Monthly Archives: October 2009

Existential Viewer

I’m familiar with only two – Sex and the City and Survivor – of the five case study television shows that Lotz uses to “illustrate the interconnections among changes in multiple production components” (216). I tried to watch Arrested Development once or twice, but it didn’t work for me. Never watched The Shield and never heard of Off to War. This is a small example of how we have become viewers that watch what we individually consider, in Lotz’ terms the “exceptional niche-specific shows and channels for distinctive audience” and we also watch some “mass hits” (240), not to mention the various technologies that we use in addition to/in lieu of television to view these products. This move away from television’s vast and historical cultural center recognizes a wider range of options that de-center an idealized past. Compared to literature and film, television might be considered an infant technology, witness its mostly passive, box/screen existence. Lots of early television network shows can still be seen on basic cable; TVLand as time capsule. I Love Lucy remains a profitable product. At the same time, new shows come and go (except for Law and Order), and compete against favorite re-runs and popular syndicated programming. The mixture of viewing outlets reflects a still larger landscape of individual choice – watching TV product online, taped, DVD boxed set, etc. In a description of her TV viewing habits, Lotz suggests that we may adopt network-like behavior and schedule our DVR viewing to certain times of the day and watch certain shows based on a need to “multitask while viewing” (242). Lotz’ description suggests a schedule and options designed to suite a busy, engaged lifestyle. While Lotz writes that we have become used to “expanded choice and control,” she emphasizes that “convenience, customization, and community” are the components that must integrate in order for the viewer of the post-network era to fully realize his or her new media, digital self.

South Park Annotated Bibliography

1) Matt Stone’s Memo to the MPAA, 1999

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/ps-this-is-my-favorite-memo-ever.html

This is a memo written by Matt Stone to the MPAA before the release of the South Park movie. They’re struggling to get an R rating, and not a NC-17 stamp of death. I want to use this memo to highlight some of the issues these writers have with trying to be funny, maintain profitability and still have to bargain with the higher authorities.

2) Secrets of South Park, Nightline Interview, 2006

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Entertainment/Story?id=2479197&page=1

This is a great interview where the guys from South Park talk about how their personal lives leak into their writing, their ongoing issues with censorship and free speech and how they can still enjoy doing the show at the start of their 10th season. It highlights the writing process they go through and it should be helpful in showing how difficult it is to stay funny, relevant and not have your message misunderstood.

3) Still Sick, Still Wrong: 10 Years of South Park, Rolling Stone Article, 2007

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/south_park_still_sick_still_wrong/

This article is similar to the ABC article. It pulls the curtain back on the writers and gives people a glimpse into what it takes to write an episode and get it on the air in a way that doesn’t compromise the quality. The writers seem to express a strong love for the show at the same time as a growing disinterest and hatred for what it’s become. Both the ABC and the Rolling Stone article make the point that at any point these head minds behind the series are ready to walk away, and apparently want to, but they want to keep making it even more.

4) The Deep End of South Park: Critical Essays on Television’s Shocking Cartoon Series, Leslie Stratyner, McFarland, 2009

This is an analytical text about why South Park exists, how it was started and the direction the author thinks it is headed. The author argues that South Park is an extremely relevant source of cultural satire and, despite bad taste and shocking antics, it’s a series worthy of academic study. But is all of that something Matt Stone and Trey Parker would appreciate hearing or is it just mangling what they set out to do with this series?

5) South Park Webcasters Told To Stop, Wired, 1997

The show that got its start online grew too big for the fledgling, mostly 56k at best, method of delivery. Comedy Central’s lawyers had to step in and shut down sites that were streaming the show and helping it spread. This is significant to take a look at how the Internet helped a show like South Park get started, how it might have been impossible for it to happen earlier or later in history even with a similar show and Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s long term plans for digital distribution.

