TV Shows that Turned Critical Lemons into Lemonade

Today, television producers, writers, and creators have an unprecedented amount of access to the opinions of the people that watch their shows. For better or worse we live in a time where creative executives have access to the critical lemons being thrown at them by their audience on a mass scale.

There are lots of different ways to use lemons to make delicious lemonade (like making an album, perhaps). Some show creators have chosen to listen to their fans and direct the writing of the series accordingly. Beloved side characters are given more screen time while frustrating story arcs get dropped. Sometimes, if enough fan fervor is worked up, it can set the stage for a side character to get their own spinoff or for a cancelled franchise to be brought back as a movie (we’re looking at you, Firefly).Firefly River

Negative feedback, however, can be much harder for show runners to know what to do with. After all, what’s the point of listening to someone who clearly doesn’t even like your work? But ignoring the things people say about your show can be difficult when they’re hurled at you with the speed of a feces-flinging monkey on steroids. More and more TV writers are choosing to own the things that they’re being criticized for. This stubborn doubling-down won’t do much to persuade their detractors, but by breaking down the fourth wall and showing that they’re in on the joke, writers are able to take power away from their critics while knowingly winking at their fans.

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Ep. 9 – Beyoncé’s Lemonade

This week, we’re diving into Beyoncé’s world-changing visual album/way of life LEMONADE. Jeff and I are thrilled to be joined once again by guest panelist (and noted Beyoncé scholar) Taryn Cheal. Disclaimers first: we speak about “Beyoncé” and “Jay-Z” in the context of the work, and we are primarily talking about them as characters in […]

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I’m Here for Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee

The hosts of late-night television programs on the major networks are all white males. If you expand out to include the cable late nighters, you add some racial diversity to the mix (Hi Larry Wilmore and Trevor Noah! It’s great to see you both here, as of 2015). When Vanity Fair profiled the “titans of […]

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What’s Your Name, Darling?

Peggy, Miss Carter, Agent Carter, Marge, Margaret, Peg. Sometimes it seems like everyone has a different way of referring to the World War II vet and founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. The names she uses, and the names she gets assigned to her have significant consequences for the story Marvel’s Agent Carter is telling. Let’s take […]

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