Viewers are catapulted into Hannah’s world without any knowledge of her quest. As a matter of fact, Everything I Learned Came From The Television doesn’t get caught up in the nuances of the plot. The most noticeable details are in the committed performances and rich cinematography.
Hannah’s veneer of an intractable cool girl is curiously masking the reality that she’s a hostage to the omnipotent agent controlling her every move. Brittany Lynn Blanchard’s performance as the progressively unsure protagonist, Hannah, is fairly strong. Throughout, Hannah tries to reclaim the freedom she lost when she surrendered to the media, which is interesting to observe considering its associated body count.
“…she strives to break away from the domineering media machine that has consumed her.”
In reality, the marketing of cigarettes, vaping, and alcohol is extravagant, and those addictive substances are dangerous for impressionable teenagers. The media permits companies to sell a variety of ideas and products, some of which are innately toxic, but money speaks. In the context of the film, one can’t help but question Hannah’s fate if she ever did act upon the idea of abandoning the operation. Regrettably, the hurried conclusion doesn’t quite offer the unsparing punch to profoundly foreground the fear of media manipulation.
What’s better foregrounded is Ryan Alva’s cinematography, which is notably vivid. The chilling TV room is the film’s central location, and harsh hues of blue lightly pervade corners of the room, rendering it more uninviting. While the world in Everything I Learned Came From The Television is limited to Hannah’s sheltered perspective, there are instances where the outside world is presented with warmth, thus establishing a sense of hope that Hannah can cling onto as she strives to break away from the domineering media machine that has consumed her.
Everything I Learned Came From The Television is not a nuanced, let alone wholly fulfilled take on media exhaustion, but it is very precise in its figuration. The unfussy cinematography, congruous composition, patent metaphors, and well-rounded performances make for a reasonably rewarding 15-minute lesson.
"…exposes the destructive effects that media and television have on the human mind..."