Narrative

Serial Orientations

Last week, I traveled to Bochum, an industrial city in northwest Germany, to serve as a keynote speaker at the conference (Dis)Orientations: (dis)orienting media & narrative mazes. I enjoyed my time in Bochum and at the conference, connecting with some interesting European media scholars and exploring another German city and university. ... read more »

Playing for Plot in the Lost and Portal Franchises

I’m writing from FROG 2011, the Vienna conference on videogames. This conference is unlike any other I’ve been to in a range of ways: it’s my first game studies conference, which means the range of presenters and disciplinary backgrounds is broader and more eclectic than at the typical television or media studies conference. ... read more »

Heading to Germany for a Test Run

We’re in the countdown mode preparing for our trip to Germany, leaving Vermont on July 31 to settle in Göttingen for the year. But today I leave for a short trip to Germany to speak at the Storyworlds Across Media conference in Mainz, speaking about how television serials have struggled to find ways to incorporate transmedia storytelling effectively into their narrative strategies. The conference looks great, and I hope to connect with Europeans to network with during my year abroad. ... read more »

Killing Surprises

I’d been planning on writing up a summary blog post on The Killing‘s first season this week, looking back on what was ultimately a mixed bag of television over its first season. I liked the show overall more than a lot of the critics who’d turned on it midway through the season, as I was often willing to overlook the shoddy plotting and inconsistencies to revel in the visual style (especially in episodes directed by TV veteran Ed Bianchi) and engaging performances.

And then the season finale happened. ... read more »

Spoiling Klosterman

I’m usually happy to see thoughtful discussions of media storytelling strategies extend into the popular press, as it gives me hope that there is a broad audience for work that engages issues of television narrative and form as my current research aims to do. But I often read such popular accounts with a mix of interest and frustration, with the latter often overtaking the former. ... read more »

Preparing for The End: Metafiction in the Final Seasons of The Wire ...

I’m in New Orleans for the annual conference of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies. I’m actually blogging the conference for the society’s new official website, an experiment in covering a conference from the ground from the perspective of four participants – you need to login to read the blogs, but if you’re not an SCMS member, you can register for a guest account to get short-term access. ... read more »

Complex Television: Come Discuss My Next Book!

I’m happy to announce the pre-publication of my next book has begun. Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Narrative has not yet been written, but the writing and publication process has begun on MediaCommons, where I have posted the book proposal for an open “peer-to-peer review” process, running parallel of the tradition peer review process being coordinated by NYU Press. Please visit and offer any feedback! ... read more »

Toy Story 3 and Serial Pleasures

On the eve of the Oscars, one of many award ceremonies that I’ve grown tired of watching, Inside Higher Ed posted an interesting little feature asking film scholars to weigh in on Best Picture. While I varyingly agreed, disagreed, and laughed at their points, I was shocked that none of the seven academics mentioned the best film I saw last year, Toy Story 3. ... read more »

Notes on Rewatching

Last week I had an excellent trip to Ohio, giving talks both at Oberlin College and Ohio State University. At the latter, I was on a panel about television seriality with my friends Chris Becker, Sean O’Sullivan, and Greg Smith. Below is the paper I gave entitled “Why We Watch Again: Notes on Rewatching Television Serials” – as always, I welcome comments on this early draft of what will hopefully turn into a full-fledged portion of my larger project on television narrative.

... read more »

I Went Back to Ohio

Weather willing, I’ll be traveling this week to give a pair of talks. So in lieu of actual content, here’s the info for any Ohio-based readers if you’d like to attend either presentation: ... read more »