6) South Park to Offer All Episodes Free, Wired, 2008

10 years later, after shutting down all streaming sites, Matt Stone and Trey Parker took it upon themselves to offer their content for free online. This is a very progressive attitude towards digital distribution, isn’t greedy at all and shows how they’ve come full circle from their origins. It’s also the kind of thing that you couldn’t do unless you had complete control over your show in the way they have for over 10 years.

7) Comedy Central makes the most out of irreverent, and profitable, new cartoon hit, New York Times, 1997

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/10/business/media-broadcasting-comedy-central-makes-most-irreverent-profitable-new-cartoon.html

This article takes a look, form the persepctive of the New York Times, at the very popular and profitable new series for Comedy Central. Comedy Central wasn’t a network known for large amounts of original programming, and it looks like South Park really shook up the whole network in a way The Simpsons did for the early Fox network.

There are a ton of articles and interviews out there and I plan on finding more, but this is a start for the ones that stood out to me.

The characters in the Wire…

I find it kind of unfortunate, but after watching the first episode I feel like I despise most everyone. Most of the police department seems either corrupt, ignorant, hungry for violence, or silently accepting of all that happens around them. The characters are given the cynical flair that most police officers and detectives are given in cop dramas, but for The Wire I just feel distanced. The drug dealers’ world is interesting, but I feel nothing about the familial bond between the shooter at the beginning and his uncle. Of course I’m sure it will take time for me to get accustomed to the characters, but when watching the first episode of Homicide I felt more like I cared about one of the characters.

Does anyone else feel similar, or just think the show just gets better as it progresses? How is character development handled after the starting point the audience is given?

super long annotated bibliography (freaks and geeks)

Aubrun, Axel and Joseph Grady. “Aliens in the Living Room: How TV Shapes Our Understanding of ‘Teens’”. The Frameworks Institute. 18 September 2000.

The article explores the different expectations and definitions of viewership and how they are applied to the teenage audiences. There is also consideration of how these definitions determine what portrayals are seen of corresponding characters and demographics represented on television. It will contribute to the discussion in the essay of what teens are seeing when they view themselves on television, and in particular what type of teenager was displayed on Freaks and Geeks as compared to other teen television fare.

Berger, Arthur Asa. Narratives in Popular Culture, Media and Everyday Life. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd, 1997.

The work of Berger generally concerns the decoding of any type of media text down to a fundamental storytelling core. This book emphasizes the presence of narrative in every aspect of a person’s life, from entertainment capacities to conversation and personal recollections. Its primary purpose within this paper is to provide meaningful literary examples that can be compared to storytelling tactics that were effective in Freaks and Geeks. It also features (and defines) terminology that is useful in breaking down the creative technical components of the show’s story.

Bowe, John. “The Trouble with Paul Feig.” New York Times Magazine 26 September 2008.

The subject of interview in this article is Paul Feig, co-producer and writer on all 18 episodes of Freaks and Geeks. Written in 2008, Feig elaborates on his potential projects and current chief job as co-executive producer of NBC’s The Office. However, there is a lot of reflection on his open dedication to Freaks and Geeks, the influences of his personal experiences on the creation and content of the show (and all of his material in general), and his personal disappointment at the cancellation of the series. This different take on the series from someone who could be considered “auteur” of the show as much as Apatow offers a more intimate perspective on the meaning and message of the material, as well as the profundity of personal experiences invested during creative development.

Conaway, Sandra B. “Lindsay Weir Doesn’t Give a Damn About a Bad Reputation.” Girls Who (Don’t) Wear Glasses: The Performativity Of Smart Girls On Teen Television. Dissertation: p. 152-158.

Conaway examines the importance and influence of gender roles on teen television. As varied as girls can be (and as uniform as they tend to appear) it is important to distinguish what is perceived as the “smart” girl from the other teen female portrayals on television. Discussed in the paper will be the significance of choosing a female lead in Freaks and Geeks despite having a strong male presence (both creatively and in production), and what that reflects on the “auteurs” of the program, Judd Apatow and Paul Feig.

