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New Season: When should it end?

Various TV series are loved and enjoyed for different factors that lead to producers investing more as time passes and ratings rise. It’s good for the show, the production, and the fans as more seasons get made. But when is the limit of stretching a story? Especially when lead actors decide to leave the cast?

Helpful examples are long running shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, the CW Arrowverse, Once Upon A Time, etc., and even more recent hit shows like Stranger Things. Also, a good comparison are with shows that did well with just one season, particularly “limited series”, a current television trend that includes Netflix’s Maniac and HBO’s Sharp Objects.

  • This is a really cool topic, I actually think about this a lot. For example, Dexter is my favourite show, but I do think they should have ended sooner than they did, since the story felt stretched. What do you think is a good gauge for knowing when to end a show? – priyashashri 1 month ago
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  • Any good show should end when they run out of stories to tell or when the narration should obviously conclude. The order should be story>show. With so many shows, it is the other way around- They decide there should be more seasons because ratings are good or whatever and come up with a clearly forced narrative. – abky 1 month ago
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  • I think a really good example is ‘Community.’ In it’s final episode the characters address that it must be the last episode for various reasons, including the fact that many actors had left. They offer suggestions as to what the storyline of the hypothetical ‘next season’ will be, and they conclude that it can’t be. Or there’s a reference in an episode where the earliest seasons are referred to as the best era (that’s paraphrased, I cant remember verbatim). Just a really cool example of a show’s self awareness that it has run its course, and the decision process the show’s creators would have had to go through. – leersens 1 month ago
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2020: Death knell for the "family comedy"?

The "family comedy" has always been a fixture on American TV: The Jeffersons, Family Matters, Family Ties, All in the Family, Roseanne, Fuller House, Home Improvement to name a few, have been hugely popular and critically acclaimed. However, the family oriented sitcom went into a decline when shows like Seinfeld, Friends and That 70s Show premiered, signalling in a new trend of sitcoms centering around a group of friends, or unrelated people bonding, hanging out and experiencing things together.

But then, 2009 was seen as the year the "family sitcom" was revived, with Modern Family and The Middle premiering on ABC. However, with The Middle ending its run in 2018 and Modern Family and Schitt’s creek, a Canadian sitcom that came close enough to be considered a "family show" airing their final episodes in April this year, are family oriented sitcoms no longer in vogue? Is this indicative of an already individualistic society moving further into a greater degree of individualism? Or is it just an overreaction? Are we not looking around enough? Maybe there is such a show that’s not getting the attention it deserves.

Also, is it the same in other countries, especially the eastern countries, where societies are known to be extremely collectivistic? Do the shows airing there still have "family" as an inherent theme?

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    The figure of the Devil in TV shows

    Popular culture, and TV shows, in particular, are prone to use and revisit mythical figures, religious allegories, and biblical references, and, among, them, the Devil. Whether he is called Lucifer or Satan, the one who rebelled against God and have incarnated evil ever since seems to be an everlasting source of inspiration for screenwriters, creators, and showrunners. However, in recent shows like Supernatural, and, even more, in Lucifer, the Devil is – to a degree at least, especially in Supernatural where he is and stays an antagonist – humanized. His so-called evilness is – once again, to a degree – nuanced, and there is more to his psychology than evil for evil’s sake. It is especially flagrant in Lucifer, as Lucifer is the main character. He is a hero with flaws and qualities, a hero confronted to very human dilemmas, to fear, to loss, to love, a hero we are rooting for.
    How Devil-like characters have been written and treated? As it evolved? Can we discern a tendency, in recent TV shows, to develop, or even humanize, the Devil? How is it done? How could such a tendency be related to the evolution of the “Good vs Evil” trope? And, potentially, what are the exceptions to the recent transformations – or lack of transformation, if we can’t discern a real tendency – and how can we explain them?

    • Great topic. Other shows to consider covering: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina; Reaper; 666 Park Avenue; Good Omens. – Emily Deibler 2 months ago
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    • Definitely an interesting topic for discussion! However, it bears pointing out that the idea of the Devil not being pure evil isn't new. It actually goes back to John Milton's Paradise Lost, which was written in the 1600's. – Debs 2 months ago
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    • Very good topic! I would suggest, if you can, looking into South Park's Satan, who is very much confronted with the human dilemma of love and sexuality. Some films that I would suggest would be the Ghost Rider films and The Devil's Advocate. I believe that there is a Paradise Lost reference in Advocate. – tolkienfan 2 months ago
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    • Also include a reiteration from anime. They have some pretty weird stuff there. (Devil is a Part-Timer, Blue Exorcist, Devilman Crybaby) – OkaNaimo0819 1 month ago
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    What’s the hook of Korean romance dramas?

