Mini Ethnography

Television’s role in society and individual people’s lives has become prominent since televisions became standard in people’s homes. Anything that is so widespread likely affects many aspects of peoples life. Attempting to learn about and find ways in which Television permeates everyday life can be a useful and fruitful practice because it would reveal some important aspect about our society today. In order to understand Television’s influence one would need to have access to people who view television in various capacities. Interviewing a sample of people would be an efficient way to begin to study the effects of television, specifically the way the degree to which people use television to fit in. We focused our study of televison’s influence on the ways in which people use television to fit in and we developed a survey instrument to use in order to get useful information from respondents. Analyzing the answers of respondents it is clear that respondents seem to minimize the degree to which Television plays a role in their lives. Most respondents claim to they do not watch television too frequently, but television is incorporated into some relationships. Many respondents cited recent conversation when asked, which indicates television could be important to them and in some of their relationships. Many respondents do not believe television affects their world views, with some respondents even making statements like “they‘re just shows”, in attempt to further disregard the effects of television in their lives, although the interview may reveal otherwise.

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Blog Update #2

This semester I’m following two blogs.
One is Antenna, which is about media and culture. It’s based out of The University of Wisconsin- Madison and is updated by a group of people, not just one.  Each post has a compelling and clear argument. In this second half of the semester there seems to have been less posts and clear themes and trends don’t really jump out at me (at least that are specific to this half of the semester). There are some interesting posts that seem to deviate from the trends I observed before. For example there were a couple of posts that brought up social media networks and the internet’s influence on television. In one post about the beastie boys new music video the author talks about how music videos are embracing their natural viral tendency. The Beastie Boy’s new music video is almost a short film (especially length wise). The author explains how this shift in music videos actually allows the artists to have more creative control over the way their product is consumed as well allowing more direct access to fans. By going straight to the internet, like the Beastie Boys did, an artist eliminates any middle men a TV. networks. Another post talks about the challenges social media presents for news channels as they allow the general public to have control over the news and actively participate in reporting it (actually the post I linked to is written by Myles Mcnutt, the guy who write the second blog I’m keeping up with). There still some time spent discussing gender roles as portrayed on television, posts like the one on Teen Mom and its depiction of the tradition role of the mom in America. The blog still seems to be fleshing out cultural narratives in the media. For example a post on the TV show Treme, shows how the people of Louisiana (where it‘s filmed) attempt to regain some normalcy by embracing the television show. Ironically they look to this fake scripted show to pump life into New Orleans as the show “mold spots into Pollock paintings and Mardi Gras Indians into national heroes.”

The second blog I’m following is Cultural Learnings.

There seems to be more of interest in dramas in this half of the semester. Specifically he devotes quite a few posts to Game of Thrones, a show based on a series of fantasy novel that airs on HBO. The author is a huge fan of these books. Huge. He states that this show is “well on its way to being one of the most rewarding television experiences [he] has ever had.” Although it seems his love of this show gets in the way, because it’s time he could devote to a variety of other topics and shows, he is developing a detailed and insightful commentary to go along with the show as it airs, because of course he does tackle the issues other critics bring up and topics of fandom. The authors posts on Game of Thrones in consistent with me summary of the blog during the first half of the semester. He still incorporates his personal opinion and he certainly still focuses on recaps and reviews of specific episodes for a handful of show he’s following right now. In this half there’s a focus on Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Glee, which different from before when there was more of a focus on half hour comedies on network television. I attribute this mostly to scheduling. He just keeps up with a bunch of shows and writes about whatever is new. Although the time spent on Game of Thrones is quite deliberately disproportionate to the time spent on other shows. Throughout his posts the author still seems to pay attention to how shows fulfill promises of storyline, premise, and genre.
Once again he deviates only slightly from these episode centered posts, so it was somewhat refreshing to see a post on advance screenings in the digital age..

The two blogs have remained fairly consistent with my assessments in my first updates that Antenna focuses on broader strokes and encompasses more of a variety of topics associated with media studies in general, while Cultural Learning’s (despite that title) focuses almost entirely on specific episodes of few a shows. Despite this contrast, the two blogs have presented interesting commentaries to follow in conjunction with this class.

