Back in the Game
Have you ever had a friend send you an email that requires a response, but that comes at a bad time that you can’t find the emotional energy to invest in a reply and must put it off for a bit? And then you let it linger on your to-do list for days that become weeks that become months? And the pressure to reply with substance mounts as it gets buried in your inbox, as you feel like a simple “Greetings” won’t suffice to let them know that you still care, but cannot do the relationship justice at the moment, through no fault of their own? And then it eats away at you, knowing that you need to engage but unsure how to to make up for your lack of effort?
Welcome to my blog. An erratic but semi-substantive November, followed by a singular (yet momentous) December post. Then silence. Awkward silence. Silence that ate away at both my sense of online engagement and my readership stats. A silence that paralyzed me and my attempts to be a good blogger. Please, don’t take it personally.
But I’m back, with grading for the fall complete and a month with no immediate teaching responsibilities ahead of me. So I hope to become a regular blogger again, coupled with a fearsome push to complete the manuscript for my television textbook, complete revisions on a book chapter, write two presentations, participate in three faculty searches, prepare two courses for the spring, dedicate my fandom to the Patriots’ perfection and Celtics resurgence, catch up on some missed TV series, like Friday Night Lights and the last season of The Sopranos, and movies, enjoy the glory of Super Mario Galaxy on my new plasma TV (happy tenure!), and try to get regular exercise into my life. Something’s gotta give, I know, but I’m gearing up with ambition.
As for the blog, my first intent is to launch an ongoing discussion of season 5 of The Wire, which debuts tonight. This is the first season of what might be the greatest of all American television shows, that I will watch in weekly installments – the other 4 were consumed as a late-adopter on DVD/download. My sense is that the show is best consumed in a binge, as its slowly accruing narrative universe is well-served within a compressed environment of weeks rather than months. But I will savor my weekly rations of Baltimore, sharing impressions with any readers who are still here.
And one related aside: I’ve been semi-agnostic on the Presidential race, in part because I refuse to embrace the two-year horse race model of coverage, and in part because after Howard Dean broke my heart in 2004, I couldn’t invest myself too heavily in the primaries. But I think I found the deciding factor to sway my support: the candidates’ television preferences. Any minimal respect I had for Fred Thompson eroded upon reading that he actually likes Chris Berman, and Hillary’s choices seem too calculatedly designed to embrace trends. But for his mention of The Wire as one of his favorite shows of all time, I hereby jump on the Obama bandwagon! I want a president who has spent hours invested in David Simon’s vision of 21st century America rather than one who likes HGTV makeover shows.
Filed under: Media Politics, Meta-blogging, TV Shows | 13 Comments
Tags: The Wire
random thoughts from media scholar Jason Mittell
Check out my books:Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling How To Watch Television Television & American Culture
Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture
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