Hatcher, Thurston. “’Freaks and Geeks’ leaves NBC with three-hour finale.” CNN.com. 2000. 28 October 2009 http://archives.cnn.com/2000/SHOWBIZ/TV/07/05/freaks.geeks/index.html.
Hatcher’s article was published in 2000, the year that Freaks and Geeks was officially cancelled. It features excerpts from interviews with executive produce Judd Apatow and cast member Samm Levine, who both offer insights as to why the show, despite being a critical darling, couldn’t gain enough ratings to remain in production. The opinions from members of the show who worked in its creative and business aspects are relevant to this paper in understanding what the importance of the show was, which consisted of providing a sense of comfort and familiarity rather than, as Apatow puts it, “escapist fare” that is so popular in the format of the teenager/family show. Additionally, there are sentiments about the network’s apparent lack of interest in promoting the show, which assured the early conclusion of the series.

Poniewozik, J. “Save This Show!”. Time Magazine. 1 May 2000: p. 68-9.

This article provides an assessment of Freaks and Geeks from the perspective of a critic rather than a regular viewer or person involved with the show. There is also a comparison of this show to two competing (but similarly styled) programs that were on at the same time and suffered the same fates, Felicity and Roswell. According to the author, it is important to consider that the climate of television at the time is relevant to determining success, and the paper will discuss the notion that a show may fail not only because of time slot or lack of promotion but what the viewers are demanding at that time in a general sense.

Rodrick, Stephen. “Judd Apatow’s Family Values.” New York Times Magazine 27 May 2007.

This interview of Judd Apatow during the filming of Knocked Up offers a perspective into his personal and professional lifestyles. There is a huge emphasis on Apatow’s appreciation of hard work and practice over just luck and talent, and how this attitude has afforded him not only great success but respect among his peers and admiration from his co-workers. It offers great insight also on his close relationships to a particular group of actors and writers who he has simultaneously influenced and been influenced by, including members of the cast form his first major production Freaks and Geeks (especially Seth Rogen). This article highlights the techniques and experiences Apatow developed over the years that contributed to his transformation into an auteur of sorts.

Annotated bibliography

This is a list of the work sited that I will use for my assignment:

1) Ginsburgh, V.A., ed. Contribution to Economic Analysis. San Francisco: Elsevier, 2004. Print

The fourth chapter of this book speaks of “measuring the cultural discount in the price of exported us television programs”, which is exactly what I want to look at in the main body of my assignment.

2) Hayden, Goran, Michael Leslie and Folu F. Ogundimu, ed. Media and Democracy in Africa. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2002. Print.

This book talks about the interplay between democracy and the media. It tackles issues such as broadcasting, the internet, media ownership, communicative spaces and twenty-first century Africa. I think all this information will come in handy when looking at the affects and effects of loving in a globalised Africa, and how this is shaping both the country and the African media world in a different direction.

3) Lev, Peter. History of the American Cinema. New York, NY: Charles Scribner and Sons, 2003. Print

This book looks at Hollywood in the 1950’s to the 1960’s. This was also an important time in South African cinematic and performance history. There is a place called Sophia town in Johannesburg. This town was famous for its swing and jazz era that was very much influenced by American films of the time. There were real gangsters that wore two toned shoes, top hats and long flowing coats, much like the gangster in the American movies. Sophia town was demolished because of forced removals, but there is now a play about the place, showing the vibrant lifestyle that existed in Sophia town. This book will help me explain with more detail this era, and how it affected the rest of the world (South Africa in particular).

4) McAnany, Emile G. and Kenton T. Wilkinson, 1st ed. Mass Media and Free Trade: NAFTA and the Cultural Industries. Texas: University of Texas Press. 1996. Print

I will use this book when speaking about international trade of television texts. I will be looking at chapter 3 in particular, titled: ‘Television and Film in a Freer International Trade Environment: US Dominance and Canadian responses. Just to see the fluidity that goes with the selling and buying of media texts and the choices thereof.