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“Using Entertainment for Substance”: A 30 Rock Episode Analysis

30 Rock, an NBC sitcom, is a show about control. That’s one of the themes running through the series as a whole: that the people who have it all together in this world are the people in control. They are in control of their lives, careers, and actions. The characters always seem to pursue some sort of control; they want to get a handle on some thing. What 30 Rock suggests is that all of that is a little useless on one hand because you can’t control the incidentals of life (Read: the characters of Tracy and Jenna), because

Liz Lemon Talks to Al Gore as Jack Donaghy Fight with Greenzo in the background

(to put it in trite terms) life makes fools of us all, and in some respect so does the planet. The more we attempt to take control (whether for better or worse) we usually unintentionally end up making a mess of things. Take global climate change for example, it is arguably the result of people attempting to take control of natural processes without fully understanding the ramifications of their actions. Even though we may have had good intentions (revolutionizing agricultural processes to feed a growing population) the result has been an immense amount of irreparable damage. In episode six of season two, entitled “Greenzo,”the show seems to comment this idea of control by tackling the issue of global climate change in the main story line and commenting that it is an issue that has gotten our control in our media, but still a very serious problem. It establishes this point through staging, sound, and narrative structure.

Tracy and Frank talk on set.

Since 30 Rock it is a showbiz comedy, the staging largely involves this feeling of a behind the scenes look into the lives to the people that create television. So the set look like a television set, there are cameras and props everywhere. The staging of 30 Rock is more a consistent backdrop on which carry a story; it is a “long term space on which a story will grow over a number of years” (Mittell 179). The set creates context. In the episode titled “Greenzo”, the setting of the main storyline revolves around the TGS sound stage and 30 Rockafeller Plaza where the Greenzo character’s segments are shot. His segments are limited to this very controlled space where Jack Donaghy can oversee Greenzo. This aspect of the staging of this episode forces the viewer to realize the limiting nature of Greenzo’s purpose: His good deeds are allowed only within the confines of the business minded Jack Donaghy’s agenda, which is a comment the show is making about the limiting nature of the environmental movement. It is limited by funding and support, usually of the government. It’s a bit of control issue, which this episode deals with. Another aspect of staging used in this episode of 30 Rock is the physical appearance of the character’s. Take

Greenzo

Greenzo’s consume for example. It is representative of Jack’s convoluted view of the environmental movement (and consequently it comments on how big business might see it since Jack’s character represents big business). Greenzo’s costume is flamboyant and ridiculous, and should severely limit and control the seriousness with which the audience takes Greenzo himself. He’s a bit of a caricature.

Sound is an integral part of creating meaning and stories in Television. One way 30 Rock uses sound effectively to carry meaning is through dialogue. Dialogue is very central to the humor and message in 30 Rock. Dialogue is used to “establish characters, advance narratives, and keep viewers engaged” (Mittell 205). 30 Rock’s quick, joke packed, dialogue contributes a great deal to its appeal. In the Greenzo episode when Greenzo is first introduced (from 0:55 to 1:35) :

Jack: It’s part of our new company wide global initiative. We’re going green, Lemon. And do you know why?
Liz: To save the earth?
Jack: So we can drain the remainder of its resources.

Then,

Greenzo: Greenzo! Saving the Earth while maintaining profitability!

Jack: That’s right Jared. Greenzo is America’s first non-judgmental business friendly global advocate.
Greenzo: The free market will solve global warming! If that even exists.
Jack: My boy!

In this scene the dialogue is funny because it contains direct references to common opinions on both sides of the global climate change argument, but it still leans strongly to one side (climate change is bad and also a very real problem). The dialogue is obviously satirical and takes a definite stance against the view Jack Donaghy takes on climate change. Making fun of something almost forces it to be taken seriously and reconsidered. By turning the issue of climate into this ridiculous Greenzo character and having him say such silly things, the show forces the audience to see what we’ve turned activism into. We’ve lost sight of the real problem and we’ve lost control. Even though this dialogue suggests Jack Donaghy is attempting to take control over the green “initiative” at his company its obvious he has little control given his haphazard creation of Greenzo

Greenzo realizes he's saving the planet

30 Rock is also keen on using an evocative and unique soundtrack. Music is a big part of the show as a whole. There are often musical parodies and original music incorporated into story lines, so much so that the show actually released a soundtrack earlier this year. In the Greenzo episode the score helps advocate certain moods and feelings. For example when Greenzo goes on the Today Show (at 4:18) his lighthearted eager to please attitude is conveyed through fun and sill music (which he dances to) then the tone shifts when Meredith Viera says: “Greenzo, you’re saving the world.” The music changes to accommodate Greenzo shift. Here he begins to lose control and losing sight of the real issue and the job he was hired to do. Also even though for the rest of the episode it seems as though Greenzo is actually trying to save the world, there are strong selfish undertone in his actions which are highlighted by the dramatic score.

