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 »
Category Archives: About The Blog
So it would appear I was wrong. News came today that Victorious will be coming to an end alongside iCarly in the fall. The show seemed on track for a fourth season (the third season picked up an additional 13 episodes somehow, because Dan Schneider says there are 15 episodes remaining and two of those are part of the first batch of third-season episodes); then news broke about the spin-off shows Sam & Cat and Gibby (tentative titles). Now we don’t have a “Cat conundrum” because Cat’s parent show is disappearing.
I am deeply saddened to see Victorious go — though it sometimes frustrated me, more often I was fascinated by the show’s attempts to stretch the boundaries of its multi-cam sitcom format, finding interesting ways to tell well-worn stories. It’s not by accident that I just kept writing about the show as I was discovering it; I simply couldn’t resist. And I will continue to write about the show right up to its last soaring note.
Cheers to you, Victorious cast and crew. Make it shine!
After much tortured debate, I’ve decided to discontinue writing about Breaking Bad for the time being. I may revisit the idea later on, but the method I had for writing about the show has ended up being too time-consuming, and I find myself suddenly out of free time to consume.
Speaking of which, my Summer of Fireflypost this week will be delayed until next week. I put a lot of my efforts this week into constructing the first of my So Weird reviews for This Was TV, and I still have a ways to go before I can get ahead of the curve.
And hey! My So Weird reviews are live as of today! Each week, I’ll be pontificating on the show, focusing on a) its relationship to other genre shows of its kind and b) the way it both reflects the Disney Channel’s efforts at branding as well as how that branding betrayed the show in the end. I hope you’ll come back each Thursday for the discussion!
Lastly, though I didn’t get around to watching the preview of Go On, one of NBC’s most talked about new shows of the fall season, my interest is rather piqued by all the discussion around it. I’m cautiously optimistic for it; the ratings for its preview last night were good, and NBC could use a winning show.
That’s all for now. Here’s another kitten.
Hey, these are becoming a regular thing! Anyway, this is just a quick update to let you know what’s coming down the pike for this blog in August.
The Signpost will continue throughout the month, but we are coming up on the 2012 fall season of television, which means there will be a transition period in September as I prepare to launch daily Signpost-length reviews of the major networks’ new and returning shows. Hopefully, things won’t get too rocky, but I haven’t fully planned out September yet; we’ll tackle that monster when we come to it. Meantime, Signposts will chug along straight through August. As far as the shows being covered there: Bunheads will wrap up its first season in a few short weeks (gasp!) as will The Newsroom. Alphas just started its second season (hurray!) so that will go for a solid three months or so. I’m not sure how many more episodes of Futurama we’ll be seeing this summer, but as long as new ones keep coming, I’ll keep writing about it. Leverage and Falling Skies are both just getting revved up as well, which should be lots of fun. I expected The Legend of Korra to take a break after its thrilling first season came to a close, but I don’t know when it will be back — I’m considering doing a longer, weekly write-up for that show when it does return. I don’t know what happened to TRON: Uprising but I hope it comes back soon!
As always, posts for Victorious and iCarly will happen as new episodes appear. Given that iCarly‘s final episode is set to air in November, we’re bound to see new episodes show up during the fall 2012 season. Victorious has two more episodes in the can for this season (and by the way, there will be a fourth season!), but no solid air dates yet.
Breaking Bad posts will continue; I didn’t intend to squeeze them into Fridays with the Firefly posts though, so I may move them to Saturday. If you don’t see it show up on Friday, check back on Saturday. Speaking of Firefly, those posts still have a solid couple of months on them — there’s seven episodes left in the series, and I plan to wrap everything up with some posts on the Big Damn Movie, so that project might need to be renamed, because it’s sure gonna run beyond the boundaries of “summer”. They’ll still be on Fridays, of course, to align with the AV Club discussion. (Which, by the way, is always awesome.)
Lastly, I’ll be contributing to This Was TV! Every Thursday starting August 9th, I’ll be talking about So Weird and Disney Channel’s transition period in the late-90s/early-2000s to the brand of programming you know and love/loathe today. Unfortunately, like all Disney shows from that period, So Weirdis not available on DVD or streaming or anything like that, but there are a couple of Youtube channels that host full VHS rips of the episodes — just search “So Weird” and you’ll find ’em. Feel free to watch along with me, because not every episode discussion will feature a full recap.
So that’s what’s coming up in the next month. Thanks for reading and sharing the blog! Here’s a kitten picture to sign off.