5) Woodward, Gary C. Perspectives on American Political Media. USA: Allyn and Beacon, 1997. Print

I will be looking at this book particularly because it talks about television (more specifically news television), democracy and the public sphere in America. This is an interesting and relevant point in my argument because this book also makes reference at the representation of Africa, and other third world countries in news media (the ethnocentric view among others)

6) Zegeye, Abebe and Richard L. Harris, ed. Media, Identity and the Public Sphere in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Boston: Brill, 2003. Print

One of the chapters in this book basically talks about the technology to formulate media texts in South Africa or the lack thereof, especially new technologies. It emphasizes how small and disadvantaged communities do not have access to these and therefore cannot participate in the mass media or getting their stories across with the use of multimedia recourses.

7) South Africa.info Window to the Nation. African animated series for US, 19 June 2007. Web. 27 Oct 2009.

This article that I found online, speaks of the reverse of the cultural interchange that I will be looking at, which is an interesting paradigm. It speaks of a cartoon that was developed by a South African production company, in conjunction with a Canadian production company, to form an educational cartoon program, aimed at South African, Canadian as well as American child audiences.

The L Word Annotated Bibliography

Abelman, Robert. Reaching a Critical Mass A Critical Analysis of Television Entertainment (Lea Communication Series). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc, 1997. Print.

Abelman explores the significance of studying television as an academic text and work, by deconstructing the production and consumption process of television.  The book explores the television industry in terms of its production components, but in a theoretical and interesting way because it conceives of the production process in terms of master narratives and aesthetic values reproduced by the television medium.  Within the book he also explores closely the work of meta-television as to how the TV genre engages with the television viewer in a way that speaks to their intelligence and knowledge of television conventions.  In the context of my paper the insights derived from the work can give more support to the arguments of what the relationship between the show and the genre signifies.  While also paying close attention to how the relationship is altered or influenced by meta television components in The L Word.

Bolonik, Kera. The L Word Welcome to Our Planet. New York: Fireside, 2006. Print.

The book contains interviews and insight from producer Ilene Chaiken into how the show is produced and written on an episodic basis, but also as to how it was originally conceived.  I think the book is an important component of the overall concept of the show because it is evidence of this intertextuality as the show spills over into other mediums for consumption – books.  In terms of my paper it gives me a little more backing and information as to some of the intentions and influences that Ilene Chaiken had in making of her show, as well as that it can provide some sort of common thread to look for throughout the seasons, while constructing my own meaning of the work that the show is doing in the season that I am exploring.

Fiske, John, and John Hartley. “Television Realism.” Reading television. London: Routledge, 2003. Print.

Hartley and Fiske breakdown this concept of “television realism” into its critical components that explains the way in which the audience perceives the signs being put out in television shows – in relation to the lives that the audience leads outside of the television reality.  While exploring aspects of television realism it also deconstructs the notions of realism that television, as a medium, has transformed.  In understanding this television realism Hartley and Fiske point out that television has the capability to conceal certain meanings and motivations of the text that the producers have put into the show.  This chapter is critical in understanding how the work put out by producers is perceived by its audience and within the context of The L Word; how do we consider the meaning as being concealed within this realism, when what is being represented is a representation of its own self within television.  What are the layers of this reality and how does this help us understand meta-television – or create a definition of meta-television realism?

Gehring, Wes D. Parody as film genre “never give a saga an even break” Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 1999. Print.

