The Dark Dandy: Aesthetic Subversion in Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal. In Hannibal (2013-2015), a genre-defying television show developed and produced by Bryan Fuller, this is accomplished by complicating what is good and evil through careful aesthetic subversion that supports, in formal elements, a plot that with a consumerist morality deifies the bad guy, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). In doing so, such a show invites the viewer to reconsider the status quo and contemporary morality beyond television, into reality. By making Hannibal Lecter a success by the neoliberal American values of wealth, class, and beauty any attraction we have for him makes us question our own motives and the measures by which our society deems someone good. Hannibal coded itself as a cool, intellectual TV show by using uncharacteristic art direction, costuming, and cinematography to make us like a killer by aestheticizing him and his grotesqueness, thereby critiquing what our capitalist society exalts.
Music is the first thing one experiences in the pilot episode of The Americans. Quarterflash’s 1981 hit, “Harden My Heart,” plays as we get the show’s setting: Washington D.C. No year is announced, but the song, with it’s era-specific “sexy” saxophone, tells us we are in the ‘80s. We aren't sure that the music isn't diegetic … Continue reading On the Air Tonight: Music in FX’s The Americans
Halt and Catch Fire is a show more about time and technological progress than characters, and the intro sequence reflects that. Currently airing its fourth and final season on AMC, the show charts the evolution of digital technology from the personal computer boom through to the creation of our current portal to the web, algorithmic … Continue reading VISUALIZING HINDSIGHT: The Semiotics of Halt and Catch Fire’s Title Sequence
I started streaming Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ( a.k.a. CXGF) on Netflix on Saturday night. The "Sexy Getting Ready Song" was refreshingly accurate. I was hooked after that. However, by episode 15, my interest took a dive. I'm afraid that much like my beloved The Good Wife, CXGF might be trapped in its name. Could it have hit the … Continue reading Is Crazy Ex Out of Steam?
"The Americans is back — and it's still the best-kept secret on TV" Finally starting The Americans. It airs on FX, but I'm streaming it from the beginning on Amazon Prime Video. Love that Death Comes to Pemberley's Darcy co-stars! I'm not really familiar with Kerri Russell. I watched a few episodes of Felicity...I think...back … Continue reading The Russians
I would be much more into Jennifer Lopez's feminist anthem, "Ain't Your Mama", if the excellent nod to Network in the opening wasn't interrupted with the most blatant product placement I've ever seen outside a soap opera. I understand the need for TV shows to increase profitability with integrated advertising. But WTF, J.Lo? Someone explain the … Continue reading Ain’t Your Consumer