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Is it Possible to develop a good "feel" for a TV show from the first few episodes?

It is possible to look back after the first season of a show and develop a feeling that it was a good show, or even after several seasons. But, when a show first appears on TV and all that exists are those first few episodes, maybe no more than the first two or three, then what type of opinions can develop about it? It is possible to talk about a "tipping point" what something starts to take off, but here, at the beginning, the tipping point might not yet have been reached. Early on character development, character interaction, plots, story lines might be seen in different ways then might be the case after the show has been on for a longer period. When a show has been on for a season or more, the audience has more of a history to draw upon in how they see character interaction and plots develop, that is not there with only a few episodes. Those first few episodes can begin to lay the foundation for what is to come and, perhaps, it is how the audience speculates about where they think the show and its characters might be headed that matters in determining if viewers see a show as having the potential to be a good show.

  • This is definitely an interesting topic! And definitely something that would be interesting to look at. It would be interesting to talk about the difference between shows that try too hard and those that bring you in slowly. – ChaosMistress5817 2 days ago
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Sharknado: Camp on TV

Sharknado is suppose to end its run on TV with the release of the sixth in the series of made-for-TV movies. These movies can best be described as "camp" which might express the poor quality yet, at times, hard to resist desire (or curiosity) to watch them. Camp and television have had a long relationship, with shows such as Batman and Gilligan’s Island in the 1960s to Charlie’s Angels and CHiPs in the 1970s and 1980s best described as camp. What is it that attracts viewers to camp TV? Is there a clear dividing line between comedy and camp?

  • A bit of a historical background and theoretical framing of the concept of 'camp' will be required. Otherwise I think it is a fair discussion to have. It could be widened further to generally look at the appeal of what is such an odd series of culturally successful TV movies. – SaraiMW 1 week ago
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  • This can be a very topic to talk about it. Not every piece of entertainment has to aim to thought-provoking high art, that's why Camp exists. It's entertainment junk food that only aims to keep people entertained. Also talk about how guilty pleasure and camp can go hand in hand – cbo1094 4 days ago
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Television and the Resonance Factor

Those of you who have seen my profile and work on The Artifice know I’m a Oncer. Of course, Once Upon a Time ends next week, and of course, the fangirl in me is bummed about it. But I recently came across some interesting cast interviews, where Lana Parilla, Ginnifer Goodwin, and others talked about the "resonance" of OUAT. According to the cast, OUAT was a hit and ran for seven seasons primarily because it resonated with its audience. This got me thinking – what exactly is "resonance" in the television world? What other shows have achieved it, and are there different ways to do so? How do you know when a show has achieved the type of resonance that will ensure a multi-season run, a broad and loyal fan base, and overall endurance? Discuss.

  • This sounds like a very interesting topic, especially when comparing the producer's intentional and unintentional factors. – inkski 3 months ago
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  • Oof, resonance. I agree with inkski in that producers play a role in, I suppose, sustaining that resonance. I think good TV shows recognise their influence and will strive to prolong their on-screen stay. The biggest example of resonance I know of is from Doctor Who, whose influence can be derived from one of the greatest ideas in television history: the constant return of its titular character via 'regeneration'. I think Doctor Who's stories of life, death and how you spend the adventures in between, are what resonates with its loyal audiences. Though in sustaining resonance, I'd say there needs to be constant growth in the story. I haven't watched OUAT in ages but I'm sure it still resonates because it expanded beyond Storybrooke, in the same way it expanded on characters. Doctor Who constantly expands on the nature of the Doctor. I'm interested in how you tackle this topic, not only in how 'resonance' can be identified, but captured and sustained. – Starfire 3 months ago
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How have TV Westerns changed since the 1950s and 1960s?

Hell on Wheels (2016) with Colm Meaney and Deadwood (2006) with Timothy Olyphant represent a scattering of western shows over the past decade or so. In the year 1959, for example, there was Rawhide (with Clint Eastwood), The Californians (with Richard Coogan), The Rifleman (with Chuck Connors) and Bonanza (with Lorne Greene) and several more. What changes have taken place to reflect greater sensitivity to issues that were not always addressed in earlier Westerns? Is it possible to say that more recent TV Westerns have improved upon earlier ones? If so, in what ways?