Gehring explores parodies as “critical approaches, offering insights through laughter;” so as the medium is masked in this veil of unimportance and humor it provides thoughtful critiques.  While the content of parody is quite important, so is the form in which it is delivered; Gehring identifies the artistic and aesthetic nature of parody as well.  In understanding parody as a film genre, television genres can be examined too; which it can illuminate in the motivations behind Chiaken’s decision to create the season in a way that parodies itself.  Reading The L Word in these different ways puts the show within the greater context of media studies as well as gives meanings to the specific decisions made in the production of the show. Also, it is interesting to examine the significance of putting a form of parody within a show that is not a comedy but defined as a drama.

Griggers, Cathy. “Lesbian Bodies in the Age of (Post)Mechanical Reproduction.” Literary and Cultural Theory Carnegie Mellon University (1992). Print.

The article identifies the lesbian body as being broadcasted through popular culture and becoming a part of the mainstream as result of these technologies.  While doing this, the article also considers the different significances the lesbian body carries throughout modern representations of women.  Positioning the lesbian body and identity in contrast to certain notions of feminine identity, opens up many more complexities of the lesbian body and image in the age of constant cultural production.  This is one of the more theoretical works that I think is important to understand when writing my paper on lesbian bodies and their portrayal and issues in The L Word.

“The (in)visible lesbian: Anxieties of representation in the L word.” Reading The L word outing contemporary television. London: I.B. Tauris, In the United States and in Canada distributed by Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.

The author deconstructs the representational and concerns that emerge from constructing this community of lesbian women on the television screen.  Closely examining examples from the show in the context of gender performativity being a crucial component of the shows perception by critics.  The authors look closely at the anxiety and concern that emerges from these representations of lesbian identity as being prevalent in multiple aspects of the shows creation as well as in its content to create this meta-narrative of anxiety within the show as well.  Exploring the feelings of the characters about their representation within the television reality and society in a way that reflects the outside critiques of this representation brings in another concern that I choose to look into for this paper.  Considering that if it seems that the characters in the show are aware of their presence within this television show, how do they feel about their own representation?

Lipstick Leviathans: Demonologies of the Lesbian Body. Reading The L word outing contemporary television. London: I.B. Tauris, In the United States and in Canada distributed by Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.

The article explores how The L Word represents its lesbian characters as demonic characters as a means of providing an alternative perspective to the representations of queer women on television.  The article argues that by consistently attempting to portray lesbians on merely the positive and affirming position on The L Word it falls into the trap that it is often accused of – misrepresenting the lesbian community.  By portraying the women in this counter-narrative The L Word reclaims the demonized representations of them that are too often put out the dominant narratives.  This article will work in my paper to provide insight as to how to understand the work of representations of these women that doesn’t align with the typical form of minority representations on television – it functions as a way of queering their narrative. Also, in another way it gives insight into the work that Ilene Chaiken the producer does as well as Jenny the character when directing these characters.

Annotated Bibliography – Battlestar Galactica

Just a quick reminder of my thesis, mostly for my own sake. How Battlestar Galactica changed the science fiction genre with it’s emphasis on post 9/11 themes

Works Cited

Eberl, Jason T., ed. Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Print.

Though the book is huge and I won’t use most of it, the beginning of almost every article begins discussing the differences between the new and old BSG in some way. While the subject of the book is obviously philosophy, I’d like to use it for the questions it arouses about modern life. The book is very dense, so it will take me a while to see which articles are useful and which are not, but I can already tell that any moral questions BSG arouses will be answered by this book.

Ford, James E. “Battlestar Galactica and Mormon Theology.” Journal of Popular Culture 17.2 (1832): 83. Print.

This is a source discussing the Battlestar Galactica of the 70’s. I was looking for a source about the link between Mormonism and BSG after seeing it referenced in another source. I’m still looking for more sources on BSG in the 70’s, but this is a good start. It discusses the original BSG as being the first fictional television show to ground its theology in one religion; which happens to be mormonism. It gives a good history of religion in BSG, making clear much of the terminology in the show. It also sums up the plot of the old BSG, which has been great because I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet. The article also talks about how the personal views of the head writer influenced BSG’s mormon themes.

