The Bearded Awesome

TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.

Tag Archives: television

It’s All About Perspective: Another Lame Internet Writer Overanalyzes The Walking Dead

The whole “not looking in the same direction for some reason” thing basically symbolizes the viewers at this point.

Yeah yeah, I know.  I apologize in advance, since The Walking Dead has already been written about ad naseum by everyone ever, but instead of discussing what you’ve already heard from more competent writers, I’m going to discuss a bit of my own personal experiences and pose a theory of why many might feel the way they do.

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When Francie Stopped Liking Coffee Ice Cream: 4 Elements That Make a Good Plot Twist

Note: This article contains some massive spoilers from season 2 of Alias.  Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen the show.

Serious drama is a really hard thing to pull off.  That sounds kind of dumb, because drama’s really the baseline for every coherent story you’ll ever tell–even comedies usually have some pseudo-dramatic throughline to make us care about what we’re laughing at.  But doing pure, unadulturated, opening-your-heart-and-ripping-it-out dramatic shockers is really really hard.  Plot twists go wrong when it feels like they’re twists for the sake of twists, carry no emotional weight, or have been so carefully mapped out that you can predict them, prepare for them, and thus feel no emotional gut-punch that should have been the whole point.  Millions have attempted a “Luke, I am your father,” but more fail than succeed.  Talking about the history of big plot twists would be a huge endeavor, and it’s not something I have any intention of doing, but I’d like to look at a very massive dramatic twist in one particular show, Alias.  

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Don’t Britta This Opportunity: How Community Could Make NBC Streets Ahead

Community is a show on thin ice, on a network on thin ice, in a new era of television also on thin ice.  Whether you’re a fan or not, Community has now become the poster show for everything that’s both wrong and right about television and its fans: there are plenty of viewers, but few of them watch it live. It won TV Guide’s Fan Favorite of 2011 contest.  IGN voted it Best Comedy of 2011.  In TV.com’s 2011 poll it not only won Best Series, but also Best Comedy, Best Comedic Actor (Donald Glover) and, hilariously, Most Underrated.  With fans on the internet outnumbering fans in the ratings, Community is representative of the age of online media and its effects on the industry. And as NBC struggles to find a place for it in their schedule, the network might be missing an opportunity to make the next big leap in current media.

Check out my full piece at KSiteTV–a little lengthy, but it’s worth it!

In case you were wondering, more original blog material will be coming in the next couple of days.

5 Retrospective TV Reviews Worth A Look

Hindsight is frustrating in real life.  Of course sitting at a computer reading blogs and never exercising can make you fat and hurt your eyes.  But when those blogs the blind fat you is reading are using hindsight for media, it’s awesome; connecting the dots, tracking the evolving trends, and tying together overarching themes you wouldn’t get from any single installment.  This works for any media franchise, but especially television.

While fans tend to discuss the same sorts of concepts and often repeat the same ideas ad naseum, one way to add some freshness to a fandom is by revisiting the entire series again, watching episodes one at a time, sometimes week-to-week, and then analyzing them one kernel at a time.  The Time Team has done retro-Doctor Who episodes in Doctor Who Magazine since freaking 1999, so it’s not a new concept.  But as many of us get older, the appeal of taking another, more in-depth look at our favorite decade(s) old shows become stronger and stronger.

Retrospective articles and videos are things I plan to post more of, both here and on other sites, but for now, I’m actually going to turn my traffic away, and towards five other bloggers and journalists who are doing a damn good job at retrospectives on their own.  Episode-by-episode, these guys break down, analyze and review each story and character, but with a foresight past reviewers wouldn’t have had.  Yet, in a way, their eyes are still “fresh”–some haven’t seen these episodes in years and only remember vague details, giving them a unique perspective of viewing it 50/50 as a newcomer and veteran, in a way.  If you’ve seen any of these shows, you should check out these sites, in no particular order. Read more of this post

Buffy Already Did It, Part 2: Supernatural Season 6

It’s common knowledge among our generation that Buffy the Vampire Slayer played a big role in the development of TV series.  If you’re a moderate TV buff, or have visited TV Tropes even once (seriously, there’s a Buffy reference on almost every page) you’re probably aware that many tropes in current serialized genre shows–Big Badshalf arc seasonsweirdness sensorsChekhov’s gunsheavy continuity–were either invented or popularized by Buffy.  Even if you don’t like it, you can’t deny the impact it’s had on how we watch TV.

Unsurprisingly on shows within the same genre or airing on the same network, there’s bound to be even more similarities in plot structures, characters, etc. Sometimes, though, the similarities and parallels border on eerie.  Surely the writers might have similar genre shows in the back of their heads, but at a certain point it just seems weird.  Two shows specifically brought me to writing this up, both of which are cult genre shows that originated on The WB Network–Smallville andSupernatural.  

Check out my entry on Smallville‘s final season here, but today I’ll be comparing the season 6 of Supernatural and Buffy.  Read it after the jump!


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Buffy Already Did It, Part 1: Smallville’s Final Season

It’s common knowledge among our generation that Buffy the Vampire Slayer played a big role in the development of TV series.  If you’re a moderate TV buff, or have visited TV Tropes even once (seriously, there’s a Buffy reference on almost every page) you’re probably aware that many tropes in current serialized genre shows–Big Badshalf arc seasonsweirdness sensorsChekhov’s gunsheavy continuity–were either invented or popularized by Buffy.  Even if you don’t like it, you can’t deny the impact it’s had on how we watch TV.

Unsurprisingly on shows within the same genre or airing on the same network, there’s bound to be even more similarities in plot structures, characters, etc. Sometimes, though, the similarities and parallels border on eerie.  Surely the writers might have similar genre shows in the back of their heads, but at a certain point it just seems weird.  Two shows specifically brought me to writing this up, both of which are cult genre shows that originated on The WB Network–Smallville andSupernatural.  

 I’ll be spotlighting Supernatural in the next entry, but today I’ll be comparing the final seasons of Smallville and Buffy.  Read it after the jump!


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