What do 30 Rock, The Simpsons and The IT Crowd have in common? Yes, sure, they’re all hilarious comedies – but along with that, they’ve all introduced us to their very own social media platforms.
Many of our favourite shows openly reference the weird and wonderful world of Facebook, Tumblr, MySpace, Twitter, Reddit, Tinder (the list could go on…) but plenty get inventive and come up with their very own, presumably to avoid the wrath of our real social media giants when storylines don’t paint them in the most positive of lights (or maybe just because it’s funny).
From Scabbit to SpringFace, finger-tagging to petri dishes full of friendship germs, where do we sign up…?
The Good Wife
Glossy legal drama The Good Wife is never far from a thinly-veiled reference to the social media sites and search engines we know and love.
One of Alicia Florrick’s biggest clients is search engine ChumHum, while her personal life has led to cringe-inducing videos appearing on clip-sharing site VidTrope. A site called Scabbit recently made an appearance too, in an episode about a man being targeted by conspiracy theorists on the web. The show even has its own version of another popular networking site, called FaceBranch.
Want to know more about Alicia’s battles with the digital big leagues? Just ChumHum it.
30 Rock’s YouFace handily rolls several of our most popular social media sites into one and comes complete with its own jargon.
We’ve got facewalls, bing-bings and fingertagging, plus pholos (a mix of photo and hello, for the uninitiated.) It might be trying to make a mockery of existing sites, but with the tagline ‘YouFace. Who are you facing?’ we reckon it would actually have a good chance of being a winner in the real world, too.
The IT Crowd
When FriendFace – “It’s basically a diseased face of friendship” – made an appearance in Graham Linehan’s Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd we knew it’d spell trouble. Jen joined up and embellished her life online (but ended up having to make it real when she was invited to a school reunion) while Roy got tangled up with an old flame and Moss couldn’t get away from his mum’s intimate status updates…
This hit animated comedy dipped a toe into made-up social media when Lisa created SpringFace in series 23 episode The D’oh-cial Network. The Simpson sibling invented the networking site as a way of making new friends, and it soon became an internet sensation. It’s very similar to a certain friend-based site – the residents of Springfield quickly become addicted to it – but instead of a wall, it has a floor…
Law and Order
The long-running US crime drama is the king of fake websites, from the charmingly-named search engine Searchling to no-strings dating via AQ (anonymousquickie.com – log on, hook up, get off). Law and Order’s main social networking site is called FaceUnion, and it isn’t half useful. The gang often pull up suspects’ and victims’ profiles and dig through their online pals…
Want to catch up with the residents of Albert Square? Well you won’t be able to poke them on Facebook or retweet them on Twitter. Ian Beale and the gang are on MatesGate instead, the soap’s very own social media network. The copy-cat website isn’t just for the EastEnders to upload their holiday selfies though, the very current investigation into the murder of Lucy Beale found new evidence via her MatesGate messages…
When Meg, Bunny and Laura returned for more mishaps, japes and embarrassing social situations on Channel 4 last year, they were all on BangR, a dating aid which bares striking similarities to a certain hook-up app. The gang were busy swiping right and left to meet men with misleading profile pictures. Meg ended up travelling MILES for a date after failing to narrow down her search distance. We’ve all been there…
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