Franklin, Nancy. “The Critics: On Television: Across the Universe: A Battlestar is Reborn.” The New Yorker 23 Jan. 2006: 92-93. Print.

This article glosses over a brief history of science fiction writing in television, and then proceeds to cover how Battlestar is reshaping the genre by tying in modern themes with it’s wacky universe.

Gerrold, David. The World of Star Trek. New York: Bluejay Books, 1984. Print.

Another book I thought I might need for my comparison, but no longer. Not really of any use to me, I don’t think. But I have it.

Gilmore, Mikai. “‘Battlestar’ Apocolypse.” Rolling Stone 19 Mar. 2009: 36-38. Print.

This article discusses the blatant 9/11 themes present in BSG, along with many quotes from producers. Lots of great observations here, but little to no information about the adaptation of BSG.

Goldberg, Jonah. “How Politics Destroyed a Great TV Show.” Commentary 34-7 128.3 (2009). Print.

This article discusses BSG’s origins as a post 9-11 commentary. It discusses BSG’s origins in right wing theory, but also maintains it does not have a right wing agenda. Most importantly it discusses the duel approach to every issue which BSG takes. It presents BSG as trying to show both ends of an issue, without being decisive about the ends of the issue. I’m still digesting this piece as a whole, as I do not quiet understand why not taking stance is, in fact, taking a stance, as the writer concludes. This piece is also useful as it discuses the absolute rage many regular viewers had at the end of the series.

Harrison, Taylor, Sarah Projansky, Kent A. Ono, and Elyce Robert Helford, eds. Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek. Boulder: Westview, 1996. Print.

I originally got this book for the purpose of comparing BSG to Star Trek, or another show within the sci-fi genre. After settling on comparing the new BSG to the old BSG, I have little use for this book. It could possibly be useful for making generalizations about science fiction history. It could also be useful because the producer of the new BSG had a large role in much of the later Star Trek series.

Lehrer, Eli. “Battlestar Rules.” The Weekly Standard 6 Apr. 2009. Print.

This article is in sharp contrast to “Battlestar Galactica: The Beginning of the End”. This article talks about the campiness and failure of the old BSG, and talks about how the new BSG takes everyday themes to their extremes and the success the show has with doing so.

Peed, Mike. “Shuttle Diplomacy; Brave New World Dept.” The New Yorker 6 Apr. 2009. Print.

This article discusses the usefulness of the sci-fi genre in the modern world, and the UN forum about BSG that took place early this year, before the series finale aired. Limited usefulness besides its mention of conference taking place, a lowly news bulletin almost.

Potter, Tiffany, and C.W. Marshall, eds. Cylons in America. New York: THe Continuum International Group Inc., 2008. Print.

This book useful overall, as it covers much of the history of BSG and the various changes it has undergone over the years. It focuses extensively on BSG’s themes of modern American life. One essay in particular disccuses how BSG’s middle ground (BSG always presents both sides of an issue and never concludes on it) is a potentially dangerous weapon. My thesis that BSG’s use of modern themes changed science fiction television is heavily supported by the content of this book, though I have only been able to read a few of the chapters thus far. More to come on this one as I am able to read.

Tulloch, John, and Henry Jenkins. Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. London, New York: Routledge, 1995. Print.

This book discusses science fiction audiences as they pertain to Doctor Who and Star Trek. I might use this book to extrapolate how BSG changed the science fiction genre, especially in who wants to watch it. It actually discusses the changes they predict would happen with science fiction audiences, and I would like to see if they match up with what BSG has done. It also contains an entire chapter devote to authorship in science fiction and it’s role in telling stories in space.

Vary, Adam B. “Battlestar Galactica: The Beginning of the End.” Entertainment Weekly 20 Mar. 2009. Print.

This article discusses the differences between the old BSG and the new BSG through interviews with the shows producer, Ronal Moore, and various cast members. It discusses the selling of BSG through the miniseries, the negative reactions of fans to the miniseries, and the subsequent series start-up and what they changed to ensure it’s success.

