Stream Me!: Netflix Refuses to Make a “Huge Mistake” With Arrested Development

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On May 26, 2013 the Internet will crash. Well, maybe not the whole Internet, but at least Netflix’s servers will. That’s because it’s the day and date release of the much anticipated return of the beloved, TV cult classic comedy Arrested Development. Since the comedy went off the  air in 2006, there has been seemingly never ending talk about the Bluth clan potentially getting back together. No matter how many years passed Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, and the others were bombarded with questions about if and when the return would happen. Things came to a head when in October 2011 during a cast reunion set up by the New Yorker, creator and showrunner Michael Hurwtiz announced his ambitious plan to do a ten episode new season and then a full length feature film. Fans everywhere cheered, but considering Hurwtiz didn’t have a studio or any financial backing, the proposal seemed to be yet another one of Gob’ s infamous illusions. That all changed in November 2011 when Netflix announced they would officially be bringing the series back from the grave for one more season.

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Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2012 – First Tier

Retrospective 2012- First Tier

We’re nearing the end of December here meaning it’s time for everyone to say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the new year. 2012 was a big year for the site as it reached nearly 30,000 total views and my article on HBO’s now defunct series Luck was used as a required reading at University of Oregon. Sadly, work and personal things interfered with the blog in the later half of the year, but I figured I’d try and make up for things with the second annual Remotely Interesting Retrospective. This time I’ll be breaking down my favorite TV series into three categories: First Tier, Second Tier, and Third Tier. Any of the five shows in the First Tier could easily be number one given the episode. The Second Tier consists of my five “second best” series of the year and the Third Tier is to highlight five additional shows that were particularly outstanding and deserve some extra recognition. And don’t worry, all the write ups will remain spoiler free, dealing with only broad strokes rather than fine details, so go ahead and read without fear. Continue reading

Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2012 – Second Tier

Retrospective 2012- Second Tier

We’re nearing the end of December here meaning it’s time for everyone to say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the new year. 2012 was a big year for the site as it reached nearly 30,000 total views and my article on HBO’s now defunct series Luck was used as a required reading at University of Oregon. Sadly, work and personal things interfered with the blog in the later half of the year, but I figured I’d try and make up for things with the second annual Remotely Interesting Retrospective. This time I’ll be breaking down my favorite TV series into three categories: First Tier, Second Tier, and Third Tier. Any of the five shows in the First Tier could easily be number one given the episode. The Second Tier consists of my five “second best” series of the year and the Third Tier is to highlight five additional shows that were particularly outstanding and deserve some extra recognition. And don’t worry, all the write ups will remain spoiler free, dealing with only broad strokes rather than fine details, so go ahead and read without fear. Continue reading

Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2012 – Third Tier

Retrospective 2012- Third Tier

We’re nearing the end of December here meaning it’s time for everyone to say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the new year. 2012 was a big year for the site as it reached nearly 30,000 total views and my article on HBO’s now defunct series Luck was used as a required reading at University of Oregon. Sadly, work and personal things interfered with the blog in the later half of the year, but I figured I’d try and make up for things with the second annual Remotely Interesting Retrospective. This time I’ll be breaking down my favorite TV series into three categories: First Tier, Second Tier, and Third Tier. Any of the five shows in the First Tier could easily be number one given the episode. The Second Tier consists of my five “second best” series of the year and the Third Tier is to highlight five additional shows that were particularly outstanding and deserve some extra recognition. And don’t worry, all the write ups will remain spoiler free, dealing with only broad strokes rather than fine details, so go ahead and read without fear. Continue reading

Drinking the LOST-Aid: The Mythology, Duality, & Significance of Cult Television

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The ABC television series LOST is one of the great success stories of the aughts. The show was deemed a colossal failure before it even began by advertising companies, was notorious for being the most expensive pilot ever shot at the time, and even led to the firing of the network executive who developed the idea. Yet the pilot would go on to amass 18.65 million viewers in the U.S. (Kissell, 2004) and soon became a world wide phenomena, airing in over one hundred and seventy different countries and being titled the second most popular show in the world by appearing in the most top ten in more countries than any other show other than CSI: Miami (BBC, 2006). With ratings like that, the question of whether LOST counts as a cult television series gets brought up frequently. While LOST may not work with the traditional definition of cult, when one takes into account the metamorphosis of the term cult and what it means in relation to the current state of television, it becomes intrinsically clear that yes, LOST is cult television. In fact, LOST is a quintessential example of modern network cult TV that provides a case for why cult TV matters as it brings fans together to create dedicated communities, while also serving as a model for the future of industry.

