Archive for the ‘TV Shows’ Category

A couple of quick updates. First, my article that I published previously to the blog, “Playing for Plot in the Lost and Portal Franchises” has been published in a revised version in the journal Eludamus: Journal for Computer Game Culture. Second, I’ve been playing with the metrics I discussed in my post earlier this week about “scenic rhythms,” and […]


It’s time for another chapter of Complex TV – this one focuses on questions of evaluation in television scholarship. Here’s the abstract: Television studies, as forged by the influence of cultural studies, has been loath to include critical evaluation in its toolbox, as television’s own spot on the receiving end of numerous aesthetic condemnations has […]


I finished watching the second season of Game of Thrones last night, which I enjoyed, but liked less than the first season (no spoilers forthcoming if you’re not caught up yet). I think a large part of that distinction came from how I watched them – like many, I came to season one late, bingeing on […]


It’s time for another chapter of Complex TV to go live on MediaCommons Press—this time, the topic is Transmedia Storytelling. It builds on work I have done in recent years about how television narratives expand into other media, especially around Lost and its ARGs, but very few of the chapter’s ideas have been published elsewhere. As […]


The television-obsessed corner of the Internets is burning up with discussion of Friday’s late TV news: Sony ousted Dan Harmon as Community showrunner. There are many good accounts to check out if you want the industrial details and critical analysis, like from Vulture‘s Joe Adalian, HitFix‘s Alan Sepinwall, and Macleans‘s Jaime Weinman. I want to offer a bit more […]


I’m happy to announce that the next chapter of Complex TV has been posted. It’s focused on Authorship in contemporary serial television, and I think it’s all never-before-published material. I’ve been giving a talk based on this chapter for this spring, and have been really happy with the conversation it provokes – and I do intend […]


I’m pleased to post the next chapter of Complex TV, focused on the topic of Orienting Paratexts. Here’s the abstract: Along with shifts in the television industry and technologies, viewer practices have adapted to the digital era with new developments in how people consume narrative television. This chapter explores the range of paratexts that have […]


I’d decided not to write about the pilot of Girls, the new HBO show that has either been hailed as the channel’s great comedy hope, or a crime against humanity (or maybe some middleground somewhere too). But after reading a lot of the criticism and commentary, and getting into at least four lengthy conversations on Twitter […]


Last week, the TV-themed corners of the Internets were all atwitter around a pair of interviews David Simon gave, first to The New York Times, then to Alan Sepinwall at HitFix. I won’t try to summarize them fully, but I did want to weigh in on one of Simon’s core arguments about the place of episodic criticism. […]


I have decided to use my blog here in tandem with the site for Complex TV to offer context & references for each chapter as I release them this spring/summer. I hope this is useful in both promoting readership, and making it transparent how this book is coming together out of earlier pieces and new […]


One of the main jobs of any television pilot is to teach us how to watch the series yet to come. In large part, that means establishing the key elements of the narrative: the setting, the characters, the genre, the relationships. In complex narratives, that also means setting up the storytelling hook, especially where there’s […]


Over the past day, the internet – well, at least the corner of the internet that chatters and Twitters about television – blew up around Ryan McGee’s essay on The A.V. Club, provocatively titled “Did The Sopranos do more harm than good?: HBO and the decline of the episode.” It’s a must-read for people who are […]


Recently there has been a debate raging within the film world around The Artist‘s appropriation of Bernard Hermann’s score to Vertigo (which itself appropriates Wagner), and Kim Novak’s poorly-worded attack on this act of cultural borrowing. The best response is to borrow more, as exemplified by Kevin Lee and Matt Zoller Seitz’s video remix contest at […]


Being in Germany since August, I feel quite detached from American television, even though that’s what I’m here to write and talk about. I’ve found ways to access the shows that I’m missing, but without the ease of my TiVo and the television schedule matching my timezone, I’m definitely watching less, and therefore more selectively. […]


This is a busy week for the Popular Seriality group I’m working with here in Göttingen. First, we took over In Media Res for a series of posts about seriality – my own contribution was on Wednesday, focused on Breaking Bad and how it constructs character interiority through serial memory. Head over and join the conversation! […]