The role of Narrative is very important in television since the basic goal of any television show is to create a compelling narrative that keeps people tuned in, not only after every commercial, but also every week. The basic plot of the Greenzo episode is that Jack Donaghy is trying to make the green initiative work for him, so he creates Greenzo a “non judgmental, business friendly” environmental advocate, who eventually crushes under the pressure of his new found fame.

Different plot points in the narrative show how this particular storyline progresses toward an understand of 30 Rocks position on climate change and the effect human control has on the world. When Jack takes control of the green initiative he makes a mess of what should be an effort to promote green living. Furthermore even though he models Greenzo as “non judgmental business friendly” environmental advocate he makes a mess of it by creating a monster in Jared. In part this embodies the issue of global climate change because it shows how ineffective most green initiatives are because they are not actually taking any initiative. They’re mostly talk.

"This Earth is ruined, we need a new one."

The most climactic point in the plot comes when Jack and Greenzo have their confrontation on the fake earthy set (at 18:18). In this scene Greenzo’s self interest and Jack’s self interest collide. Neither is really concerned about the planet any longer… literally. They don’t care about the earth set as it gets in the way of their petty argument, so they use it as a weapon. Greenzo grabs the hanging globe and Jack tries to get from. They are literally fighting over control of the planet. Greenzo, though well intentioned he may be, losing keeps his hand on it the most but eventually loses control. He then fall back and the planet crashes into a light on the set. The earth prop catches on fire and Liz Lemon, with the last line of the show, says: “This Earth is ruined we have to get a new one.” This scene embodies the essential point of the episode. It’s a ridiculous (and there for funny) embodiment of a metaphor, the point of which is to say that: everyone’s wrong, the focus should be the planet not our own self interest. And although we may think we have a hold on the situation because we have control, control is not the issue. When we worry about control whether its of natural resources or a giant plastic globe any other issues become secondary and the new goal become one centered on control (and selfishly so).

30 Rock is a very self aware show. It is very conscious of the meaning it creates, so often times the images represented on the screen embody issues in story line, working together with the plot and dialogue to make a the entire message clear. In some cases the images create a message of their own like with the image created by Greenzo’s costume. It is very conscience of these sorts of patterns of representation where Jack Donaghy, for example, consistently represents the right of the political spectrum. One of the goals of the show seems to be to take their audience seriously while taking themselves less seriously, so they have a penchant for creating silly images with real meaning. In the episode Greenzo, the creators of 30 Rock showcase the shows ability to use “television for substance”.

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Sources

30 Rock, Episode 5 season 2: “Greenzo” (available on netfilx)

Mittell, Jason. “Television and American Culture.”

 

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First Blog Update

This semester I’ve been following two blogs related to television criticism.

One of the blogs I’ve been keeping up with is Antenna, which is about media and culture. It’s based out of The University of Wisconsin- Madison and is updated by a group of people, not just one.  Each post has a compelling and clear argument. In general the topics in the posts in the past few months revolve around reality shows and issues affecting Wisconsin, with a few media industry stories in between, including a few posts reporting about the SCMS Conference. The analysis, however, tends to favor issues of gender and narrative. This is especially prevalent in the posts on the Jersey Shore (an MTV reality show), The Bachelor (an ABC reality show), and a post on political unrest in Egypt.  In the post on the Jersey Shore the issue of “compulsory masculinity” is brought up and an inevitable discussion on gender roles ensues. In the post about The Bachelor the author fleshes out this ongoing narrative in the series about heartache and the associated “ruins of patriarchy.” A post on political unrest in Egypt unveils a discussion on the developing narrative in Egypt, where the author attempts to use the analytical techniques and diction associated with works of fiction to discuss and understand real history in the making. One thing this blog really seems to be doing (and this probably an unintentional consequence of real enthusiasts) is fleshing out cultural narratives in the media. Perhaps The Jersey Shore is the narrative of uber masculine guidos (maybe just part of it). Perhaps political unrest in Egypt is more than a conflict overseas, but part of the ongoing narrative of anyone that can dream of a different of life.