Steiff, Josef, and Tamplin, Tristan D. “Battlestar Galactica and Philosphy: Mission Accomplished or Mission Frakked Up? Chicago. Open Court. 2008

This is a review of the book “Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy”. I thought it might be useful, it really wasn’t. It mostly talked about how the book wasn’t so much about philosophy as it was an eclectic collection of essays. Fortunately for me, that’s what I wanted anyway.


30 Rock Term Paper Annotated Bibliography

Dowd, Maureen. “What Tina Wants.” Vanity Fair (Jan., 2009).
This lengthy interview with Tina Fey reveals some of her own views on her work in comedy. This has provided various launching points for my investigations. For example, her comment that her show 30 Rock is aimed at a male audience has caused me to look in to some sources that explore gender and comedy and perhaps what differences it makes to make guy jokes versus comedy for women.
Hitchens, Christopher. “Why Women Aren’t Funny”. Vanity Fair, January 2007.
This controversial article which spawned Alessandra Stanley’s “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?” and Hitchen’s followup article “Why Women Still Don’t Get It” along with various video responses to a slew of angry letters explores issues of women creating comedy and attempts to negotiate the stereotypes and politics of that powerful and subversive (?) role.
Lavery, David (Editor) with Sara Lewis Dunne. Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain:, Revisiting Television’s Greatest Sitcom. The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc., New York. 2006.
Marc, David and Robert J. Thompson. Prime Time, Prime Movers: From I Love Lucy to L.A. Law—America’s Greatest TV Shows and the People Who Created Them. Little, Brown. Boston, Toronto, London. 1992.
These two sources, as well as an I Love Lucy book and a Cosby show book that I have coming through Link + give a historical context to 30 Rock as a sitcom, and will help me situate Tina Fey relative to a legacy of television creators and producers to find what exactly makes 30 Rock so acclaimed.
Morreale, Joanne (Editor). Critiquing the Sitcom: A Reader. Syracuse University Press. 2003.
This reader includes a few interesting chapters on sitcoms for women, sitcoms by women, and how women have reacted to sitcoms. This book will help inform my conceptualizing an idea on the significance of Fey’s comment that 30 Rock is a show for men.
Rabinovitz, Lauren. “Sitcoms and Single Moms: Representations of Feminism on American TV.” Cinema Journal. Vol. 29, No. 1 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 3-19. University of Texas Press on behalf of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Scovell, Nell. “Letterman and Me”. Vanity Fair. October 27, 2009.
This article on the latest late night show scandal offers some interesting insights on the male dominated world of the TV comedy writer’s room, and I hope to extrapolate from it to inform my idea of Fey’s SNL working environment which she goes on to portray in 30 Rock.
Shales, Tom and James Anderw Miller. Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Little, Brown. Boston, New York, London. 2002.
I’m hoping that this lengthy tome will give me a good idea of the SNL environment and how comedy is produced there, which I can then hold up to 30 Rock’s representation to hopefully highlight what changes or satire have been created by Fey and her crew with regards to this world.
Stanley, Alessandra. “Behind the Scenes, and Above the Rest.” The New York Times. November 30, 2006.
This critique of 30 Rock in relation to other sitcoms including “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the show and provides for me a different perspective on a show that is known for its numerous Emmys and critical acclaim.
Walters, Suzanna Danuta. Revi. “Review: Receptive Women: Consuming and Contesting TV Culture.” Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 22, No. 5 (Sep., 1993) pp. 735-737. American Sociological Association.
A feminist approach to viewership and the effects of television on women as well as the ways that women consume television. I wonder if whether or not the television is made by women will have a particular impact.

Annotated Bibliography

1. Billingham, Peter. Sensing the City Through Television. Bristol: Intellect Books,

2000. Print.

Billingham’s book asks the question how fictional representations of the city contribute to our sense of identity. He does several case studies, one of them being Homicide: Life On The Street.

