October 29, 2014

Social Media | Arrow 3.4 Live-Tweet

Ra’s al Ghul makes his Arrow debut here, Arrow’s fiftieth episode. There is the niggling question of why a top-tier Batman villain appears on Arrow first, and not Gotham. This ignores the nature of the DC multiverse – he can exist both in Arrow and in Gotham, and not be the same character. I’ll start to worry once he appears in Teen Titans Go!…wait, that sort of happened.

Also, I wonder how much longer Arrow will let viewers know the dead Sara Lance is still dead, thanks to her getting killed and stuff.


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October 28, 2014

Social Media | The Flash (2014) 1.4 Live-Tweet

The thing that most annoys me about the first three episodes of The Flash is how non-Flash elements are shoehorned into the series so early – Multiplex, Java, STAGG Industries, Caitlin Snow, Ronnie Raymond, and The Mist – yes, the last one’s a Starman villain.

I realize The Flash and Arrow share the same executive producer in Greg Berlanti, and Metamorpho was hinted at in Arrow, yet The Flash is one of the founding Justice Society of America and Justice League of America members. The character boasts a one-season show on CBS, a film slated for 2018, and a wide cast of supporting characters. It’s like Superfriends establishing Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog’s backstories extensively, when the audience is there to watch the Justice League stop whatever crack plot the Hanna-Barbera employees shit out that episode, and to laugh at Aquaman.

On the plus side, Captain Cold appears for the first time, played by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller.


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October 27, 2014

Social Media | Strange Empire 1.4 Live-Tweet

I’ll be honest. Strange Empire is the hardest show for me to live-tweet this fall. The show was promoted by CBC as a female-oriented Western, which it is, yet the show is more about business establishment and corruption than anything else. I’m still not sure about Strange Empire’s pacing or dialogue.

Strange Empire doesn’t have Durham County’s sense of storytelling economy, which isn’t surprising when comparing a six-episode season to a thirteen-episode one. I like Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik, yet I wonder if Strange Empire’s ambition exceeds its reach. If viewers want a female version of Young Guns, this show isn’t it.


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Social Media | Gotham 1.6 Live-Tweet

Goat!

GOAT!!!


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Social Media | Constantine 1.1 Live-Tweet

Apologies in advance for the way this post looks. Keep in mind, this is still an experiment for Gloryosky – that, and I realized I can embed a Storify story. I’m just that stupid. In any case, look for Gotham and Strange Empire live-tweet results later in the night, as I continue following Canadian dramas and DC live-action shows until everything coalesces into a Gotham by Gaslight storyline.

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October 23, 2014

TV News | CITF announces The Book of Negroes North American premiere for 2014 festival

The Canadian International Television Festival quietly announced (as in, first mentioned on Twitter) the North American premiere of CBC/BET event mini-series The Book of Negroes on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, following TBoN’s world premiere at MIPCOM in Cannes, France. Announced attendees include actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Allan Hawco, and Louis Gossett Jr., director Clement Virgo, executive producer Damon D’Oliveira, and The Book of Negroes author Lawrence Hill. A panel discussion with aforementioned TBoN talents follows the screening.

The second Canadian International Television Festival runs from November 14 to 23, 2014, in a format change from the initial three-day festival. Although there is no mention of where The Book of Negroes screens, based on last year’s events and this press release, The Book of Negroes’ premiere likely screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Ticket information follows in the weeks leading up to CITF.

Shows previously screened at CITF before their Canadian television debuts include Bravo’s English adaptation of 19-2, and CTV sitcom Spun Out. This is the first CBC show to screen at the Canadian International Television Festival before its debut, although the 19-2 premiere was a reworked version of the original CBC pilot.


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October 15, 2014

Social Media | Gloryosky Live-Tweet Schedule – Fall 2014

Since the debut of Gotham on September 22, 2014, I have live-tweeted certain shows – the DC Entertainment network shows, and selected Canadian television dramas – to see if this will become a more established thing for Gloryosky. While the live-tweets are partially there to make up for Gloryosky’s spotty 2014 update schedule, I have never followed shows like this in the seven seasons URBMN/Gloryosky has covered television. I will review shows on Gloryosky itself, as work and/or time constraints permit.

The shows being live-tweeted for fall 2014 are:

Arrow (CTV/The CW): October 8, 2014- , 8:00 PM ET
Blackstone (APTN): November 11, 2014- , 10:00 PM ET
Constantine (Global/NBC): October 24, 2014- , 10:00 PM ET
The Flash (CTV/The CW): October 7, 2014- , 8:00 PM ET
Gotham (CTV/Fox): September 22, 2014- , 8:00 PM ET
Strange Empire (CBC): October 6, 2014- , 9:00 PM ET

Stay tuned to Gloryosky for further updates. Keep in mind, I will stop live-tweeting a show if I lose personal interest in it, the response to the live-tweets aren’t enough for me to think the show’s worth continued coverage, and/or (this is the most obvious one) the show is cancelled.

