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

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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

Let’s Be Upfront 2012: ABC & CBS

This week is a special time for fans of television as each of the major networks roll out their fall schedules, announce what current series are being cancelled, reveal what new shows their picking up. So basically it’s Christmas morning, complete with the excitement of beautifully gift wrapped new toys, and the disappointment of said new toys once unwrapped and revealed to actually be a stack of tube socks. Thankfully this year few beloved series have been cancelled, albeit a handful will return with fewer episodes (most notably Community) and one had to jump networks (Cougar Town). But now that we know what shows are returning it’s time to change the focus to what new shows will be out come next season. The following are my first impressions from the short one to four minute previews the networks have made available online. There will be a handful of series I won’t cover as I no interest in spending any time on shows like Mistress (she’s a married man’s other and she likes it that way) and the majority of the discussion will focus around sitcoms as that’s my main area of interest. Without further ado here’s my thoughts on what ABC and CBS have to offer.

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Let’s Be Upfront 2012: FOX & NBC

This week is a special time for fans of television as each of the major networks roll out their fall schedules, announce what current series are being cancelled, reveal what new shows their picking up. So basically it’s Christmas morning, complete with the excitement of beautifully gift wrapped new toys, and the disappointment of said new toys once unwrapped and revealed to actually be a stack of tube socks. Thankfully this year few beloved series have been cancelled, albeit a handful will return with fewer episodes (most notably Community) and one had to jump networks (Cougar Town). But now that we know what shows are returning it’s time to change the focus to what new shows will be out come next season. The following are my first impressions from the short one to four minute previews the networks have made available online. There will be a handful of series I won’t cover as I no interest in spending any time on shows like Mob Doctor (she’s a doctor that has to work for the mob) and the majority of the discussion will focus around sitcoms as that’s my main area of interest. Without further ado here’s my thoughts on what FOX and NBC have to offer.

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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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Lucky Signs: The Semiotics of HBO’s Luck

Everyday we are surrounded by millions upon millions of signs. The amazing thing about these signs is our mind rarely ever consciously registers them, rather it just accepts them and automatically derives meaning. The study of semiotics is an attempt to look at these various signs in-depth. But before one can study a sign, one must look at what a sign is. A sign is made up of two parts, the signifier which is the image/object/sound itself and the signified is the concept it represents. Each sign has a two types of significations, which is the relationship between the signifier and the signified.

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Where Have All The Real Men Gone?: Television’s Recent Obsession With Masculinity

The following is a paper I wrote for my Gender Studies course in December. It’s a subject that is perhaps dated at this point as the flood of masculinity based comedies have all been canceled (with the exception of Last Man Standing which has moved away from said premise). Nonetheless I figured I’d post this essay regardless of the timing. Work It had not yet aired at the time of this paper so I focused primarily on just fall 2011 series, that being said I could’t resist using a photo from it.

Women rule the world, or at least that’s what television what’s you to think right now. Often times each year without trying the various major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX) seem to create pilots, the first episode of a TV series, with similar themes and messages. Last year there was an abundant amount of shows based around the idea of couples in various states in their relationship and life (ABC’s Happy Endings, FOX’s Traffic Light, and NBC’s bluntly titled Perfect Couples). Sometimes the theme sticks more than others, but this year the theme ended up being more overtly political than usual. Just about every show this year revolves around the idea of modern gender relationships and exploring what is the core dynamic between the different sexes. While the idea of publicly addressing how gender is handled in today’s society is one that may be appealing, there is a subdivision within the theme that is perhaps a little disturbing and troubling to look at.

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Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2011 – Non 2011 Shows

The last week of December I counted down to the new year by introducing a feature I refer to as the Remotely Interesting Retrospective. All week long I wrote about my First Tier and Second Tier series of the year, along with the Other Shows I watched and a collection of the Bits & Pieces I sampled. And while we’re now a week into 2012 I thought I’d post one extra part of the Retrospective. After writing about every 2011 show I watched in the year, I thought it might be fun to do a bonus article on the various shows I caught up on in 2011, despite them  not having aired that year. With this last post I’ll have written about every single show/episode I watched in 2011. Hope you’ve enjoyed my 7,000 plus words on my 2011 viewing experience and thanks overall to everyone who read Remotely Interesting during its first year run. It’s been quite the success in my book and I look forward to doing this for as long as I can.

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Remotely Interesting Retrospective 2011 – Bits & Pieces

It’s the end of December which means its time to look back on the year an evaluate the various television shows that aired throughout 2011. Two days ago I posted  my Second Tier series of the year and then yesterday I posted my Other Shows list which contains all the series I watched every episode of that aired in 2011 that didn’t make my top ten list. Today I’ll keep things brief with some quick thoughts on the shows I sampled throughout the year, but didn’t watch every episode of.

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