Hello! It’s been a month since I’ve addressed the regular/semi-regular readers of this blog directly, and I have a few things to talk about before we proceed with this dangerously scorching month.
Summer of Firefly
I hope you’ve been enjoying my re-examination of Firefly as much as I have. It’s a show that remains near and dear to my heart, and I’ve enjoyed coming at it from new angles in addition to reading along with Donna Bowman and Noel Murray over at the AV Club. If you’ve been doing that too, you’ll know that Donna and Noel are taking a couple of weeks off and will be returning July 20th with “Our Mrs. Reynolds”. I’m not beholden to their schedule, of course — I can always post and then retcon the link to their posts later — but I’ve been needing some time to develop new features for this blog that I can do in my off time, so I’ll be taking a break from Firefly this week as well. At this time, though, I am planning to pick back up again next week, July 13th, with “Our Mrs. Reynolds” so keep an eye out for it.
The Signpost: Past, Present, and Future
The Signpost (which is a stupid name, I know, but I couldn’t come up with anything better) came out as a result of a few things. First up: as a follower of the Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast, I had of course read these three pieces Ryan McGee had written about the state of TV criticism and how it needs some serious change (or as he put it a “punk rock movement”). Around the same time the second piece went up, I’d been considering how to approach this blog, and writing about TV generally, in a new and different way. Ultimately, I decided to develop a method of writing about episodes of shows that addressed one of my major weaknesses as a blogger, which is my tendency to ramble.
Thus I came upon the idea of a word count limit, and thus The Signpost was born. The 100-200 word count limit is actually adapted from a fanfiction form called a “drabble” which is a fanfic written in exactly 100 words. There’s also a lengthier form called a “double drabble”, which is 200 words exactly, and I realized that 100-200 words is just the right amount for someone to lay down a thesis statement and a few supporting arguments about an episode of television without having to be wordy and verbose. And having this shorter form of writing meant that one could theoretically cover more shows in about the same amount of time as they do now, with the 500+ word essays each week.
As of right now, these reviews under the guise of “The Signpost” only post on Sundays because, as it’s the summer, there aren’t as many shows on the air to talk about. There’s a lot of cable shows, sure, but I prefer to turn off my brain to enjoy shows like Awkward. and Louie, which is why they haven’t made appearances on this blog yet. (That said, expect Leverage to be joining the group when it returns July 15th.) My hope is that, once the broadcast networks pick up again with the usual rat race of competing TV shows, I can transition the 100-200 word count form into a new feature called “The Dailies” which will provide daily coverage of as many shows as possible. This will open up The Signpost feature to be more free-form during the broadcast TV seasons, a place to talk about recurring trends or jump in on critical conversations happening about hot-button shows and topics.
The reason I am ready to this is that the experiment of word counts has been a rousing success for me personally. I’ve only had to edit down to below 200 words on one review (the Falling Skies one about dual identity) and I’ve never had to mangle a sentence just to boost word count — in fact, both this week’s Futuramaand “News Night 2.0” reviews landed just on the right side of 100 words. The sweet spot is 120-160 words, which is an ideal count to lay down a few ideas about the show and then stop before the piece becomes a rant on life, the universe, and everything.
Victorious & iCarly
These will continue. Of course they will; they still draw the most people to this blog on a weekly basis. I was kind of surprised when that started happening, but people seem to really want to read about the show, and I happen to enjoy writing about it, so there’s no reason to stop that train now. There will definitely be a sense of dread over the iCarly pieces as the show marches towards its November series finale, but hopefully the Victoriousreviews will be cheerful enough to counteract.
Yes, Walter White is coming back for us all, and I will definitely be there for the beginning of the end. But the show won’t be appearing on the regular Signposts; like Victorious and iCarly, I’ll be giving regular weekly posts over to the show. Unlike the other shows, however, I’ll be approaching writing about Breaking Badin a different way, one that I hope is more exciting to viewers of the show than the inevitable cavalcade of lengthy essays about each episode coming from all corners of the web. I won’t say exactly what these posts will look like, but I think it will be worth your time every week.
So that’s where we are here at the beginning of July. Don’t be shy about commenting or tweeting at me (@SableJedi) about anything. Keep rockin’ that remote!
