Flow (Still) Matters

Perhaps because of technological convergence through DVRs and TiVo, television fragmentation, and the so-called post-network era, for many television scholars working on “important” texts – most often masculinized shows that air in primetime – flow has become passé, bygone, and moved beyond in television studies. Choosing not to engage with the (super)text and focusing only on the narrative elements of a show makes for concerning, unremarked-upon assumptions about “quality” audiences and spectatorship practices with strong implications for erasures of class and gender beyond what I can cover here. But flow is, of course, alive and well and even, as I’ll argue, desired. Moreover, it’s not only characteristic of network broadcasting (especially in daytime), but cable and non-network spaces are themselves begging for ‘flownalyses.’ For instance, I’m an avid viewer of Logo’s #sitcomtherapy nights, which air old episodes of queer-friendly sitcoms like The Golden Girls and Roseanne, punctuated by bumpers showing gay men and couples, PSAs by gay puppets educating audiences about AIDS, and programs for queer shows with queer bodies like RuPaul’s Drag Race, all the while overlaid by Tweets, hashtags, and queer trivia.

Taylor Cole Miller | Flow (Still) Matters | Antenna.

‚Star Wars‘: Now the Spinoffs Will Matter (Some of Them, Anyway)

„Star Wars Canon is now determined by the Lucasfilm Story Group which [Pablo Hidalgo] and I are both a part of,“ Chee tweeted on Sunday. The story group, he explained, „has a hand in all facets of Star Wars storytelling, including movies, TV, games and publishing.“ When asked what the change meant, he wrote that „a primary goal“ was to ensure that there was no hierarchy between the movies and spinoff material, but instead one cohesive canon across the entire franchise, adding that „more so than ever, the canon field will serve us internally simply for classification rather than setting hierarchy.“

‚Star Wars‘: Now the Spinoffs Will Matter (Some of Them, Anyway).

Building Imaginary Worlds: An Interview with Mark J. P. Wolf (Part One)

The fact that it is an imaginary [..] world means that it is somehow set apart from the “real” (or “Primary”) world, with some boundaries between them, making the secondary world a thing of its own; and whereas some boundaries are physical or geographic in nature, such as mountain ranges, deserts, oceans, and so forth (or the surface of the earth itself, for underground worlds), some boundaries are temporal in nature (as in worlds set in the distant past or future, making them equally inaccessible to us in the present), or even conditional, such as in the alternate versions of the Primary world that some stories present. Tolkien separates the two by calling them the Primary world and Secondary worlds (borrowing terms from Coleridge’s discussion of the two types of imagination), and writes that the latter is dependent on the former, hence the term “subcreation” (literally, “creating under”); secondary worlds use material from the Primary world, reshaping and recombining elements from it, so that the end result is both recognizable but also new and different.

Building Imaginary Worlds: An Interview with Mark J. P. Wolf (Part One).

Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0

In the era of convergence, television producers are developing transmedia narratives to cater to consumers who are willing to follow their favorite shows across multiple media channels. At the same time, there still remains a need to preserve an internally coherent television show for more traditional viewers. This thesis offers a model for how transmedia storytelling can coexist with and enhance a television narrative, using Lost as a case study. By building a world to be discovered, creating a hierarchy of strategic gaps, focusing on the unique capabilities of each extension, and using the “validation effect” to reward fans for their cross-media traversals, television/transmedia producers can provide a satisfying experience for hard-core and casual fans alike.

Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0 by Aaron Smith, 2009

Alan Sepinwall on the origins of Lost

Abrams told Braun that there wasnt quite enough there for a series, but suggested that „The island has to be a character in the show, and somethings wrong with the island.“ Braun agreed, so long as Abrams promised to keep things in the realm of „scientific fact“ and have an explanation for everything.

via Alan Sepinwall on the origins of Lost.

How to Live Without Irony

Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.

Christy Wampole – How to Live Without Irony – NYTimes.com.

Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore

Eventually, as the number of epic hacks increased, we started to lean on a curious psychological crutch: the notion of the “strong” password. It’s the compromise that growing web companies came up with to keep people signing up and entrusting data to their sites. It’s the Band-Aid that’s now being washed away in a river of blood.

via Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore | Wired.com.

Is Your To-Do List Killing You?

  1. Lists give the illusion of progress
  2. Lists give the illusion of accomplishment
  3. Lists make you feel guilty for not achieving these things
  4. Lists make you feel guilty for continually delaying certain items
  5. Lists make you feel guilty for not doing things you don’t want to be doing anyway
  6. Lists make you prioritise the wrong things
  7. Lists are inefficient (think of what you could do with all the time you spend maintaining your lists?)
  8. Lists suck the enjoyment out of activities, making most things feel like an obligation
  9. Lists don’t actually make you more organised long term
  10. Lists can close you off to spontaneity and exploration of things you didn’t plan for (let’s face it, it’s impossible to REALLY plan some things in life)

Is Your To-Do List Killing You? – Encouragement from a Stranger.

To Spread or To Drill? « Just TV

Perhaps we need a different metaphor to describe viewer engagement with narrative complexity. We might think of such programs as drillable rather than spreadable. They encourage a mode of forensic fandom that encourages viewers to dig deeper, probing beneath the surface to understand the complexity of a story and its telling. Such programs create magnets for engagement, drawing viewers into the storyworlds and urging them to drill down to discover more. […] The opposition between spreadable and drillable shouldn’t be thought of as a hierarchy, but rather as opposing vectors of cultural engagement. Spreadable media encourages horizontal ripples, accumulating eyeballs without necessarily encouraging more long-term engagement. Drillable media typically engage far fewer people, but occupy more of their time and energies in a vertical descent into a text’s complexities.

via To Spread or To Drill? « Jason Mittell @ Just TV.

Franz Joseph and Star Trek’s Blueprint Culture | Graphic Engine

Drafting the technical manual and ship blueprints was, then, largely a matter of reconciling the “imaginary” object of the Enterprise miniature with the “real” object of sets such as the bridge, sickbay, and engineering, explaining in graphic form how exterior and interior aspects of the Enterprise fit together into a coherent whole. In this sense, Joseph’s work might be described as operationalizing the Kuleshov effect, tying down and standardizing relationships created through editing. The technical materials upon which design-oriented fandom thrives – blueprints, models, hand-crafted props –thus serve an essentially conservative function, knitting together loose seams of an imperfectly-manufactured diegetic reality, as opposed to the exploding/perverting of officially preferred meanings that occurs in fan fiction (particularly slash).

http://graphic-engine.swarthmore.edu/?p=1602