Update (October 17, 2014): Due to CBC moving Ascension to January 2015, Ascension is removed from the list. It will be live-tweeted if I decide to carry the live-tweets into 2015.

In its place is Blackstone, a show I’m surprised I forgot to list earlier. I’m not sure if I’ll include the fourth season of Cashing In; I’ve seen the show, but don’t follow Cashing In to the degree I do Blackstone.

As always, follow the Gloryosky Twitter account for television-related news, promotion, and/or other relevant transmissions. Consume. Watch TV. Don’t kick ass and chew bubblegum.

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Article | Why Strange Empire doesn’t need to “save the CBC”

With Strange Empire, Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik’s new CBC Television show, two narratives dominate the show’s current publicity – the woman-oriented western angle, and the drama that’s “more substantial” than CBC’s other homegrown dramatic fare. With this in mind, Strange Empire’s debut earned 319,000 viewers on October 6, 2014. Its second episode earned 312,000 viewers on October 13, 2014. That’s not a good start for the latest show that’s allegedly too “un-CBC” for CBC.

Even though I don’t pay attention to promotion as much as I used to, I do notice the lack of putting Finstad-Knizhnik’s name upfront in the promotion to Strange Empire, trailer-wise. CBC has other avenues in which to publicize Finstad-Knizhnik’s involvement with Strange Empire, but not in the commercials and trailers themselves. Durham County – which Finstad-Knizhnik co-created – is as much about suburban decay, and a character study about people trying to deal with their personal issues, as it is a crime drama. Similarly, Strange Empire is more complex than “women in a late-1860s Western Canada bordertown”, which at least this Dork Shelf piece understands. Perhaps CBC wants the television audience to focus on the show’s concept, and not the creator’s previous achievements. I don’t know.

If Durham County had a unique selling point in first run, it was Hugh Dillon’s role as homicide detective Mike Sweeney. Dillon is the lead singer for The Headstones, and a decent actor. He became a marketable name in Canadian television through Durham County and CTV’s Flashpoint. By comparison, CBC Revenue Group first sells Strange Empire on the merits of Cara Gee, Melissa Farman, and Tattiawna Jones, before mentioning Finstad-Knizhnik. While Jones is a familiar face on Canadian television, and Gee comes off a Canadian Screen Award nomination for 2013 film Empire of Dirt, it is Finstad-Knizhnik with the highest television profile, as Durham County lasted three seasons on The Movie Network and HBO Canada, and aired in a second window on Global. Durham County also had a United States run on minor program service Ion.

The media narrative of Strange Empire as the latest show too “un-CBC” for CBC baffles me. CBC Television sometimes has a show or two a season that doesn’t fit neatly with the majority of its schedule – jPod, Wild Roses, What It’s Like Being Alone, Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Being Erica. The main problem with the “un-CBC” narrative is that it reduces CBC programming to an us-vs.-them scenario, dovetailing into one of CBC’s persistent false binaries – either the CBC goes completely highbrow/news-oriented/niche etc. and stops competing with private program services like CTV, CTV Two, Global, and City, or it reaches for that mass audience and stops being “special”. In reality, the failure of one of CBC’s first-season shows is seldom anything more than that, whether the show is “edgy” or not. If anything is a punch in the face to CBC this season, it’s the loss of Hockey Night in Canada’s advertising revenue, which directly affects CBC long-term.

Strange Empire is an experiment for CBC in 2014-15. My worry with Strange Empire is that it wasn’t initially promoted well enough to the audience of Durham County fans that might appreciate it. Granted, Strange Empire is a much harder sell than new seasons of a proven commodity like Murdoch Mysteries and The Rick Mercer Report. In addition, Strange Empire competes against City’s Scorpion, CTV’s Forever, CTV Two’s The Voice, and Global’s Sleepy Hollow. Monday at 9:00 PM is a tough time-slot, with two new American imports, and two well-established American imports. One thing that might help Strange Empire, assuming CBC doesn’t move the show, is if ABC cancels Forever before it finishes its first season.

CBC Television is not so flimsy that the poor initial performance of one of its edgier dramas is enough to call CBC’s entire 2014-15 primetime schedule into question. It’s not like CBC hasn’t aired “non-CBC” shows before; aside from Being Erica (which enjoyed a respectable four-season run, despite perpetual on-the-bubble CBC ratings), the odder fits are forgotten about, along with “safer” bets like Men with Brooms and The Debaters. Broadcast television is its own strange empire.

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