The other blog I’ve been reading is called Cultural Learnings. It is updated pretty regularly by a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The blog largely focuses on show reviews in which the author basically recalls the shows last episode and where it falls short. This is his main focus in posts pertaining to specific programs: to show how these programs are succeeding in fulfilling promises and how they fall short. Promises here include those of premise, storyline, and obligations to their genre. For the most part he seems to look at things with a very critical eye, but makes it a point to mention where the show is being successful.  He does however seem to frequently mention his personal opinion as whether or not he would watch the show. This is evident in one of his posts on the NBC sitcom “Perfect Couples”. The overall analysis of the episode leads the viewer and reader to conclude the show is not keeping its promises, but the author of the blog still claims he would watch it. The show he included in posts were mainly: Glee, Community, Perfect Couples, Parks and Recreation. Those are all comedies that run a half hour, with the exception of Glee. There was also little attention paid to reality shows. The show choices right now though are limited, because he stick to programs that show new episodes right now. In the time I have been keeping up with the blog he has devoted some posts to issues related to television criticism and media industry issues, a refreshing change from the show-centered posts (especially a post on Television Criticism).

The two blogs offer different approaches and styles of television criticism. They tend to cover vastly different topics and have quite different analytical discourse. While one would approach the analysis of a television show by placing it in the context of a broader narrative the other would agree to analysis it on its own terms and leave it at that. There’s utility in both.

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On Opening Credits

Recently I was watching the commentary to one of my favorite shows: 30 Rock.  During the commentary for episode titled: “Deal Breakers Talk Show” in season four Scott Adsit

Right: Tina Fey (Liz Lemon) ; Left: Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger)

comments on Liz Lemons new talk show’s opening credits. He says it doesn’t really match who the character is, which is part of the joke in that scene.  The intro to a television show can serve as an introduction into the world this show takes place in. It can set standards and rules, but do shows really need them? In this modern don’t most people look up (on a search engine like Google perhaps) the show to see what it’s about, to see if we’ll like it? What purpose does the intro serve?

Well it can serve many purposes and on late night talk shows it serves some unique purposes. For example in that same commentary Scott Adsit cites the opening credits to

Chelsea Lately Intro.

Chelsea Handlers show: Chelsea Lately as an intro that doesn’t fit the host.

Chelsea Lately Intro. (only watch the first few seconds)

The intro gives off a fun feeling. It seems to say that the show you’re going to watch is more like a late night party, not like those other stuffy talk shows. Just look at chelsea’s fun and playful gestures. The intro is kind of a collage comprised of shots of Chelsea having fun in front of a green screen. Quick cuts between medium shots and long shots create a feeling disconnect as it does not adhere to the traditional idea of continuity.

If you know anything about Chelsea Handler, odds are bubbly is not the word for her.  So it creates a disconnect for anyone who is a fan of Chelsea (and pay any attention to the intro credits that it is).

In many ways though, Chelsea Lately is adhering to conventions set by other similar shows. Many shows like hers do similar things with their intros. For example Late Night with Jimmy Fallon uses a mix of graphics and shots of New York City. Conan Obrien’s show Conan uses only graphics. All shows use a voice over in the intro. In chapter five of “Television and American Culture” Mittell states that non fictional shows (such as talk shows and news shows) will use graphics a bit more heavily than other shows because they are trying to convey a more “presentational mode that acknowledges it is a television program.” So many late night talk shows, like Chelsea Lately, need to establish both that they are television show that will present the audience with something and that it will bring in some comedy.

Although it may seem that intros like that of Chelsea Lately don’t really fit the host; they do fit the show, which is the point.

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Sources:

30 Rock Season 4 Episode 7: “Deal Breakers Talk Show.”

30 Rock Show Site

Chelsea Lately Show Site

Mittell, Jason. “Television and American Culture.”

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An anlysis of 30 Rock: It’s not HBO, It’s telvision.

Entertainment is a social construct. Every society, community, and culture defines entertainment for themselves.  In many places television, because it is both cheap and easily accessible, has become a viable, and perhaps even a popular, form of entertainment. To many people television is often easy to understand and easy to find, which is important in a “throw- away culture” like the one we have here in the United States (Whitley 3). Americans want things cheap, easy, and disposable. This has carried over to many aspect of our society from the poorly made cars we sell to the environment we abuse. It’s also, of course, carried over into the television we watch. Obsessed with ratings and selling ad space, television networks (and all associated parties) seem to run to (and embrace with open arms) anything that can attract people, because of people really means money.  That is why there are so many reality shows and why many situational comedies, or sitcoms,  seem to operate on predetermined formulas.  It seems that many television networks reduce the audience to simple interests which are connected to certain demographics.  This turns television into a watered down and bland form of entertainment, which is the case for many shows on television, but some people expect more from their television shows. Being told when to laugh (with laugh tracks) and being tossed no more than a couple jokes before each commercial break isn’t working for some people.