I’ve just finished setting down my scattered-but-hopefully-pointed-and-poignant thoughts on Firefly‘s pilot episode “Serenity” for tomorrow (June 1st) to coincide with The AV Club’s viewing of the show on TV Club Classic. The general idea is for each post on each episode to be about something new and different. It could be an alternate angle on a storyline or character, or just random observations about how the episode plays on second (or for me probably closer to one hundredth) viewing. I’ll also be including some extra Browncoat links to help showcase some of the great things the Browncoats have been doing to keep Firefly alive over the years. (Incidentally, it’s been a full decade since Firefly came and went from our TV screens.)
Over yonder at TV Surveillance, I’ll be contributing a piece for Test Pilot on the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk TV show as part of a superhero-themed week. I won’t spoil you on what my thoughts will be like there, but I watched the pilot last night and was immediately glad that I decided to take this one. As you can see from the schedule, my post goes lives on Tuesday, June 5th. Don’t miss it, or you’ll make me angry… and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…
Finally, here at my own blog, I’m preparing some time this summer to start watching and talking about Spaced, the seminal British TV series from Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, and Edgar Wright. More on that soon. In addition, I’m likely to continue posting about Victorious and iCarly as those shows continue onward this summer. I’m probably going to start focusing more on iCarly, as it’s recently been announced that the show will be ending in November, but if you’ve read this blog at all you know I just can’t resist Victorious.
So now I just have to go write those things. Keep an eye out for me!
Sad day for John Enbom, another of his shows is canceled! Free Agents, the U.S. remake of a recent show by the same name on Channel 4 in the U.K., was canned by NBC today. The rest of October will see Whitney reruns in its place, then Up All Night reruns will start on November 2nd.
Fear not, though! The Channel 4 series is looking optimistic for a second season, and meanwhile the first season will be running on BBC America starting this Saturday, October 8th (spoilers — it’s an episode guide from the BBCA website). It’s a shame we won’t be seeing Natasha Leggero deliver her own brand of snark to Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn each week, though. I didn’t like the pilot as much, but the second episode was fantastic and I was enthusiastic about watching this show each week.
As is now being reported all over the place, New Girl is a go for a full season! Congratulations to the cast and crew of this wonderful comedy. I am very excited to continue writing about this one. It’s a real winner for me.
I love the searches I get on my blog sometimes.
Anyways, I’m officially declaring myself the “Mad Hatter” blogger for Prime Suspect. And the hat Maria Bello wears in the show is, in fact, a fedora. You can buy those at most basic supermarkets (Wal-Mart, Target… you know the type) or you can get them online at specialty stores like here and here, and I’m sure a quick Google search will pull up more results.
I fully endorse this mad hat search. Go forth, my children!
So, initially I was going to do some posts today, primarily on Fringe (my all-time favorite sci-fi show currently airing) and A Gifted Man (whose pilot has generated a lot of buzz). But I’ve decided instead that Fridays should be the day when I get to relax and not think too hard about stuff. Especially since Pan Am is on Sundays and my Saturdays tend to be loaded no matter what I do, I want a day where I can maybe just write a post that’s about nothing important.
But I do want to write about something that’s been bugging me for a while now. Prime Suspect, the adaptation of the ITV series with Helen Mirren, premiered on NBC this week. I watched it. I… really only liked it for Maria Bello. But a lot of people have talked about her ditching the hat.
My friends, you are making a grievous error in this regard.
Maria Bello’s hat is a fashion statement. Like the Eleventh Doctor’s bow tie on Doctor Who. It says, “I don’t give a f*** what you think about me, I wear this hat because it makes me look awesome”. That hat, and the woman wearing it, has more personality than the surrounding show.
And I just wanted you all to know that I am supporting the keeping of this very fine hat on Maria Bello’s head. I mean, who are you to decide the home status of dapper hats? You can’t just kick hats you don’t like to the curb! You’re not the Hat God! Nobody should have that much power.
I urge you all to stand up for hat rights. Hats get harassed all the time. It’s hard out here for a hat! And we non-hat wearers need to stand up and say, “I support hats even though I don’t wear one!”
So don’t be one of those hat haters. And don’t watch Prime Suspect because it’s a vaguely generic crime show with a 1990s view on sexism. Watch it for Maria Bello, and her awesome hat.
(You should also watch Fringe, but for reasons totally unrelated to anything in this post. Except that Kirk Acevedo is a regular in Prime Suspect, and he was in Fringe opposite Anna Torv for a while. Anna Torv also wears hats sometimes on Fringe. She also looks good in a hat. She should also wear hats more often. OK, I lied. This post is marginally related to Fringe. But the premiere was so good, you guys.)