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The Influence of TV: Scratching the Surface (PT11)

Alex and Nick go off the beaten path to discuss the influence of the television medium on both cultures and people. We take a look at a few interesting case studies that have affected us personally, and the world we live in.

Which television stories have had a major impact on our lives? What about representation, international exports, and other cultures? Why is television much more than just an “idiot box”?
From The Simpsons to Star Trek, diversity to social relevance, Paper Team takes a look at a few interesting case studies illustrating television’s impact.

This episode is by no means an exhaustive discussion on the subject (people have done entire PhDs on it), merely a conversation starter through specific examples and themes.



1 – What is the most influential TV show of all time? (00:55)
2 – A few words on diversity and representation on TV (15:03)
3 – Exports, adaptations, and the influence of international shows (25:24)
4 – TV’s social and personal impact (35:02)
Takeaway and next week’s topic (46:50)


Bush v. Simpsons (Video)
Kodos and Kang’s Two-Party System (Video)
Homer owns the Denver Broncos (Video)
The Simpsons’ Movie References (Video)
Irish Unification of 2024
NASA’s Science of Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols reflects on MLK Encounter
Lucille Ball & Star Trek
Homosexuality portrayal in Star Trek
Dawson’s Creek at ATX (The Writers Panel)
Les Miroirs Obscurs – Martin Winckler
“Indians on TV” (1×04 – Master of None)
NBC’s SeeSo
Le bureau
Psychology for Screenwriters – William Indick
“Other Things You Could Be Doing” (2×12 – You’re the Worst)
“The Body” (5×16 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Mother Simpson” (7×08 – The Simpsons)
“Ecotone” (5×09 – Six Feet Under)

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed the episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

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If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Paper Team
Paper Team
Alex Freedman & Nick Watson

Paper Team is a podcast about television writing and becoming a TV writer.

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