain fixed on the TV screens. Hannah’s rum stillness is enhanced by the fitting song choice of And The Kids’ “No Way Sit Back,” making for an absorbingly cryptic introduction.
“…her eyes radiate a cloudy-white color and remain fixed on the TVs.”
It isn’t long until Hannah breaks from her trance, and shortly afterward, she’s seen inside a liquor store, only to find Morgan (Kristen Vaganos), a young woman she’s drawn to for unknown reasons. Morgan’s attempts to buy cigarettes, but says she forgot her ID. Hannah decides to purchase the cigarettes for Morgan, but she clearly has an ulterior motive, which is quickly revealed.
Hannah is tasked to wander the town and find unwary victims to use as test subjects for an unexplained quest, helmed by her boss, known only as the Protector (a brooding Josh Wingate). Hannah wields the unearthly faculty to hypnotize her victims and compel them to do whatever the mission calls for. Hannah has always been loyal to the cause, even if it did prompt a prolific body count. However, over the course of one night, Hannah finally aspires to escape the life she and her boss have become accustomed to.
"…exposes the destructive effects that media and television have on the human mind..."