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Posts tagged ‘tv’

Repetitive Pleasures: TV and (the Lack of) Originality

I left Jane Feuer’s recent talk (“Musical Television: Glee, Smash and the Backstage Musical on TV”) thinking about the relationship between academic treatment of TV and the pleasure derived from viewing it. Feuer is the perfect lens through which to approach this topic, for in addition to being a scholar of television she is its devoted, unabashed fan. Her enjoyment of the shows she works on inflects the way she writes and talks about them: “I’m team Ivy,” she said in reference to Smash, having taken the on-line quiz she used to show NBC’s encouragement of multiple and competing audience identifications. Her approach to television is thus intellectual but not coldly distanced; she allows herself a place in Smash’s audience even as she theorizes it. Read more

The Long Apocalypse in Jericho and Jeremiah

Kim Hawthorne as Theo in Jeremiah

In retrospect, the short-lived and prematurely canceled series Jericho (2006–2008) and Jeremiah (2002–2004), the first on CBS and the second on Showtime, struck a different tone, and expressed keener anxieties, than their contemporaries in the cluttered, and otherwise profitable, post-apocalyptic genre. While the more well-known and spectacular blockbuster releases of the oughts – The Day After Tomorrow (2004), I Am Legend (2007), 2012 (2009) – tend to treat the event of global destruction as an awesome spectacle, Jericho and Jeremiah are more concerned with the aftermath and its difficult, uneven realization. In the three Hollywood films, by contrast, the end of the world unfolds in a dramatic, thrilling present, its causes transparent if not advertised on the movie poster.

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