television Archive

Episodia 1.10: Artistic Disappointment

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You’ve felt it before—that sinking feeling a writer gets when the project she’s been working on for months or years doesn’t meet her expectations. Your latest novel or short story doesn’t have cohesion despite your repeated attempts. You don’t get into the MFA program of your choice, or any

Episodia 1.9: Every Camp Story is a Ghost Story

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I will never, ever tire of reading about summer camp. Inspired by a recent re-reading of my favorite short story—“Brownies” by Z.Z. Packer—I spent the entire month of June in literary camp land. I started with Anton DiSclafani’s unforgettable debut The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls; then I moved on

Episodia 1.8: Bromantics

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Call it phileo, call it friendship, call it brotherly love—any way you slice it, I’m a sucker for a good bromance. After my most recent post (which dipped a toe into the treacherous territory of love triangles), I started thinking about the other kinds of love available for us

Episodia 1.7: Lost Novels and Love Triangles

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Lately I’ve been thinking about beginnings, endings, and that terribly murky time between a writer completing one project and starting another. After recently finishing a memoir, I’ve been itching to write a novel. I have a strong start to a new one—it’s always thrilling to be at the beginning of something, when all

Episodia 1.6: The Five Pillars of Place

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As a writer, reader, and a creative writing teacher, I am—for now and forever—a staunch proponent of the place-based narrative. When we think of stories, we tend to focus on those bound to particular characters or events. And yet, some of the most compelling plot lines found in literature

The Suburbs: A Multimedia Extravaganza!

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Okay, for my final post about the suburbs (probably), I say enough about books. Let’s talk about what’s really important: TV, movies, music, and even a little art. On The Tube TV is lousy with images of the suburbs these days, but of course it always has been.  Recently,

The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 4: Hi-yo Cowboy, Away!

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Back in December, before an afternoon showing of The Hobbit, I got my first glimpse of the trailer for the big budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger. Sitting there enjoying my smuggled in Diet Dr. Pepper was not the first time I’d run across the film—I had read some

Episodia 1.5: Mad Men’s Tell-Tale Heart

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For six seasons now, television viewers have been transfixed by advertising phenom Don Draper’s troubled smolder as he winds his way through Manhattan’s boardrooms, bedrooms, and bars. Each episode is loaded with literary jewels for writers to fawn over: the elegant use of space (that office elevator really knows

Rayna James Wright! And Other Sacrilegious Comparisons

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So I was catching up on my Nashville the other day—and by “catching up” I mean “watching the first thirteen episodes of Season 1 back-to-back on Hulu because I’ve had the flu, OKAY?!”—when it hit me: COUNTRY MUSIC AND POETRY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. Then the NyQuil also hit me,

Episodia 1.4: Survival Archetypes

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Whether it’s in the wake of a zombie apocalypse in “The Walking Dead,” on an electro-magnetic island in “Lost,” or on Capitol Hill in “House of Cards,” any television show that portrays the fight for survival always seems to need the same kinds of characters. But these archetypes don’t