The face of comedy on television is changing.  More and more, networks are picking up comedies that do different things with form and content, breaking the confines of a traditional sitcom. For example NBC’s Thursday night has, for many years, been promoted as the night form comedy on that network. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s “Friends” and “Seinfeld” made it “must see T.V.” and now the Office and 30 Rock are making it “comedy night done right.”  30 Rock is, in many ways, not the typical sitcom, but it is indicative of a shift in comedies on network television. In the past few years sitcoms have begun to change and adapt to audiences’ changing interests. More and more, people are looking for comedy television shows that are willing to take their audiences a bit more seriously while taking themselves (or their industry) a bit less seriously.

30 Rock is a thirty minute sitcom that takes place in New York City at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It is about a group of people that work for NBC, primarily on a fictional sketch comedy show called TGS (The Girly Show) with Tracy Jordan.

30 Rock Cast Photo

From left to right: Jane Krakowski (Jenna Maroney); Alec Baldwin (Jack Donaghy); Tracy Morgan (Tracy Jordan); Tina Fey (Liz Lemon); Jack Mcbrayer (Kenneth Parcell)

It focuses mainly on the character’s lives and not the show within the show. It stars Tina Fey as Liz Lemon the head writer of TGS. New episodes air on NBC but it is also syndicated on some Fox and Tribune Broadcasting affiliates.

To better understand 30 Rock it’s important to see how it comes together.  In 2003 Michael Schneider (Variety) reported that Tina Fey cut a deal with NBC to produce a show for the network while still working for Saturday Night Live, where she was head writer. One of the stipulations (as I’m sure there were many) was that it had to be produced by NBC Studios and Broadway Video. To that end there are many hands pulling at the strings of 30 Rock, especially since NBC has two parent companies: Comast and General Electric. NBC Studios is of course owned by NBC the network Tina Fey already worked for and Broadway Video is owned by Lorne Michaels the producer and creator of SNL. Tina Fey’s Production company Little Stranger is also in the credits now. So the concept of 30 Rock was directly fueled by Fey’s experiences as a writer on SNL, which surely (in the networks eyes) qualifies her to develop a show based on it. Having Lorne Michaels attached to it of course is also logical because his experience not only in television and in comedy, but with sketch comedy specifically.  Also Lorne Michaels seems to like to follow SNL alum where ever they go (just look at the credits for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Conan O’brien). Actually half of 30 Rock’s producers have worker or currently work for Saturday Night Live. As do Six of the cast member of 30 rock. Also many of the writers and cast member are Second City Alums like Tina fey or standup comedians like Judah Frielander (he plays Frank a writer on TGS). The people that bring together 30 Rock know television, but more importantly they know comedy. They know how to make it, write it , and perform it. Looking at the resumes of the people involved with 30 Rock explains a lot about the show. The show has a quick pace. They try to fit in as many jokes as they can. The pace not only allows for more jokes it allows for more variety of topics and references.  This is something that would happen in stand up routine or an episode of SNL.  30 Rock also creates some over the top characters and quick catch phrases, which sketch comedy and stand up comics use to carry jokes. If a bunch of comedians and SNL alums set out to write a sitcom, the logical product would be something like 30 Rock.

Another intriguing aspect of 30 Rock is its use of product integration. Advertising is an important aspect of television. Product Integration is just another advertisers can get their money’s worth and a show can get it’s paycheck. If there was a right way to sell out, it’s the 30 Rock way. In October 2008 Emily Nussbaum (New York Magazine) wrote an article about Product Integration where she said “30 Rock has the best jokes about product integration.” That’s perfect. Make it into a joke. 30 Rock has turned advertising into a running gag on their show. They’ve rolled advertising into their act. Instead of acting like it’s organic they embrace how intrusive it is and actually make it much more organic than any other show on television.  They’re making money, making a comment about the way television is made today, and they’re making a joke. If nothing else 30 Rock is efficient. For example their Snapple product placement integration worked very well. In through the show, but was not obtrusive and was introduced early in the episode.

Not everyone can get it quite right though.

There is a stark difference between the two clips. One is bulky, corny, and long. The other is short and funny. Raymond Willams said that advertising is “the confused creation of bad artisits and thinkers” (Williams 465). It seems like 30 Rock set out disprove that notion while Days of Our Lives is a living breathing example of it.  So it seems 30 Rock has the potential to be a dream come true for advertisers who need the exposure and a network that needs money.

