Is Crazy Out of Steam?

I started streaming Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ( a.k.a. CXGF) on Netflix on Saturday night. The “Sexy Getting Ready Song” was refreshingly accurate. I was hooked after that. However, by episode 15, my interest took a dive. I’m afraid that much like my beloved The Good Wife, CXGF might be trapped in its name. Could it have hit the repetition wall–the dreaded point where the premise dies and the show must end–in the middle of its first season? I’m hoping for some kind of diegetic deus ex machina to refresh the show. While definitely a cumulative show, it leans heavily toward the episodic end of that spectrum, and that’s not ideal for binge watching. If I allowed a week to pass before watching the next episode, perhaps I’d be content. Maybe I should?

The Russians

Finally starting The Americans. It airs on FX, but I’m streaming it from the beginning on Amazon Prime Video. Love that Death Comes to Pemberley‘s Darcy co-stars! I’m not really familiar with Kerri Russell. I watched a few episodes of Felicity…I think…back when it was on. All I know is that I need to at least give a shot to any show  is obsessed with.

The Americans is back — and it’s still the best-kept secret on TV

 

*If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely stream DCTP on Netflix.

 

Ain’t Your Consumer

I would be much more into Jennifer Lopez’s feminist anthem, “Ain’t Your Mama“, if the excellent nod to Network in the opening wasn’t interrupted with the most blatant product placement I’ve ever seen outside a soap opera. I understand the need for TV shows to increase profitability with integrated advertising. But WTF, J.Lo? Someone explain the need for a wealthy, powerful pop star to (not subtly) hawk Lavazza in a music video? Soaps are really struggling (largely bc of the hegemony of masculinity, btw), so I get that. But, J.Lo? Wtf wtf wtf???😟

The Best Movie Right Now

The Love Witch is the best movie I’ve ever seen.💋💄🗡♥️🃏

Ok, maybe not ever, but definitely the best movie right now. It was the movie I needed to see now, in my new militant feminist phase. I saw it at the Wisconsin Film Festival, which was the film’s domestic premiere. The director, Anna Biller, attended and did a Q&A after that just confirmed how amazingly cool the movie is. Everything in the movie was in bursting 1960s technicolor, filmed with that classic technique. Biller not only directed, but made all the beautiful and perfectly period-accurate costumes. The period of the movie is actually a little tricky, as everything in the diegetic world was ’60s, but not everything on camera was (you could see modern cars in the background). I kind of liked this muddling–it added a layer of subtle social commentary and fantasy. There’s more to be said, but all I will say for now is get yourself to a screening by any means necessary!

Boss is King

shervelAfter seeing in class the fan mash-up of Sherlock with House M.D., I was curious what CBS’s Elementary might offer as an updated, American version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. I searched for an interview with one of Elementary’s female producers, and landed on Liz Friedman, a very accomplished television producer and writer who executive produced both Elementary and House M.D.  I decided to write on this podcast interview with Friedman because female voices unmediated by men are not often heard, and this was an interview between two women in the industry. I wondered if Friedman’s minority status within the industry as a woman (a gay woman at that) would influence her representation of her work. The podcast was created and hosted by Jen Grisanti, a former TV executive who now seems to make her entire living off of paid seminars and speeches on “making-it” as an industry writer. By analyzing the subculture of “insider” discussion in Jen Grisanti’s podcast interview of Liz Friedman, I will explore how above-the-line work privileges the needs of the industry over individual laborers by using such deep texts as what Professor Johnson calls “regimes of truth,” enforcing the ideology of Hollywood meritocracy. Continue reading

Convergence Breeds Convergence: Crossover in CBS’s Supergirl

Laura Prudom writing in Variety’s March 22, 2016 article, “Supergirl’ Meets ‘The Flash’: Stars Take Us Behind the Scenes on the Crossover (EXCLUSIVE)” reveals the economic convergence involved in such event programming. Henry Jenkins defines various forms of the post-network phenomena of convergence, the economic variety consisting of the ownership of different forms of media. Conglomeration has been ramping up for decades since the deregulation of Fin-Syn’s abolishment. The significance of conglomeration in the post-network age lies in the potential for what Jenkins terms “transmedia exploitation of branded properties.” When companies have ownership in multiple channels, they have greater incentive and ease in engaging in cross-promotion and synergy among those holdings. By exposing the economic convergence involved in the Supergirl/Flash crossover, I will show how convergence can breed convergence, allowing shows to benefit from post-network fragmentation.

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