Latest Blog Posts

by Melissa Crawley

9 Feb 2011


Skins is a new scripted drama on MTV that focuses on a group of friends. They have sex and spend a lot of time trying to have sex. They take drugs and talk a lot about taking drugs. They don’t apologize for their behavior, suffer many consequences or think too deeply about what it all means. They’re also in high school.

The pilot episode of Skins, based on a UK show of the same name, was watched by 3.3 million viewers in the 12-34 age bracket. While its subject matter is nothing unique (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, among others, covered it more than two decades ago), what is new is that the actors playing the rebellious teenagers are actual teenagers, aged between 15 and 19. This fact, coupled with the show’s graphic tone, was enough for the Parents Television Council (PTC) to say that: “Skins may well be the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.” It’s a bold and alarming statement that deserves a closer look.

by Melissa Crawley

26 Jan 2011


A new year means a new start and for many of us, resolutions. This year, I’ve decided that along with my usual resolve to break-up with sugar, others should resolve to do some things for me. This includes my mother, who should resolve to learn the difference between time zones when calling me and my dog, who should resolve to stop hopping up on the couch every time I leave the room.

Television can also do a few things for me. After all, I give it many hours of my week and it gives me—Animal Hoarding. So in the spirit of new beginnings, here are a few resolutions that television executives can make to improve my time spent with the small screen:

by Elizabeth Wiggins

18 Jan 2011


Since the first season, I’ve been indecisive about Glee; the writing is inconsistent, the episodes are uneven, and enjoying Glee always raises questions about whether or not the show is good or simply a shiny object.  But now, in the show’s second season, the cracks in Glee’s construction are becoming more apparent.  While season one tried to juggle the desires to be both a snarky critique of high school and a musical, season two has become about the set list, with obvious, underdeveloped vignettes disguised as plot to pad the hour.  Character development, consistency, and pushing boundaries seem to have been sidelined in some unnamed quest to become a candy-coated crowd pleaser that throws a mildly risqué wisecrack in the mix to remind us that it’s clever.

The weak moments related to the show’s infrastructure could probably be ignored if they didn’t emphasize what’s arguably the most troubling aspect of Glee: the struggle to figure out what to do with Will Scheuster’s character.  As the episodes increasingly focus on big performances and simple stories, the problem of developing the show’s central adult character has created a troubling, strange relationship between the students of New Directions and their advisor.

by Melissa Crawley

16 Dec 2010


In 2010, television brought us cops in Hawaii, bikers in California, British investigators and a different kind of situation at the Jersey shore. The shows on this year’s list however, gave us more than a few intriguing characters. They questioned our concept of family, tested our tolerance for violence and challenged our traditional notions of good and evil. One just gave us a weekly glimpse of paradise which is always a good thing.  Here are the Top 10 Television Shows of 2010:

by Nathan Pensky

9 Dec 2010


One of the great strengths of television as a storytelling device is its episodic, yet indefinitely framed sense of time. Television’s season format allows for longer-form storytelling, longer still for stories that span the length of an entire series, while individual episodes allow for more focused moments. The viewer experiences narrative time both in measurements of years and the present moment.
 
This effect of story experienced both in the long and the short term is evident especially in shows that do not slavishly follow a timeline, but instead shake things up through flashback or dream sequence, as in Twin Peaks and The Sopranos, or in allowing longer periods to suspend between picking back up at the beginning of a season, as with Battlestar Gallactica and Mad Men. One of the most inventive uses of the return from “summer break” at the beginning of a season was the addition of Dawn in the Season 5 premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The sudden appearance of the Dawn character was instantly disorienting, but also interestingly significant of television’s standard practice of haphazardly inserting previously unknown characters into established narrative worlds.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Thoughtful Absurdity of 'Spaceplan'

// Moving Pixels

"Spaceplan is a goofy game that still manages to pack a potent emotional punch.

READ the article