Genre

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Gravity and the Power of Narrative Limits

I saw Gravity this weekend, and like many viewers and critics, I loved it. And as a sign of that enjoyment, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. As I always do when I encounter a piece of culture that I love, I’ve been reading about it, looking for critics who can explore some of the ideas I’ve been obsessing about. The review that best captures my feeling about it is Matt Zoller Seitz’s piece, highlighting the juxtaposition of grandiose visual splendor and simple narrative intimacy. ... read more »

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Complex TV: Serial Melodrama

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NBC’s Primetime Olympics Coverage is Not Sportscasting

Like millions of others, I’ve had the Olympics on quite often over the past few days and will continue to care about sports that I know little about for another 11 days. And like thousands of others, I’ve enjoyed making fun of NBC’s erratic coverage, tape-delays, ethnocentrism, weak commentary, and inexplicable employment of Ryan Seacrest using the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail. ... read more »

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Louie as Jazz for TV (with fart jokes)

An old college friend posted the following on Facebook yesterday: “So I keep watching the show Louie, which I find to be the most depressingly realistic TV I’ve ever seen. I think it’s a really good show, but it’s about as far from comedy as one can get. Why is it called a comedy? The topics are exceedingly heavy, and handled with a minimum of drama – they are too realistic.” My brief reply to her was that the show could be as funny as anything on TV (citing the episode “Come On, God” about masturbation as an example), but that really it’s a show that transcends genre. ... read more »

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More thoughts on soap operas and television seriality

One of my most-clicked (if not read) posts concerns how my approach to prime time serial television relates to the traditional daytime soap opera. Last year I was asked to expand on those ideas via an interview to be included in a forthcoming anthology edited by Sam Ford, Abigail De Kosnik, and C. Lee Harrington, entitled The Survival of the Soap Opera: Strategies for a New Media Era (University of Mississippi Press, 2010). ... read more »

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The Lost Payoff

Gotta take a break from grading to write about Lost’s rollicking season finale, and season 5 in general. Spoilery goodness beneath the fold. ... read more »

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A little cynicism about the Susan Boyle phenomenon

First off, I just wanted to mention that I’ll be at Media in Transition 6 this weekend, so if you’re in Cambridge, say hi! I’m a respondant on a panel about using moving images as a rhetorical mode of film & media criticism on Sunday morning – it should be an interesting discussion. ... read more »