I’ve been slacking on the #Clicks lately, I know. I’ve been either writing elsewhere, trying to finish my spec script, or watching Pulp Fiction for the first time. Also, haven’t found that many worthy articles. But, here are a few things, including some shameless self-promotion.
This just in! The Emmy’s have cleaned-up their category rules: comedy’s are now defined as series 30 minutes or less (blocking shows like Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin from being nom’ed in the Comedy category), but have also expanded categories selections from 5 to 7 nominees to make room for the crowding. As James Poniewozik said,
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Appreciate Emmys trying to clarify, but real issue is a lot of best TV today is neither strictly drama/comedy http://t.co/RmlLrEP8ZD
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) February 20, 2015
There simply just needs to be a dramedy category (adding two slots per category basically gives Dramedy 4 slots if you just include Best Comedy/Drama. Instead of squeezing everyone between two, spread the love between three!), as I explain here: The Emmys Need New Categories. The article also says that “guest” stars who are in more than 50% of the series episodes are no longer eligible (which, though I love her, is how Uzo Aduba won for OitNB. Not fair to actual guest actors and not fair to her for not being allowed to submit for supporting actor!).
This LA Times article discusses how the diverse TV shows this year—and their phenomenal ratings—means that people are finally seeing that black shows (by nature of the shows presented) and diverse casts are winning this year. From Scandal beginning the wave to How to Get Away with Murder, Empire, and Black-ish all seeing increases—some record breaking—in their already high, premiere ratings, does this mean execs are finally seeing the value in diverse content? I surely hope so. And as much as I love Shonda Rhimes, I hope she is paving the way for more opportunities from other people of color and that ABC in particular aren’t just going to continue to default to her for their diverse offerings. Follow her example and find others to nurture and support and give their own platform. Though written before Fresh Off the Boat‘s premiere, I know that show also has premiered with fantastic numbers that I see increasing when competing time slot shows Parks and Recreation is over and The Flash is on hiatus for a month.
The Dangers of Binge Watching. Loved this humorous take on how addicting marathoning and bingeing can be. We’ve all been there… Binge Hangover.
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I wrote ‘In Defence of Felicity‘ because of an article that boiled her arc on this season’s Arrow down to being “a woman scorned.” The author seemed upset that her writing had reduced her, but I felt that the post reduced her and didn’t see that there’s more going on in Felicity’s head than just her failed relationship with Oliver. Click through to read my thoughts and check out the original piece.
This week’s recaps by yours truly: Castle, Arrow.
Finally, I’ll be hanging out over on the Entertainment Weekly Community, where fans get to ramble about and write recaps for TV shows they love. It’s a pretty exclusive community, so I’m really excited to join in! For my first post, I wrote about the similarities between two of my favorite shows: Angel and Arrow. TV side-by-side: ‘Angel’ and ‘Arrow‘. I’ll also be doing Nightly Show round-ups and Angel nostalgia recaps.
Do you rewatch TV shows over and over and over? I do. So does Margaret Lyons of Vulture. I quote her #StayTuned column on rewatching TV series, then talk about my own feelings about TV as a constant comfort.
New and burgeoning TV genres should get new Emmy categories. Here are three Emmy categories I think we need and some shows to nominate in them. What are your Emmy genre picks and what shows do you submit? #Emmys
Shonda Rhimes is ABC’s biggest money maker right now. She’s been re-upped through 2018 and nearly all her shows get greenlit without much effort or fuss. Scandal is one of television’s hottest shows right now and Grey’s Anatomy has been 10 years strong, so it makes sense to keep that legacy going. And of course, if Grey’s starts to falter and Scandal has a tentative “end date,” then ABC wants to get some Shonda shows in there that could overlap and continue the dynasty.
This fall, Thursdays become Shondalnd Thursdays. In addition to Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes’ new show, starring Viola Davis–How to Get Away with Murder–will premiere in the 10pm slot. Talk about a strong lead in. We know just from the Shonda brand that it will be highly watched, highly talked about, and will get ABC the Thursday ratings they want for the first few weeks at least.
