Fri, 21 September 2012
Talking TV With Ryan and Ryan, Episode 15: Talking Teen Girls, Transgressive Males And Soap Operas With Emily Nussbaum
Hello all, this is Mo. Ryan and I are creating a lot of Fall TV podcasts for you in the next couple of weeks. But now for something completely different.
On Thursday, Sept. 20, New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum tweeted the theory that much of the most interesting drama of the last decade or so had been about middle-aged men and teen girls; many of the most interesting shows, she noted, had featured "two contrasting forms of adolescence." My instant reaction: Relevant to my interests. I invited Emily on the podcast to talk about that theory and much more.
On Twitter, we also got into a discussion with several other critics and Twitterers about shows like "Felicity" and the idea that calling a show "just a soap opera" is, for some people, a condescending insult. That drives me a little bit nuts because every scripted drama is full of contrivances and most engage in some kind of melodrama. In our podcast discussion, we talked about what kinds of contrivances and melodramatic moves are considered "good" or worthy, and what kind are considered "bad" or unimportant. We also talked about when the mixing genres and formulas starts to weird people out, and which shows get relegated to the margins while others get to be more central to the discussion of the Golden Age of Television.
Some of the shows that came up were "Buffy," "The Sopranos," "Boardwalk Empire," "Battlestar Galactica," "Gilmore Girls," "Breaking Bad," "Once and Again" and of course "Spartacus." But there were dozens that we mentioned in this free-ranging discussion of cultural hierarchies, criticism, characters' power struggles and why "Friday Night Lights" successfully crossed so many boundaries.
Oh, and we also talked about shows that make us cry and how much we think about whether to bring that up in reviews. Enjoy!
UPDATE: The podcast cuts off after I make a comment about my husband introducing me to "Buffy," around the 49-minute mark. I should have noted the somewhat abrupt ending in my introductory remarks -- I meant to do that but forgot. Sorry about that! In any event, at that point we ran out of time and had to end the podcast. A few of you have asked me if you missed anything after that point, but don't worry, you didn't. Again. sorry for the abrupt ending. I'm still working on my podcast production skills.
Be sure to subscribe to the new feed for the podcast here if you like to listen on iTunes. You'll see plenty of ways in each post to stream or download MP3s if you hate iTunes with the same passion that Mo and Emily hate unfair dismissals of shows that explore emotional intimacy.