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Wednesday, 3 of March of 2021

Tag » Burn Notice

Finding the Formula in the Characters

With Lost’s upcoming return, I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss the shows that aren’t exactly innovative in terms of narrative or character or having a big honking mythology. Yes, I’m talking about the other hour-long dramas that are on TV and that, let’s be honest, may not necessarily get the critical love and attention that they may deserve. More importantly though, I want to, hopefully, parse out some of the differences in between these shows and see how they ultimately survive compared to other shows like Lost that burns us up inside, but fizzle on screen.

I’ll admit that Lost’s return isn’t the only motivating factor here. Burn Notice is on tonight, one of my favorite formula shows, and ABC’s Castle was just given two more episodes (presumably based on either the strength of last week’s series high ratings or to cover some post-Ugly Betty spots in the schedule, but in either case it’s a sign of confidence in the series), so it seems appropriate to discuss the issue of formula on TV right now. Read more »


USA: Spies (and Other Characters, We Guess) Welcomed

As Nick noted, USA Network is rapidly becoming the spy-procedural channel, much in the way CBS has become the cop-procedural channel. Their recent announcement of Covert Affairs (punny), a show about  CIA newbie Annie Walker (portrayed by Piper Perabo) who for some reason becomes a field operative and is dealing with the break-up with a mysterious boyfriend who happens to be of interest to her boss. (You can read the full rundown from THR here.)

But what’s more is that while CBS has replicated its procedural approach across many of its dramas, USA is hybridizing its shows to create its network identity without getting the ribbing CBS does for its CSI-cloning. Read more »