Though Game of Thrones is obviously the poster child for mainstream fantasy television, the genre has been prevalent in TV for decades, albeit as one almost exclusively aimed at younger audiences: Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, Beastmaster, among others. HBO’s series was able to successfully shift itself out of this niche by casting its fantastical elements alongside more universal ones, like family drama and the perils of holding power.
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Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story made its debut during the midst of the post-Twilight craze of serialized-supernatural dramas (True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etc.). The program was a startling in its change of tone to those who followed Murphy, fresh off the success of Glee at the time. The series was conceived as a highly-serialized anthology that would essentially reset its setting, cast, and focus each season.
In recent years, the Grammys have prided themselves on offering unique performances, to the point that the original purpose of the ceremony, to hand out awards, often gets lost in the midst. Only nine awards were presented during the three and a half hour long live broadcast, and winners often found themselves cued off of the stage by ominous music. But amongst the 23 live performances there were plenty of debuts, unlikely duets, special guests, and even a few surprises.
Last year’s game was the most watched television event of all time, so it’s not surprising that Super Bowl XLIX was heavily hyped. For weeks, it seemed as if the national news media could speak of nothing else but the anticipation for and the expectations of the event. Now that everything has been said and done, was it even worth watching? Read on and find out.
Among the first of Nexflix’s now hefty portfolio of original series, House of Cards has a lot that sets it apart from the traditional TV shows that we’re used to watching. Produced and distributed uniquely for online viewers, the series seems to relish in the freedom Netflix has provided it just as much as its fans savor the cold, calculating evil that is Frank Underwood. While many are eagerly looking forward to the release of the third season, I’ve also been looking back on the very first episode, trying to parse through what made this show feel so unique from the very start.
Unlike the vast majority of television programs, House of Cards never had a pilot phase, and consequentially has no “pilot” in the usual sense of the term. Pilot episodes are typically a means of proving a concept’s viability before the network makes a long-term commitment, but Netflix signed on for 26 episodes before a single scene was filmed. Chapter One is therefore precisely that: the first installment of a much longer narrative, and hardly a self-contained story.