Episode Study – Person of Interest “If-Then-Else” – Using Set Design, Blocking, and Cinematography to Underscore Themes

Person of Interest‘s “If-Then-Else” is often considered one of the best episodes of the series (and I’ll argue, easily one of the best network episodes the last decade). The writing is clever and tight, playing with form and plot and time, bringing to bear character traits painfully established and romantic pairings long in the making, … Continue reading

Back in The Setlife Again

After a year of being forced to sit on our hands (metaphorically, but also I tried it literally because turns out forced isolation + meditation is hard?), we in the creative space are able to get back to what we love. Despite many of us making a resolution to slowly submerge ourselves rather than fly … Continue reading

DOLLHOUSE and the Unconventional Pilot

Joss Whedon’s / Eliza Dushku’s Dollhouse had a lot going for and against it. Whedon had some blank checks to cash, Dushku had a deal with FOX, the premise was fascinating, and one actor playing multiple roles week to week is always a juicy prospect. Whether because of marketing, timing, direct competition in an era … Continue reading

Pilot Season: ATLANTA

Donald Glover’s Atlanta is unique in many ways: it plays with style, tone, and ancient mythology while still staying mostly grounded in reality; it evokes a hyper-specific place* but with characters you could imagine living in most US cities; it hits a dark notes most US half-hours won’t come near; it clearly utilises Glover’s experience … Continue reading

On the Unique Joys and Upcoming Trials & Tribulations of Saint Ted Lasso

Like the buoyancy of its titular character, the exact vibe of Ted Lasso is hard to pin down.       It’s a family comedy with sex and swears, a deceptively simple drama about people trying real hard, dotted with very American jokes and thoroughly English sensibilities. It’s the weird characters and team-microcosm-within-a-specific-organisation-within-a-specific-town of Parks … Continue reading

Inside the Fast Turnarounds and Wild Stories of Live-Shoot K-Dramas

The more k-dramas I watch, the more impressive it is to know how the sausage is made. Part of the fun in movies and TV is studying how they write and shoot; in the case of k-dramas, some are fully pre-produced, but the ones which aren’t are usually still shooting the middle episodes when the … Continue reading

Looking Good for Cheap: Directing Marvel’s Agent Carter

While Marvel is tearing up the big screen, DC – in form of the Arrowverse and an assorted hit-or-wide-miss offering every season or so – owns the small screen, with two major exceptions: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. The former has several seasons and loosely connects to the films, and for my money the … Continue reading

Gilmore Girls and Writing in Others’s Book Margins

A few months ago on Twitter: Then I saw this thread about MMM, which brings up whether the show is ‘good’ but particularly if it and its titular protagonist are self-aware and . . . well, here we are. A slew of thoughts about writing, responsibility, depiction of reality versus fantasy, etc. A mini-treatise on … Continue reading

In Defence of Nate Heywood

In a rogue’s gallery of runaways and billionaires, clones and scientists, ex-assassins and not-ex-thieves, nerds and stoners, demons and reformed government bureaucrats, Nate Heywood is the worst. Among examples of ever so slowly growing and learning and improving, he is also the best. Legends is the wildest, zaniest, most diverse show on television. It’s as … Continue reading

How Moving Shots Reveal Story, Create Tension (and so much more)

From The Bold Type to I May Destroy You to Supergirl, a recent trend in television is to keep the camera moving. Network procedurals, prestige cable dramas, limited run series, even talk shows (hello, Patriot Act) often ply this technique, sometimes as a cheap way to up production value. . Advantages and Drawbacks When used … Continue reading