Seriality, the ontological concept behind TV series, originated due to consumerist reasons. When literature printing boomed out at the end of the XIX century, writers –most prominently Charles Dickens– had to look for a way to keep readers invested in their works in order to consolidate this new mass producing machine. Accordingly, splitting long novels into different chapters released over time –and with a proper cliffhanger– hooked the readers and allowed the industry to bloom. A century later, TV has adopted the formula literature popularized and even more recently some shows have appeared that have challenged our understanding about what seriality is supposed to be.
I’m halfway through Sense8, the new Netflix series by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), and against every possible prediction (based on my previous experiences with the creators of… Speed Racer and Jupiter Ascending) and despite the reviews out there, I must admit that it’s actually a fascinating and awe-inspiring tale within its own grandiloquence. 8 stories, 8 characters, 8 cities around the world… and 8 genres?
Daniel Zelman and the brothers Glenn and Todd Kessler carry the main responsibility for projecting one of the nuances of our contemporary zeitgeist into television: the experiencing of multiple temporalities simultaneously conveying a new way of exploring serial narratives.
Netflix’s Daredevil is finally here and yes, it was an entertaining and well-done TV show that makes other superhero series look like crap. Daredevil represent an evolution within the genre, but it still drags some of its biggest problems.
Both female main characters from House of Cards and The Americans have lived similar traumatic experiences with unexpected consequences in the last episodes. Death, treason, marriage… what else do they have in common?
In a late scene from House of Cards third season Claire Underwood knocks at the door of a stressed mother to ask for her vote in the upcoming elections. She comes in to find out the sort of life awaiting behind motherhood, chaos and loneliness. The mother dreams with the possibility of all of it gone, her husband and even her own child, a chance to “start anew”. And that’s paradoxically (since her sacrifice was precisely motherhood) Claire’s last straw, the image of a desperate woman renouncing to her happiness for her family’s sake, a life of nothingness just so others can keep up with their goals.
Comedy is still considered a minor genre in the academic field. It’s a pity that the honor of revolutionizing the way we watch and understand television belongs to the underrated sitcom.