Our most recent pieces about television.
A look at The Aerium, the mega-skyscraper that dominates the main plot of the first season of Altered Carbon (Netflix, 2018- ) and the visual style of the show, which borrows heavily from iconic science-fiction films.
Amazon’s recent series The Boys (2019), an adaptation of a comic-book series of the same name, features The Seven Tower (owned by Vought International), a digital creation built to blend in with the New York City skyline while also extending the show’s real-world filming location in Toronto.
The header image of the PBS documentary American Experience; Oklahoma City (2017): link.
In the final (for now) entry in his Digital Ghosts series, Ryan Sherwood argues that in the “Mechanic/Realtor” episode of Nathan for You, the chimera of infinite filmability meshes fruitfully with a bold performance style—a gelid numbness that suggests itself as the only suitable response to the apprehension of the otherworldly via digital technology.
Ryan Sherwood argues that Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000) and Steven Soderberg’s K Street (HBO, 2003) work in tandem, both obliquely associate celluloid’s acquiescence to video with some sort of filial betrayal, warranting visits from beyond the grave.
The so-called “Monster Building,” a popular tourist attraction and recent filming location, is really five high-rise apartment buildings tightly packed together on the western side of Quarry Bay (鰂魚涌) in the Eastern District of Hong Kong, appearing in Western film and television as a metonymic singifier of the dense, chaotic East, while also providing a controlled visual space and shooting location.
In this first entry in his Digital Ghosts series, Ryan Sherwood examines the ways in which the slippery essence of the 21st-century still image—not technically “photographic” and only ever temporarily immune to some animating force—serves as the Twin Peaks: The Return’s foundational aesthetic principle.
Kelly Williams argues that the “Sonnie’s Edge” episode of the Netflix sci-fi animated anthology series Love Death + Robots (2019) both invokes, and ultimately falls prey to, problematic tropes that limit its ability to consider female agency, in ways that serve as commentary on the struggle of the sci-fi genre more broadly.
Willa Paskin’s piece in Slate, “Rachel Maddow’s Conspiracy Brain” relies heavily on string-theory constructions in her critique of The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, 2008- ): link.
A very orderly example from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit s14e05 (NBC, 2012).
From How to Get Away with Murder s05e12 (ABC, 2019).
A wall of decision trees expands throughout the narrative of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Netflix, 2018) as viewers increasingly make choices driving the narrative. Note that the decision icon itself has resonance in another Black Mirror episode, “White Bear.”
An unconventional wall: as part of The New York Times investigation into Donald Trump’s financial situation, depicting the finances of his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, from the short documentary Family Business: Trump and Taxes (Showtime, 2018).
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