    Korean romance dramas span a variety of sub-genres that generally entice old and new audiences but romance narratives typically and expectedly end one of two ways: the protagonist and love interest end up, or not. Even if predictable, why does it sell to the audience? What aspects make Korean romance dramas addicting?

    Further topic: the heteronormative themes and couples of Korean romance dramas and its underlying effect on the audience

    • Good question As a K drama addict myself I think it has to do with good development of the characters. It could be high fantasy, a crime drama but the characters are what makes us love them – Amelia Arrows 3 months ago
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    • It would be interesting to compare similar dramas, comparing story structure and characters. – kerrybaps 3 months ago
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    Scandal: The White Hat symbolism

    Throughout the entire series the term white hat is tossed back and forth but what does it mean. I think its about being the good guy. Whoever where the white hat is considered the one who is winning and doing the right thing. In this show we easily see where the lines between good and evil are crossed so is wearing the white hat even worth it. I think if someone could track the metaphor they’d be able to understand the relationship between Olivia and Joshua a lot better.

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      Buffy as a role model for us all

      Link the narrative arcs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) to the #metoo movement. Buffy manages to be the one who saves the world (with the Scooby gang) whilst working her way through a number of relationships with the ‘wrong’ man. These included the bad boy who can’t be saved, the stalked, the good guy who finished last and ‘beer goggles’. in the context of metoo – how is Buffy conceptualised in present day through this lens?

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        TVDU and it's abundance of LGBTQ ships

        The Vampire Diaries and its spinoffs (The Originals, Legacies) and canonically full of mostly heterosexual relationships, but a significant portion of the show’s followers and fans are deeply committed too gay, lesbian, bi and pan ships that have little chance of setting sail or solidifying. Is this because of the show runners? Is this because of the channels it’s airing on?

        • Great topic! Be sure to check a couple typos ("are" instead of "and" in the first sentence). More importantly, though, I would recommend looking at queer-baiting across fandom. Fans have spent decades building huge archives of fan work dedicated to LGBT+ "ships" to compensate for the lack of LGBT+ relationships in mainstream television shows. I would recommend looking into reasons why fans feel so strongly about these ships, and then look at some statistics about LGBT+ representation on tv. Also, can fans ever go "too far" with these ships? The Vampire Diaries is a great series for this topic, but I've seen a similar trend with Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and lots of anime. – Eden 3 months ago
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        • Cool topic, I assuming its because the Vampire diaries universe is mainly aimed at teens and young adults, people who are members of the most LGBT+ generation, although their are some gay and lesbian role models in shows like the vampire diaries their arnt many pan or other LGBT+ people or relationships on tv. Which thus leads to fan fiction. If their arnt any role models they hope for some to be introduced or create their own. – BrigetteH 2 months ago
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        The Best Standalone Episodes

        Having recently finished watching Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, I was struck by how my favourite episode was #5 Dark Quiet Death – a standalone episode that featured two completely separate characters. It got me thinking of other examples, like a similarly video-game focused episode of You’re the Worst, and countless others.

        So thought it would be a great idea to accumulate these into an article, or perhaps even analyse why audiences respond to these episodes (as Dark Quiet Death is the highest-rated Mythic Quest episode on IMDB by far).

        • Another example that might fit: among the three best-rated episodes of Stargate SG-1 on Imbd, two of them can be considered as standalone episodes: Window of Opportunity and The Fifth Race. The monster-of-the-week episodes of The X-Files might also belong in such an analysis. There might also be a difference between standalone episodes in more ‘procedural’ TV shows (such as SG-1 or X-Files), where standalone episodes are a regular format), and TV shows where, no matter how good they are, standalone episodes stay an exception. (I haven't watched Mythic Quest, so I don't know in which 'category' it would go.) Could that issue be discussed in the same article or would that fact call for two separate ones? – Gavroche 4 months ago
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