Tag Archives: Antenna

The Recent Proliferation of Off-Site Learnings

So, you may have noticed that posting has slowed around these parts. This actually isn’t particularly bizarre, as the academic term is really kicking into gear, but the fact that I’ve been writing in some new outlets has sort of exaggerated this delay.

I sometimes forget that not everyone who reads the blog doesn’t use Twitter, and so I have been remiss in not making note of these off-site learnings (as I call them) more available to this audience. So, I’ve added buttons to the right hand side of the page, and will contextualize my contributions below (click the buttons to find all of the content discussed).

Antenna

First, I’ve been doing a considerable amount of work at Antenna, which is run out of Media and Cultural Studies here at University of Wisconsin-Madison. It’s a good outlet for topics of more academic consideration, often shorter pieces which identify and explain a concept before opening it up for discussion. It’s been a good exercise in more concise writing, and has led to some great conversations, so I’d definitely be bookmarking the site if you like this sort of discussion (which happens almost daily with the site’s myriad of highly intelligent contributors).

My posts have included two pieces on television showrunners on Twitter, a piece on Halloween episodes, another take on the Mad Men finale, and today’s piece on watching Twin Peaks for the first time as the initial entry in our new “Late to the Party” series.

The A.V. Club

You may know that I’m reviewing The Office for The A.V. Club this year, but this week saw a bit of expansion: I filled in for Zack Handlen on Sons of Anarchy last night, and I also offered my thoughts on Weeds’ sixth season on Monday. I don’t expect a huge expansion of my work for the site in the near future, but I certainly enjoy contributing and taking part in the subsequent discussions, so this is yet another space where you can find my work.

I will continue tweeting when these pieces go up, and may do a weekly roundup should it seem warranted, but the buttons on the sidebar (under “Off-Site Learnings”) will be your best way of finding this content in the future.

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Discussing the Fall Premieres at Antenna

Discussing the Fall Premieres at Antenna

September 22nd, 2010

While I will be reviewing a number of new series here at the blog, admittedly I will not be offering my comments on some of the pilots I watch which I feel that those critics with screeners have already done justice ahead of time: if there’s no further substance for me to add, offering my opinion in the form of a lengthy critical review just isn’t a valuable use of my time.

However, many of those pilots lend themselves to short bursts of academic analysis, which is the purpose of the project which starts today at Antenna (the media and culture blog based in the Communication Arts department here at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which I discussed last week). A collection of scholars will offer their individual perspectives on a number of pilots, resulting in a wide range of responses to every new series debuting on network television (cable will likely be dealt with separately once the network madness concludes). The responses range from the snarky to the philosophical, which is a nice balance for addressing the combination of potential and horror which usually defines pilot season.

I’ll likely be offering thoughts on a number of shows (I’ve volunteered to fill in the gaps, more or less) as the week progresses, but I’m most looking forward to reading what so many others have to say (especially when many of them, unlike myself, do not write publicly that often).

So, check out the links below – each post will be updating throughout the week as new shows premiere, so keep checking back for updates (I’ll be tweeting them regularly, especially if I am in some way involved).

Antenna does the Fall Premieres

CBS [Featuring my thoughts on Hawaii Five-0, Mike & Molly]

NBC [Featuring a few more of my thoughts on Chase]

FOX & The CW [Featuring some thoughts on Lone Star’s struggles]

ABC [Coming Soon]

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A New Outlet: Contributing to UW-Madison’s Antenna

A New Outlet: Contributing to UW-Madison’s Antenna

September 17th, 2010

As you may know, I recently joined the PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which in some ways will limit the amount of online writing I am able to do (it’s why things have been a bit quieter here at Cultural Learnings as of late, especially with the Cultural Catchup Project). However, the irony is that although the volume of my writing will be decreasing, the outlets for that writing are actually increasing: I’m extremely excited to be joining Antenna, the department’s media analysis blog, as a contributor.

I’m particularly excited because of how it allows for the merger of my two worlds: while the community consists largely of academics, the analysis is meant to cut through the traditional academic delay (where journals and books take years to get through the review/publishing process) to address current events similar to how online criticism operates. I very much look forward to exploring some of my more academic ideas within this framework, and encourage my Cultural Learnings readers to join that community and take part in a wide range of intriguing media-related discussions.

Right now, my first post is on something that many of you may relate to. In “Tweets of Anarchy: Showrunners on Twitter,” I look at how Twitter and other forms of social media have changed the relationship between showrunners, their texts, and their viewers, focusing on Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) and his somewhat controversial Twitter presence. The piece, like all Antenna pieces, is short and focuses on providing some information and prompting discussion, so I’d love to hear how showrunners’ online presence have changed your impressions of your favourite series (or perhaps series that you were otherwise unattached to).

Tweets of Anarchy: Showrunners on Twitter [Antenna]

…showrunners are now becoming active participants in conversations surrounding their shows, both formally (Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s Lost podcasts) and informally (Louis C.K.’s decision to wade into comment threads of Louie reviews); combined with their more prominent role in DVD bonus features and the proliferation of television journalism online, showrunners are becoming veritable celebrities among viewers of television. This is perhaps no more apparent than on Twitter, where showrunners (including Lindelof, Cuse, ,C.K., and numerous others) gain tens of thousands of followers who desire to know more about who is behind their favourite series.

Next week, meanwhile, Antenna will be offering multiple perspectives on each of the Fall debuts (a project I’ll be participating in);  I’ll likely share some of that as well, so stay tuned!

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