Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2011 – First Tier

Today’s the last day of 2011 and all week long I’ve been looking back at my TV viewing for the year and writing my thoughts on every single episode I watched. To start things off we covered my Second Tier series aka my five “second favorite” shows of the year, then looked at Other Shows I watched, followed by all the various episodes I sampled in Bits & Pieces. To end 2011 I present to you my top five series of the year. Each of these series fully deserves the crown of “best show of the year”. Some might consider a five way tie a cop out, but I consider it a great year of television.

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Six Shows To Catch Up On This Summer

With the 2010-2011 television series having officially ended last week most shows are now on break till the season starts back up again in September.  While there are a handful of good summer series that you should be watching (FX’s Louie, AMC’s Breaking Bad) I thought I’d put together a list of three dramas and three comedies I’d recommend watching this summer to keep your TV busy during a season that tends to be a scripted series drought.  I’ll personally be catching up on HBO’s The Wire and hopefully Deadwood, along with rewatching LOST with my girlfriend.  I’ll be writing about those shows periodically throughout the summer and maybe a few more if I finish those quickly, but till then here’s what I recommend you should be catching up on.

Justified

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One Community Under Gaga: An Interpretation of Modern Emerson Culture

The following is a paper I wrote that identified the culture of Emerson College.  It’s not directly about TV, but includes many references and one of my main points revolves around Community.  Also I figured I’d post it if only for the fact that in the part about Community I go meta within the essay.

Communities are often identified by the culture that forms around them, but the question of what defines the term “culture” is one of much debate. During a speech to the World Congress, poet, author and politician Aimé César claimed, “Culture is everything. Culture is the way we dress, the way we carry our heads, the way we walk, the way we tie our ties – it is not only the fact of writing books or building houses.”  This is a working definition that can easily be applied to help classify what exactly is Emerson College culture.  Emerson College is an institution greatly known for its acceptance of a wealth of different lifestyles, a place where everyone is encouraged to be unique and create a name that makes them standout from the crowd.  And as a student at the college, I can testify to the truth of that statement.  In a population that is meant to be so greatly diverse it may at first seem hard to label what exactly is Emerson culture, but the college’s dedication to media, communications, and the arts makes it an easy pick.  Emerson culture is essentially the same as general popular culture.

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Branding The Cattle: Assessing Product Integration In Modern Television

Community (NBC)- “Basic Rocket Science”

Preface: The following is an essay I wrote in October for my Intro To College Writing course with the topic of advertising and branding. I focused on product placement and integration talking about areas such as The Office and KFCs October advertising on Community, Running Wilde, and The Good Guys.

Coke or Pepsi? At first this might come off as a seemingly simple question, but rather it is one that can tell a great deal about a person.  Someone who drinks Coke relishes in nostalgia, it takes them back to being a little kid and grabbing an icy cool Coca-Cola bottle out of the fridge.  On the other hand a Pepsi drinker is someone who enjoys being hip and staying up to date with modern trends.  The product is essentially the same, yet the market and advertising is completely different.  It’s not the product that matters much, but rather the brand.

In 2002 the UK business magazine The Economist ran an article titled Who’s Wearing The Trousers? that directly captures this style of marketing, “The new marketing approach is to build a brand not a product – to sell a lifestyle or a personality, to appeal to emotions.”  Advertisements try to convey this in quick thirty-second spots, attempting to derive emotion from situations with little or no context.  Needless to say this is a difficult task and one that is becoming less and less important when compared to rising use of a tactic known as production integration.  Product integration, also known as product placement, involves placing existing merchandise into a TV show to help further get a brand’s name out. By directly incorporating products into television shows the item becomes apart of a character’s life and can be a factoring point in creating their fictitious personality.  An ad can sell a product, but it’s product integration that can truly help sell a lifestyle brand.  And if done right, product placement can be an exceptional way to get an item on consumers’ mind without them even noticing.

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