Tag Archives: television

Supercontext: Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, Season 1

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Kevin Wetter for selecting this week’s topic!

This 2009 TV show, helmed by Joss Whedon, was meant to be a thematic exploration of identity and sexuality but many have argued about its problematic story. Was that because of corporate interference or Whedon’s own issues with feminist representation?

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Additional Resources:

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Supercontext: Television, Marquee Moon

This 1977 record seems to mythologize a certain version of New York, so we look at how it was made to get to the core beneath its poetry, guitar solos and critical success.

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Supercontext: American Horror Story: Murder House

It’s our third annual Christmas ghost story episode and we’re looking into this 2011 debut of the popular horror anthology series by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. We discuss Murphy’s mission, the show’s popularity and its contrast of trashy excessive violence and sex, with themes of mainstream, heteronormative patriarchy.

Interested in the media we discussed this episode? Please support the show by purchasing it through our affiliate store:

Additional Resources:

    • Keetley, D. (2013). Stillborn: The Entropic Gothic of American Horror Story. Gothic Studies, 15(2), 89.
    • Nussbaum, E. (2018). Mk. Big. New Yorker, 94(13), 52.

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Supercontext: Twin Peaks: The Return

This eighteen-hour continuation of a beloved twenty-five year old television series evokes emotions of both love and hate. So we discuss how Mark Frost, David Lynch and Showtime made and distributed this project while adhering to the original themes of good-versus-evil and unconventional storytelling.

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Supercontext: Millennium, Seasons 1 – 3

Was this 1990s serial killer television drama about the end of the world? Or was it about having empathy for our fellow humans? Chris Carter (X-Files) created it after watching Se7en, but over the course of its three seasons Millennium shifted and changed, until unfortunately it was cancelled.

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Supercontext: Mindhunter, Season 1

This Netflix program is about the early days of studying serial killers at the FBI. We look at David Fincher’s meticulous storytelling here, as well as the show’s attempts to disrupt the glorification of murder and the methodological portrayal of criminal profiling.

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Supercontext: The State of Comics Journalism

We turn to David Harper (Off Panel, SKTCHD) and Augie De Blieck, Jr. (Pipeline Comics) for expertise on what’s going on in comics news. Are the struggles of this niche industry indicative of something broader going on in our media? Is news a trustworthy advocate that can help us make informed decisions?

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Supercontext: Steven Universe

Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar has developed a warm, well thought out approach to family cartoons. We look at her goals, Cartoon Network’s business plans and the fight in fandom over how this show represents diverse identities. 

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Supercontext: The West Wing, Season 1

With a comparison of their staff rosters, we try imagining a television show that idolizes the White House today, the way The West Wing did in 1999. Believe it or not, Aaron Sorkin’s fantasy of public service let some people admire civics again.

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Supercontext: Who Killed Mulaney?

What went wrong with comedian John Mulaney’s debut sitcom? Was it network interference? Formatting? Or did the creator just take on too much? We discuss the differences between irony and sincerity in television humor to try to understand this show’s cancellation.

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