Tag Archives: television

TV: Spinoffs, Universe Extensions and a New Approach to TV Scheduling

The recent development of a Once Upon a Time spinoff, Once: Wonderland, has struck a thought for me. Network TV is dealing with a few issues: summer scripted shows struggle with the ‘summer ghetto’ preconception that summer shows are predestined to fail, despite cable seeing success in those months; meanwhile, 22-episode seasons of shows, despite occasionally struggling to be relevant for that entire run, are struggling to retain viewers for the full season thanks to regular hiatuses.

What if there were a smart way to extend good shows, remove in-season hiatuses and strengthen the summer season so that it could potentially become a viable concept?

Now you’re listening.

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TV: Emmy Nomination Predictions

Every year, I pay much more attention to the Emmy Awards than they deserve. I sometimes wonder what that is – why, for example, I always celebrate nomination day by going out and getting an ice cream cone for myself. And I think the reason is this:

As a prospective television writer, I have a huge appreciation for television performers. And as a fan of television, even moreso. These people, week in and week out, build characters that we let into our homes through their skill, effort and natural charisma, supported and partnered with the writers, directors and crew around them. The awards themselves may seem meaningless, but damn, it’s nice to see their word rewarded anyhow.

So, my predictions, after going through the ballot and ranking them in what I see as likelihood of nomination…

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TV: Summer TV Catch Up 2012

Who else waits for the summer season to catch up on the great, or merely good, shows they didn’t have time for in-season? Summer is the time for shows that didn’t merit a weekly slot in the fall, shows you watched every week but fell behind on and never caught up, classic shows you’ve never had the chance to see, one season wonders… Lots to see for Summer Catch Up 2012!

What will I be trying to catch up on?

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TV: Ambition as a Character Trait

“Even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary. You get hungry even though you’ve just eaten. […] But what is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness. I won’t settle for 50% of anything. I want 100%.” – Don Draper, Mad Men 5×12, “Commissions and Fees”.

“I want everything too much.” – Rachel Berry, Glee 1×08, “Mash-Up”

There’s something really powerful about looking at a television character and seeing yourself. It’s a powerful feeling, of being recognised and legitimised by something greater than you. It goes right down to basic representation of minorities and women, sure, but it effects every viewer whose life is depicted, represented, on screen. How those traits are expressed are a reflection of societal attitudes of people, and what they mean for those being depicted.

So in the wake of the most recent Mad Men, which had lots to talk about, I’d like to talk about the element that worked like a mirror, showing me a reflection of myself, and how that trait is depicted in television: ambition.

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TV: Canadian TV, Piracy, and an International Audience

I know more British people who’ve watched Durham County than Canadians.

Do you even know what Durham County is? Yeah, I thought so,

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WRITING: Toronto Screenwriting Conference 1, Linwood Boomer (via Twitter)

Over the weekend bridging March and April, I attended the Toronto Screenwriting Conference. It was a fantastic experience, with talks by figures like Graham Yost (showrunner of Justified), Linwood Boomer (showrunner of Malcolm in the Middle), and Dean DeBlois (co-writer and director of How to Train Your Dragon). I livetweeted the entire weekend, and I was amazed at all the nuggets of gold in there, especially about the culture of working in a staff.

My livetweets from the first session, after the jump…

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MEDIA: Why Crowdsourcing is Awesome

I’m a huge proponent of crowdsourcing funding for creative projects. With Kickstarter getting projects that hit a million dollars, plus others like IndieGoGo growing at a steady pace, crowdsourcing is bigger than ever, and steadily growing. But why is this a good thing?

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TV: Raising Hope, Sabrina, and Mad Pride

On television, there’s really only a couple of stories available for themes of mental disorder or mental illness. There’s the crazy psycho, who has schizophrenia (or just an ‘unknown mental disorder’, a la Tyler Barrol of Revenge), and is a danger to anyone and everyone they come across. They are serial killers, rapists, kidnappers… you name it. There’s the tragic guest star, who just wants to have a life but can’t because her disorder (and these characters are typically women) gets in the way. Those… are pretty much it. And a ‘crazy’ character is invariably defined by their mental issue, with few details beyond that.

Which is why Raising Hope‘s “Sheer Madness” (2.15) episode pleased me.

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TV: Netflix and One Season Wonders

There was a time, not too long ago, where a marginally-rated show would go off the air and never resurface. If you’d missed it, unless you knew someone who had taped it, it was gone. Even illegal pirates had a tough time, searching for months to find a show that would probably never surface. But maybe things are changing.

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Derivative Works IV: Taking Back the Culture

In previous Derivative Works pieces, I’ve written about how the stigmas regarding fanfiction are inaccurate, and how derivative works can use a majority-centric work to create a space for a minority. In that last essay, I wrote about how cover songs can ‘queer’ a mainstream song, giving queer voices a way to access a song friendly to them in a landscape that usually isn’t. I’d like to explore, for a moment, how fanfiction does something similar with other works; in this example, television.

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