  • Already addressed (with political undertones and and analysis): 1) https://the-artifice.com/the-virginian-political-journeys 2) https://the-artifice.com/symbolism-in-the-western-genre – L:Freire 2 months ago
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  • "Justified" with Timothy Olyphant (2010-2015) and "Westworld" (2016-present) are also golden examples of a modern take on the Western genre. – ValleyChristion 2 months ago
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Live TV Musicals and Why They Are Failing

FOX has released several live versions of musicals, most recently tackling Jesus Christ Superstar. They have previously opted to do Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, and others. Fans of these shows have offered mix reviews and criticism, including being dissatisfied with editing the tone and content of the shows. Why do these live, for-TV musicals continue to be made? Why are they not being met with the success and acclaim of their theatre counterparts?

  • Good topic. Maybe watching TV is different than being in a theater. Also, this topic could be approached contrasting recent TV musicals with ones from a decade ago or farther back to see what insight can be gathered. – Joseph Cernik 2 weeks ago
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Is The Walking Dead in jeopardy?

Critique season 8 and explain why it wasn’t as well-recepted as the earlier seasons. One could brush over the legal issues/numerous writer and producer changes in the last few years. Provide a conclusive analysis of where the show is struggling and needs to improve. Perhaps offer a solution/prediction for season 9.

  • I used to be an avid watcher of The Walking Dead, but have grown increasingly frustrated with the show. To me, the show started losing traction after the Governor was killed off. The first few seasons and what the characters struggled with felt more human and somehow relatable, but this has been lost with the show trying to find new plots. It all feels very cyclical- a new threat arises, the group struggles, a beloved character is killed off, they have to figure out how to grapple with this, and eventually they prevail. The only real action occurs in the season premiere, midseason finale, the episode immediately following, and the finale. Each individual episode needs to entice the viewer to want to keep watching, or else people (like myself) will become more and more bored and careless with the show and its characters. – jordanlprochnow 3 months ago
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  • The battle with the Saviors dragged on too long: That should have been reduced to less episodes. At times there is too much character reflection (interpersonal growth or thought)--this is a zombie show. At the beginning it was tolerable but that needed to change. – Joseph Cernik 3 weeks ago
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What's news?

Much has been written about the death of news both local and global prompted by the shockingly sudden shutdown of local news websites. The popularity of print media is also in question nowadays contributing to this debate. Is the news still relevant? With Social Media playing a great impact in how news is now perceived and with influencers dictating public opinion is there still any value in having the news reported to the public through a lens. Think of betoota advocate who many follow on instagram, or channel 10s the project, we are still getting relevant news but in a much more entertaining way and apparent to societies wants & needs. How do you want to keep up with the news? You decide.

  • Use of the word "news" sometimes gives the impression of short and superficial. In other words leave the well-developed, policy implications, complexity to professional journals and lengthy articles. Maybe that is part of the problem. It's not unusually on a TV news show for a segment to be labeled something such as "in depth" and it never is. I suspect too much of an audience receiving "news" is getting the short and under-developed, it would be better to start with an assumption that lots of little stories, even if they fit some understanding of what is "news" are not helpful--several focused pieces might give an audience better insight into issues. – Joseph Cernik 2 months ago
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  • I think a topic like this should also look into how major 'news' corporations are adapting from print media to the digital realm. Many have apps (such at the Economists 'Espresso') while others have gone to podcast formats (like Serial) or multi-media masterpieces (Snowfall by the New York Times). Beyond social media's influence, I'd also suggest looking at how our society has begun to lose its attention span and simply doesn't have the patience to read lengthy news articles and prefers quick tweets. – Pamela Maria 3 weeks ago
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The Impact of the Streaming Age

I know for myself, I watch maybe two or three shows on cable. The majority of content I watch is either on Netflix or YouTube. With everyone gathering their own streaming services now (Disney working on its own, CBS All Access, YouTube Red etc), it is not hard to see that this is where the future is heading. My film professor once told me that soon, cable will be phased out and replaced with each individual television network having its own subscription service, which would essentially be more expensive than cable. How can that be combated when subscription based streaming is super popular? It is an interesting debate to have.

  • I would also widen this to the discussion of pirating and pirate streaming sites to comment on the international cost to American studios also. It is an interesting discussion to have especially when drawing in more unusual streaming services such as Amazon and Twitch. – SaraiMW 4 months ago
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