2. Dates, Jannette L., and Thomas A. Mascaro. “African Americans in Film and

Television: Twentieth-Century Lessons for a New Millennium.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 33.2 (2005): 50-55. Print.

Dates and Mascaro look at the way African Americans have been portrayed in film and television and how that has and will influenced their portrayal in film and television in the future.

3. Gray, Herman. Watching race television and the struggle for “Blackness”

Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1995. Print.

This book looks at the portrayal of African Americans in television series in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. This will particularly useful in my paper as I compare it to the way African Americans are portrayed in Homicide: Life on the Street.

4. Hunt, Darnell M. “Making Sense of Blackness on Television.” Channeling

Blackness Studies on Television and Race in America (Media and African Americans). New York: Oxford UP, USA, 2004. Print.

In this chapter, by Hunt, he explores the sense of blackness in popular television. He discusses what the blackness is, what it represents, and what it means for the future of African Americans.

5. Mascaro, Thomas A. “Shades of Black on Homicide: Life on the Street: progress

in portrayals of African American men.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 32.1 (2004): 10-19. Metapress. Web. 27 Oct. 2009. <http://www.metapress.com/content/gh2247676l454271/fulltext.pdf>.

In this article, Mascaro looks at the different ways black men are portrayed in Homicide: Life on the Street. He argues that by exploring the varied characteristics of African American men, the series was able to develop a rich portrait of African Americans.

6. Nadel, Alan. Television in black-and-white America race and national identity.

Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2005. Print.

Alan Nadel explores the implications of conservative bias in television and its effects on the portrayal of race and racialized narratives of American history during this early period of TV broadcasting.

7. Hébert, Lisa P. “Gender, Race, and Media Representation.” Gender,

Race, and Class in Media A Text-Reader. By Dwight E. Brooks. Minneapolis: Sage Publications, Inc, 2002. Web. 27 Oct. 2009. <http://atgstg01.sagepub.com/upm-data/11715_Chapter16.pdf>.

This article has a section which talks about the way African Americans are represented in Homcide: Life On The Street, that is particularly helpful in terms of my final paper.

Bibliography

1. Nick Hornby, “Interview with David Simon.” The Believer. August 2007

http://www.believermag.com/issues/200708/?read=interview_simon

An interview with David Simon that traces his career from his beginnings in journalism and discusses the aesthetics of The Wire and his other works.

2.

Oliver Burkeman, “Arrogant? Moi?” The Guardian, Saturday 28 March 2009.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/mar/28/david-simon-the-wire-interview

This is another interview with Simon, mostly discussing the wire. I was interested in the parts where Simon discusses his disillusionment with contemporary journalism.

3.

Mark Bowden, “The Angriest Man In Television” The Atlantic, January/February 2008

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/bowden-wire

Yet another interview with Simon. This was interesting because it explicitly references Tom Wolfe and his theories on narrative journalism or “New Journalism” and how Simon fits into that context.

4.

Wolfe, Maria Loukianenko

Maria Loukianenko Wolfe, “That’s Just the Breaks: The Ethics and Representation in Non-Fiction Writing” 2008.

From the abstract:

The purpose of the project was to examine the ethical issues involved in the production and reception of this non-fiction narrative that had transferred real events and people into the public area of communication, through the processes of writing and publishing the memoir.

5.

David Simon, “David Simon’s Testimony at the Future of Journalism Hearing” May 9, 2009

David Simon writes an article on his problems with journalism

6.

Frus, Phyllis, The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative. New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994

Frus discusses the history of narrative journalism and the responsibility of the observer.

7.

Taylor, Pegi, “Creative Nonfiction” Writer; Feb2002, Vol. 115 Issue 2, p29, 5p, 1 bw

Taylor defines and discusses the history of creative nonfiction.