But can she sustain it? Doing two shows at a time has got to be rough. The last time Shonda Rhimes had three shows on the air–no one remembers Off the Map, in conjunction with Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice? Exactly, that’s what happens when you have three shows on the air. Grey’s was in it’s seventh season and Private Practice in what became it’s second to last. Three shows is draining. Three shows is stretching yourself thin. Three shows is hoping you can trust the people in charge of your other shows with the characters, with the storylines. And while there are shows with big names attached spread across multiple shows (Dick Wolf (L&O), Jerry Bruckheimer), they don’t have the showrunner, creator, creative input that Shonda has. So we’ll see how well each show does with Shonda spreading herself across them like this.
My biggest example of a highly involved creator trying three shows at once is 2002 Joss Whedon.
As he was entering Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s seventh season and Angel’s fourth season, Firefly came out. Cult hit that it (and the other two shows as well) was, that was a rough year for Whedonites. Yes, there were other factors to Firefly’s cancel (cough*FOX executive meddling*cough), but season 7 of Buffy and Angel’s 4th are some of the most contested seasons among fans. There’s a lot of dislike in the character development, storyline speed and progress, and just a general division among fans about whether or not they’re the weakest seasons in the bunch. Firefly was cancelled after 13 episodes (well, more like 10?), it became Buffy’s last season, and Angel’s second to last. In addition to all the other pressures that caused each show to go through it’s personal rough patch, it could not have helped that Joss had to concern himself with all three shows, in some way. Focusing on Firefly doesn’t mean that he could have completely ignored showrunner responsibilities for Angel and Buffy. That kind of stretching takes a toll on the showrunner and the shows.
I hope this doesn’t happen to Shonda. Both Grey’s (simply due to it’s length) and Scandal already have many fans once in love with the shows expressing apprehension about the coming seasons. Grey’s is losing a major, fan favorite character. Scandal’s struggled with White House saturation. With these cracks in the armor, can Shonda risk dividing her attention to another show? Only time, and ratings, will tell.
I love Joss Whedon. I don’t think he’s a perfect showrunner–none of them are, but he is my favorite overall so far. Let me start with: I could never get into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen several episodes and know the plot for most of the series, but I could never sit down and watch every episode. I really don’t know why. It’s my biggest failing as a Joss fan, but perhaps someday I will correct this (and blog here about it). Other than that big fail on my part, I love all his other shows: Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse* (special shout out to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog and his movies Serenity, The Avengers, and Cabin the Woods). I can’t wait for his upcoming show SHIELD to come out (though I believe that’s more Jed, Zack, and Maurissa). So here I will try to explain why I love Joss so much.
*Maybe I only like Joss’ one word shows…
I love the worlds he writes in. I’m a nerd who likes the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Fairy tales and monsters and mythology are my jam. So sure I got hooked on Angel (back on TNT when reruns came on before Charmed, another fave show of mine) and followed Joss to Firefly and Dollhouse–all in the same genre. But I don’t get hooked on all sci-fi/fantasy (I’ve never watched Fringe or Supernatural for instance). So what is it about Joss?
I can’t say I can place it, but one place to start are his characters. He really makes you care about them, even when they can turn evil in a second. There is always something about his characters that make you love them. They often are searching for redemption, they usually have a bit of gray & grey morality to them. They are often misfits banding together to fight evil or save the world. And I love how his characters love each other. How they try to save each other and are friends. Watching them learn and grow from each other is really great.
Also Joss can be very good at plotting stories through a season almost seamlessly. On Angel, we weave from Darla’s arrival at the end of season 1, to her involvement with Wolfram and Hart and her brief humanity, to her mission to try to make Angel evil in season 2, to it not woking despite the sex, to her pregnant return in season 3, to her death and Connor’s birth, his kidnapping arc and subsequent return in later season 3, to the Jasmine arc of season 4 (which has a lot of rough patches–more on that some other time) to saving the world and Wolfram and Hart offering them the company in season 5. Each of those major arcs stem from those five minutes at the end of “To Shanshu in LA” where we find Darla in that box. I love that. I love how even though each season has a different feel and new characters and villains who are more and more morally ambiguous, the major arcs of each season are connected to the last.
Joss also has really good plot twists. The final episodes of Angel are among my favorite for how glued to the TV you are.
There will assuredly be more on Joss later, but I wanted to start out with my fave showrunner and blather for a bit.