One of the biggest reason 30 Rock has stay on the air for now five season (and picked up for a sixth) besides the people that make it and its use of product integration, is it’s the critical reception. 30 Rock is praised by many critics and industry colleagues as proven by their many awards.

The show’s ratings have been less than favorable. The highest rated episode of the series was the season is the season 3 premier, which aired right about the time Tina Fey was doing her Sarah Palin impression on SNL, but the show was not able to sustain the boost. 30 Rock seems to have to have trouble reaching it’s audience and keeping it. Part of that could be the lack of promotion. The only place I’ve really seen any commercials for 30 Rock is on NBC.  On a network that usually falls in last place in the ratings does it really count for anything? This seems to happen with many networks, they promote their show the most on the network and any affiliates. NBC though, doesn’t seem to even go that far. If 30 Rock is a product then it needs to be put where the right consumers will notice it. Another reason for the low rating could also be style and content of the show. The pacing is very different from other more traditional sitcoms. It goes faster and begs to be listened to. Sometimes you really have to pay attention to it, but that’s not something that appeals to everyone. Or perhaps the content makes people not want to pay attention. 30 Rock is a showbiz comedy about the lives of successful people in showbiz. It may too far removed, too unrelatable for some viewers. It seems to attract a specific audience. Perhaps it isn’t that big of an audience. It wasn’t for Fox’s Arrested Development.  In many ways the show has specific audienc

Comedian Rick Wayne (Top;Jeff Dunham) Makes Jack Donaghy laugh (Alec Baldwin).

e, whether it is intentional or not. 30 Rock just can’t be for everyone. The show is quite aware of that and like any good comedians they have rolled it into their “act”.

For example look at episode three in season four (entitled stone mountain). In that episode Alec Baldwin’s character Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) tells the writers of TGS that they don’t know real America, the people who “are teaching our kids, running our prisons, growing our cigarettes”.  He tells them they need to learn how make the show cater to them. In order to find the real America Jack and Liz travel to Stone Mountain, Georgia. There they Comedian find Rick Wayne (played by Jeff Dunham) with his sidekick a puppet named Pumpkin. The point here is not say that that 30 Rock viewers are smart or smarter than anyone else (and I don’t think the people of 30 Rock intend that either) but to point out that 30 Rock has the tendency to attract certain viewers and repel others.

In many ways 30 Rock is the best show you’re not watching. As a comedy series NBC’s “30 Rock” is successful. It delivers pretty well on what it promises: comedy. They really pack it in. As is product, it is not as successful. It doesn’t quite bring in the audience NBC would surely like. Although it does bring them some much needed notoriety around awards season. 30 Rock has also creatively turned product placement into a running gag and maybe even an art form.  30 Rock has the potential to be the perfect show (for both network executives and comedy lovers). The show’s writers, creator, actors, and guest actors all have the potential to create great television. Unfortunately for this evolution in television sitcoms, there’s a missing link.

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Sources:

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2009/07/08/nbc-sells-30-rock-offnetwork-for-syndication-beginning-2011/

http://www.nbc.com/30-rock/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBCUniversal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_Rock_%28season_1%29

http://insidetv.ew.com/2010/11/15/nbc-schedules-six-comedies-parks-and-recreation/

http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2010/03/nbc-renews-entire-thursday-night-comedy-block-for-next-season.html?query=nbc+comedy+night+

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117885681?refCatId=1236

http://www.pregnantcornbread.com

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118005875?refCatId=2526

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1927264,00.html

http://nymag.com/news/features/51014/index2.html

Whiteley, Nigel. “Toward a Throw-Away Culture. Consumerism, ‘Style Obsolescence’ and Cultural Theory in the 1950s and 1960s”

Williams, Raymond “Advertising: The Magic System”

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Comedy Sells

So what do you if love comedy and have an interest in video production? Go into advertising of course. They are Vacant Manifesto. They’re a group of  three guys who perform and create comedy, not unlike The Lonely Island, who now all work for SNL.  Vacant Manifesto has not reached that level of success yet. They have a channel on YouTube and produce local commercials in Birmingham, Alabama.

They get a lot of views on YouTube, which is great for the local businesses they promote (especially since they give the guys little to no money). So I guess you don’t really need a fancy celebrity or an Oscar-winning song, if you can make your audience laugh.

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Sources:

An article about Vacant Manifesto

Vacant Manifesto’s YouTube Channel

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