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

GLOW’s pilot mechanics

I’m writing STAY AT HOME HITMAN, a sometimes-raunchy half-hour comedy-drama involving suburban politics and scholastic espionage, mental health and struggles of new parenthood, relationships and drugs of all sorts, with a smattering of class struggles, internalised and external homophobia, infertility, familial expectations, meddling lollipop ladies, and body disposal. I revisited GLOW because despite its much … Continue reading

Stumptown Finale: or, I Heard You Paint-By-Numbers

When Stumptown premiered, I wrote about how its pilot uses what amounts to paint-by-numbers writing to great effect. I want to bookend the season by talking about how the finale still paints-by-numbers while incorporating much of the show’s growth, true surprises, long- and short- running arcs, and character development. Stumptown Season 1 turned into a … Continue reading

Blocking, Orientation, and Editing in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and WATCHMEN

Technology has enabled several trends in this Golden Age of Television: more helicopter shots! (IE cheaper because drones), longer tracking shots! special effects and stunts once strictly seen in movies! etc. Different genres lean into certain trends harder than others. A big thing in action/adventure/superhero movies is to keep the camera in perpetual motion; establishing … Continue reading

Stumptown pilot and the Economy of Storytelling

I’ve written before about the myriad of things which would go into Perfect TV Pilot Bingo, including shows like Glitch and The Night Of which set up mysteries, shows such as Doctor Who which have mini-pilots every few seasons, even TV shows which shoot a mid-season episode first to sell the show but still need to make … Continue reading