Sam & Cat: “#Pilot”

As expected, Sam & Cat is the perfect continuation of both the iCarly and Victorious universes, which is the most unusual move Dan Schneider could have made after the end of both shows.

The big clash in crossing over two characters from different shows is specific to how those two shows ended. iCarly, a long-running generation-defining sitcom of the late ’00s, was given a satisfying conclusion full of emotional catharsis and releasing the characters from their various internal conflicts at long last. Victorious, on the other hand, is incomplete, lacking a conclusion for Tori Vega and thus for all of her friends. As a result, while one universe is over, another continues, which makes a crossover of the two inherently disjointed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Sam & Cat, The Archives


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Once Upon A Time — “Second Star to the Right”

I have another blog about Once Upon A Time and Grimm in the backlog, but I wanted to take a second and talk about the former in a little more detail, especially in the wake of the first part of the season two finale. It’s hard for me to pin down why I keep watching the show, despite no longer liking it as much as I like Grimm (which, despite a few stumbles, has grown very confident in its second season), but the beginning of the show’s introduction to Neverland points to some positive changes on the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in The Archives


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Scandal — “Nobody Likes Babies”: In her own image

Last week’s Scandal was certainly a thriller. Starting with Huck in the elevator with Hollis Doyle and Charlie, Cyrus’s hitman, the episode seemed only to get more intense with each passing commercial break, culminating in an excellent cross-cutting section with Verna and Fitz as the latter finally learns the truth about how he gained his prestigious status as the President of the United States. It was a night in which one lover would turn to the other and say, “I love you,” and the response was invariably, “is that enough?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in The Archives


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Book Talk — Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN

I recently picked up Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN by Susanne Daniels and Cynthia Littleton for some leisure reading in between the endless deluge of science fiction and science history books that now lie ahead of me.

On the whole, I thought it was a good read. The book mixes Daniels’s personal history with the WB with Cynthia Littleton’s analytical prowess to tell the parallel stories of the WB and the UPN, both of whom were vying for the status of “fifth broadcast television network.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in The Archives


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The missing piece of Community’s fourth season

Real talk for a second. I’m currently in the throes of writing a thesis so I can graduate college with a big shiny medal or something. (No, actually I’m writing it because it’s academically fulfilling and therefore I like doing it. But shiny medals are cool too.) My thesis, in extremely broad terms, is connecting the works of science fiction — literature, paintings of the night sky corresponding to actual night skies, alchemy — to that of science fact. The idea originated from my own ruminations on the scientific method. The scientific method is a pretty useful tool. But at the end of the day, it’s just a tool. It was made by humans in order to be used by humans to reach for (possibly inhuman) knowledge.

In the same vein, Dan Harmon’s famous plot circle (which is described in detail here) is a pretty useful tool for telling stories, mostly because the pieces are just different labels for the same kind of plot-related breakdowns people have been doing for years, and almost all of them are related to Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. But that breakdown is still just a tool, a mechanism for telling stories (in this case on the quick-and-dirty, since Harmon was talking about making five-minute pilots for Channel 101) that is instinctively rooted in the human unconsciousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in The Archives


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Victorious — “Victori-Yes”

Victorious‘s ending could not have been more different than iCarly‘s. Where the Miranda Cosgrove headliner was given a special-length episode that brought resolution and catharsis to the show’s long-evolving relationships and character dilemmas, Victorious comes to a close prematurely, albeit with an episode that parallels some of its best work and showcases its particular brand of manic expressionism. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 2, 2013 in The Archives, Victorious


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Victorious — “Brain Squeezers”

One of Victorious‘s biggest themes is fame: the acquisition of it and the effect it has on the people in its immediate glow. The pilot, after all, is about Tori getting into a prestigious Californian high school for the arts after wowing a crowd she wasn’t even supposed to perform for. The show as initially pitched, with Tori as the protagonist, thus defines each character by their reactions to her both as an outstanding performer and as the new kid in school. Victorious hasn’t been that show in a while, of course, not since it began developing better purposes for its main cast, plus coming up with new situations to place the main cast so that they’ll be forced to work together in order to accomplish a goal. But occasionally, the original DNA of the show’s pilot peeks out from its hiding spot, if only to draw a line between where the show was when it started in 2009 and where the show is now, with all of its developments intact. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in The Archives, Victorious


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Looking back on 2012, looking forward to 2013

Welcome to 2013! It’s been a long and strange road for me since I started actively blogging about television last year. I don’t usually like to draw too much attention to everything I do all at once, but in advance of any new blog posts going up here on Wayward Television (including the first Victorious review of 2013, where I’ll talk about the sadistic “Brain Squeezers”), I wanted to look back at pieces I wrote on other websites and reflect a bit on the past six months. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in About The Blog


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Supernatural: “Citizen Fang” and Once Upon A Time: “Queen of Hearts”

Or, The Benefits and Detriments of Theme in Television

Theme is one of Aristotle’s Six Key Elements of Drama, and it’s an important one too: knowing why you’re writing something is as important as who’s in it (character) and what they’re doing (plot). But on television, theme can often be a detriment to crafting good drama. Just ask anyone who was disappointed with Battlestar Galactica‘s second half or LOST‘s final season and it seems self-evident that established themes can hinder a television show as much as it can help it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in The Archives


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Victorious — “Tori Fixes Beck And Jade”

I’ve been neglecting posts on iCarly and Victorious lately. Part of that has been a matter of time management: other commitments have kept me from having the energy and time to sit down and write about the episodes. But another part has been the lack of anything really worth talking about in the most recent episodes of iCarly (sans the series finale, and I don’t know when I’ll get around to committing some thoughts on that) and particularly last week’s Victorious, which featured atrocious gender politics and a solid premise whose promise gets wasted by about halfway through the episode. All in all, “Cell Block” was not the show’s best moment. “Tori Fixes Beck And Jade,” on the other hand, was a perfect example of the show at its finest. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in The Archives, Victorious


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