Just TV

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An Outsider’s Look at German Academia

In my pre-Germany post, I mentioned that one of the goals of the year was to provide some “productive disorientation” on the aspects of life I take for granted back in Vermont. Now that I am in my last week in Germany, I can see it has certainly achieved that goal in a wide range of ways, both personal and professional. ... read more »

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Complex TV: Character

My time in Germany is almost up, as we return to Vermont in early July. It’s been a productive writing year, with around 80% of Complex TV completed and a few other projects underway. Here is the last chapter of Complex TV to be posted from Germany, with the remaining chapters emerging over the Vermont summer. ... read more »

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Unmotivated Reading as Work

One of the most circulated and discussed articles in online academic circles last week was Bruce Henderson’s Chronicle piece arguing for the importance of acknowledging reading as a key part of our scholarly labor. ... read more »

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Feedback on Complex TV Pre-Publication

As regular readers know, I’ve been serializing my new book, Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling, in a pre-publication draft at MediaCommons. One of the goals of publishing the manuscript online like this is to challenge some of the norms of academic publishing and peer review, as advocated & modelled by Kathleen Fitzpatrick in her similarly pre-published book Planned Obsolescence. ... read more »

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More data on scene rhythms

A couple of quick updates. First, my article that I published previously to the blog, “Playing for Plot in the Lost and Portal Franchises” has been published in a revised version in the journal Eludamus: Journal for Computer Game Culture. ... read more »

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Complex TV: Evaluation

It’s time for another chapter of Complex TV – this one focuses on questions of evaluation in television scholarship. Here’s the abstract: ... read more »

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The Scenic Rhythms of Game of Thrones

I finished watching the second season of Game of Thrones last night, which I enjoyed, but liked less than the first season (no spoilers forthcoming if you’re not caught up yet). I think a large part of that distinction came from how I watched them – like many, I came to season one late, bingeing on the entire 10-episode run in about a week. I had been spoiled on the season’s main death, but still very much enjoyed the narrative momentum and world-building. ... read more »

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Behind the Scenes of a Serialized Intertext

One of the reasons I most enjoy studying the fan culture side of media studies is that fans can come up with some fascinating stuff, a boggling array of creativity discovered through the contraints provided by the source texts. I document some of the most interesting examples I’ve found in my chapter on “Orienting Paratexts,” ranging from The Tommy Westphall Universe Theory to The Wire‘s D&D alignment chart. ... read more »

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Complex TV: Transmedia Storytelling

It’s time for another chapter of Complex TV to go live on MediaCommons Press—this time, the topic is Transmedia Storytelling. It builds on work I have done in recent years about how television narratives expand into other media, especially around Lost and its ARGs, but very few of the chapter’s ideas have been published elsewhere. ... read more »

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Community and Dan Harmon’s Imploding Author Function

The television-obsessed corner of the Internets is burning up with discussion of Friday’s late TV news: Sony ousted Dan Harmon as Community showrunner. ... read more »