Just TV

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 »

Finding the Global Village through a Twitter Bot

The other day a friend of mine Tweeted about the misuse of Marshall McLuhan in discussing the role of Twitter in recent political uprisings like in Egypt. As I often do, when I hear mention of Marshall McLuhan, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite films, Annie Hall:

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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.

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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 »

The Pitfalls of Alleged Expertise

Let me preface this post by saying that this is not intended as a personal attack on Robert Thompson. Although I’ve never met the man, by all accounts he’s a very nice guy, a good colleague and a strong teacher. In this story, Thompson is more a symptom than cause of the problem. ... read more »

Best TV of 2010: The Second Tier

In my last post, I offered my Top Tier TV for 2010, roughly serving as a top 5 (with one of those taken by a videogame). So the following shows could be seen as residing in the bottom half of my Best Of list, but I refuse the arbitrary limit of 10 or the time it would take to rank these any way except alphabetically. So feel free to pick your favorite and call it my #6. ... read more »

Best TV of 2010: The Top Tier

Teaching Narrative Through Remix

I’m writing from the grading bunker, which seems like a fine place to contemplate the purpose of assignments we give our students. Usually, my assignments are fairly conventional in both form and goal, looking to synthesize specific ideas from the course in a way that allows students to apply them to an object or topic that interests them. ... read more »

Thankful for Terriers

I’d like to interrupt this unplanned blog hiatus – yes, it’s been one of those semesters – to give thanks for this year’s best new show: Terriers. I’d been planning on posting a blog about Terriers after a few episodes, but I’m glad I got too busy to write it, as the show has transformed into something much more engaging and powerful since then. What started out as a shaggy good time has emerged into taught double character study packing a surprise emotional wallop. ... read more »

Television’s Two Leagues

I’m on my way down to the always-excellent Flow Conference in Austin today, where media scholars gather to engage in structured conversations rather than formal presentations. One of the highlights of the conference each year is a screening, and this year’s had me excited a couple of weeks ago when it was announced: an advanced look at the third episode of Fox’s Lone Star, with a Q&A from show’s creator (and Austin resident) Kyle Killen. ... read more »