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Strain Things Are Happening To Me: Breaking Bad and Strain Theory

Reflecting back on the final events that end the mid-season break of Breaking Bad’s fifth season it occured to me that the AMC series is essentially the television equivalent of the sociology study known as strain theory. Everybody’s favorite meth cooker Walter White begins the show as little more than your average joe. He’s forty years-old, belongs to a lower-middle income class, teaches chemistry at a high school, and works a second job at car wash. His life is boring, average, and at this point, uneventful. But when Walter learns he has lung cancer he realizes that the way his life is going he’s going to leave nothing behind for his family and die a failure of the American dream he once saw in his grasps. It is then he decides it’s time to stop conforming to society and instead start innovating, even if that means breaking bad in the process. Average American Walter White begins cooking meth and starts his transformation into drug lord known as Heisenberg.

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The Legend of Korra – Book One: Elemental Television

After a short, but action packed twelve episodes the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel, The Legend of Korra, has now ended it’s first season, or should I say finished book one. Below are my general thoughts on the finale and the season as a whole, along with my hopes for the second season. But before I get nitpicky and specific let me say that despite a few clunks, Korra is more than a worthy sequel to Avatar; it’s some of the best television airing today. With six months still to go, Korra already garnered a high spot in my list of top tier series this year.

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All Society Really Wants Is Girls: A British Cultural Studies View of HBO’s New Comedy

Everything we view in the media exists as carefully constructed, but not always intentional, social commentary. Films and television series are endlessly edited and changed at the hands of executives in suits whose end goal is to make as much profit as possible off the product. Their job is make the video appeal to as many viewers as possible. By the very nature of the job they have to suck out the uniqueness and turn the heavy, vaguely sweet taste of pumpernickel bread into plain old generic Wonder bread. Often this metaphor is actually quite literal with main stream media being predominantly focused upon white males. The average lead of you big budget, blockbuster film or high profile network is almost always going to be a white male. They may throw in a female counterpart or an American-American best friend to so-called diversify the product, but in the end you’re viewing a product told from a particular social view that reinforces a white patriarchal power structure.

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Is Raylan Givens Justified?: The Ethics of [Fictional] Harlan County

U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens does his job by a simple rule: shoot if it’s justified. Complete with his trademark stetson hat, the hero of FX’s crackerjack drama Justified is in every sense a modern day cowboy; a man who seemingly fears nothing and never winces when it comes to pull the trigger. It’s not so much that Raylan likes killing and shooting others, but rather he simply has no qualms with it. He loves his job and will do about anything to uphold the law, though not always through the traditional marshal methods. It’s because of this almost trigger happy attitude that Raylan is transferred from Miami back to his home state of Kentucky where he’s forced to encounter the various family members and hillbilly criminals he tried to get away from years ago. Upon returning home Raylan learns first hand that each character that makes up the colorful world of Harlan County, Kentucky seems to have their own moral code and ethic system that means to justify their actions.

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Don Draper is Kind of a Sexist: A Post-Structuralist Feminist Analysis of Mad Men’s Season 5 Poster

In the 1980s a monumental movement took place within the realm of feminist studies when the idea of post-structuralist feminism was created. Post-structuralist feminism is based upon the principal that we as a society must look closer at the language order that teaches us to be what culture labels as “women.” It is only through viewing the cultural constructions that constitute women as different from men that beneficial change can be brought about to women. Unlike previous feminist theories, post-structuralism doesn’t believe that the difference between genders is biological, but rather that it is cultural. Society has created definitions for what is man and what is women, not our metaphysical bodies as the other feminist theories believe. This classifies post-structuralism as a form of non-essentialist feminism. They believe that everything that defines a women as a women is purely cultural. There is no essential femininity behind this social construction. Post-structuralists aim to look carefully at the relationship between a given gender identity and the patriarchal order that rules society. They want to analyze the ways through which sexuality and subjectivity are created concurrently.

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