Genre Welcome?: Formula, Genre and Branding in USA Network’s Programming and Promotional Content (A thesis)

It has come to my attention that I have yet to link to a work that I spent the last year working on, my MA thesis. Thankfully, I busted my butt last summer and didn't have much to re-write or tinker with over this school year, but all sorts of other responsibilities kept me from … Continue reading Genre Welcome?: Formula, Genre and Branding in USA Network’s Programming and Promotional Content (A thesis)

Character depth welcome: On why White Collar is far and away USA Network’s best series

You may or may not know this, but I am in the midst of completing my MA thesis on USA Network and the “Characters Welcome” brand campaign (among other things). I say this to point out that I have spent a good deal of time with USA Network’s slate of programming over the past year … Continue reading Character depth welcome: On why White Collar is far and away USA Network’s best series

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2011: Nice Words about Series That Didn’t Make My Top 30 of the Year

It is that time again folks! The end of the year is upon us and that means it is time to look back on the highs, lows and WTFs in television from the past 12 months. There is a lot to reflect on in regard to television 2011. Charlie Sheen went crazy. Well, crazier. Comedy … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2011: Nice Words about Series That Didn’t Make My Top 30 of the Year

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2011: The Top Episodes of 2011, 100-51

It is that time again folks! The end of the year is upon us and that means it is time to look back on the highs, lows and WTFs in television from the past 12 months. There is a lot to reflect on in regard to television 2011. Charlie Sheen went crazy. Well, crazier. Comedy … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2011: The Top Episodes of 2011, 100-51

#TVFail: Announcing the #TVFail schedule for the first quarter of 2012

This time of the year is a super-busy one for many of us, but if you're a graduate student like me, it's particularly awful. I know, I deserve it. Graduate students are, indeed, the worst. In any event, because much of the next six weeks is going to be filled with dozens of responsibilities and … Continue reading #TVFail: Announcing the #TVFail schedule for the first quarter of 2012

Mid-season finale review — Burn Notice, “Dead to Rights”

If you know me and you know this blog, chances are you’ve come across me discussing USA Network and its series before. At a certain point, I feel like my analysis and regularly frustrated view on how USA series like to use somewhat empty devices to keep moving the chains away from the lead characters … Continue reading Mid-season finale review — Burn Notice, “Dead to Rights”

Post-hiatus musings: USA Network edition (Burn Notice and Suits)

After nearly a month, my fairly substantial hiatus here at TVS is over. I am happy to be back providing content for you folks on a regular basis. In my time off, I’ve missed all sorts of television, both viewing- and writing-wise. To combat that, I’ll be whipping up a number of random posts with … Continue reading Post-hiatus musings: USA Network edition (Burn Notice and Suits)

Series Premiere — Necessary Roughness, “Pilot”

Necessary Roughness is a weird program. The pilot episode doesn't particularly feel USA-like no matter how the cable giant wants to market the series and so much of this episode's story feels...complete. I'm never one to complain about a pilot episode actually feeling like a solid, standalone narrative, but I'm not really sure what Roughness presented … Continue reading Series Premiere — Necessary Roughness, “Pilot”

Series Premiere — Suits, “Pilot”

Apologies for the lack of punctuality with this review, I couldn't get to the Suits pilot until this weekend.  I had some substantial reservations about Suits coming into my viewing of the pilot. You folks know that I'm very intrigued by the USA Network brand and its programming formula and as I wrote about the other day, I wasn't … Continue reading Series Premiere — Suits, “Pilot”

Season Premiere — Burn Notice, “Company Man”

Season four of Burn Notice was not up to snuff but the last two episodes were very, very good. More importantly, after four years of moving the chains and delaying any resolution, the series finally pulled the trigger on bringing Michael in from the cold. Because of this (as I tweeted today), I'm very optimistic … Continue reading Season Premiere — Burn Notice, “Company Man”

Brand transition? — On what’s at stake for USA Network this summer

I am entirely enthralled by television network/channel branding. You might know this about me. You might also know that I'm writing my MA thesis on the topic, specifically USA Network's branding. USA is such an interesting case because they are just so damn successful, even though up until now, their programming has been generally formulaic. … Continue reading Brand transition? — On what’s at stake for USA Network this summer

Season Premiere — Covert Affairs, “Begin the Begin”

Although they are known for their lightweight, summery nature, I like basically all of USA's series. I guess I'd have to like them a lot to write my entire MA thesis about them. But even though I'll watch almost anything USA Network puts on the air, there is certainly a clear distinction between what I … Continue reading Season Premiere — Covert Affairs, “Begin the Begin”

Mid-season premiere: White Collar, “Burke’s Seven”

White Collar is a program that gets a good deal of mileage out of the general likability of its characters and the chemistry the actors have with one another. The overarching "mythology" of the series is not awful or completely muddled like the last few years of Burn Notice, but it's also seemingly less important … Continue reading Mid-season premiere: White Collar, “Burke’s Seven”

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Best (and Worst) of the Rest

2010 has been a fantastic year for television. This year brought us a slew of great new programs and if we include the second halves of all the series that debuted in the fall of 2009 (which I am for these features), we have probably just experienced the best run of newbies since 2004. While … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Best (and Worst) of the Rest