Tag Archives: Column

Off-Site Learnings: More Thoughts on Familiar Topics

When writing my Across the Pond column for Jive TV, I often draw upon things I hint at in reviews, or discuss on Twitter – as a result, the material may not be new to you, per se, but I hope the column has become a decent repository for those ideas and more broad analysis of the industry. In some cases, I was ahead of the trend: I wrote about Steve Carell leaving the Office weeks ago, and now news emerges which confirms that he plans on departing after the show’s seventh season.

In my two latest pieces, though, I’m less predicting the future and more wondering just what that future might bring. First, I took a further look at AMC’s Rubicon: while my review stuck to the reasons why I have my doubts about the series creatively, the column focuses on the ways in which the series seems to clash with AMC’s other drama series, and how the experiment of stealth premiering the show behind Breaking Bad draws attention to that conflict.

Across the Pond: Rubicon vs. Scheduling

There is, of course, no perfect way to experience a series that starts quite as slowly as Rubicon. Even online viewing would also be problematic thanks to the wealth of distractions, and when the show premieres without a lead-in on 1 August it will still face certain challenges. However, AMC learned a lesson in terms of trying to leverage previous success in marketing new series.

In my latest, column meanwhile, I spilled more virtual ink on Treme, specifically addressing some of the claims that the show was a “failure.” I wrote a lot about the show last week, so I’m sure you’re all a bit fatigued about it, but in light of David Simon’s post-season interview with Alan Sepinwall there are some interesting tidbits in terms of why Treme met that response, and why it doesn’t affect the show’s momentum going into its second season.

Across the Pond: Treme vs. Failure

I would argue that Treme is flawed, as The Wire was at points within its run, but I would also argue that its willingness to go out on a narrative limb is bound to fail for some people, and that Simon has nothing to apologize for. No television show, if it’s a particularly good television show, should please everyone, and the freedom of HBO (and other cable networks like Showtime) is that shows like the ones Simon creates have a space where they can evolve at their own pace and afford to lose viewers who aren’t on the same wavelength (or the same rhythm, if you prefer).

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Off-Site Learnings: Glee’s Impact on Television Development

I was in transit when last week’s episode of the (excellent) Firewall and Iceberg podcast was posted, and during that trip I wrote a piece for Jive TV which discussed what Glee’s impact will be on television development; little did I know that Alan and Dan had discussed the same issue during that episode, which makes my piece a response of sorts to their comments.

It’s ultimately in agreement: Glee’s legacy will not be the renaissance of the high school comedy nor the arrival of the television musical. However, I would argue that there are more essential, rather than definitional, elements of the series which could inspire future development, allowing networks to tap into what makes Glee so successful without necessarily selling iTunes downloads or breaking out into song.

For more on the subject, check out “Has U.S. TV been Forever Changed by Glee?” at Australia’s Jive TV:

However, what remains to be determined is how much Glee has changed the television industry: while the success of a show like Modern Family can be billed the renaissance of the family sitcom, it’s not quite so easy to identify what other networks will attempt to emulate within Glee’s central premise. There isn’t going to be a sudden influx of musicals on television, as Glee’s most definitive quality is too unique on the current television landscape to be copied in such a blatant fashion; that being said, networks will still want to try to capture the elusive “Glee audience” that FOX has built over the past year, and they’re going to try to find a way to do it as soon as possible.

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