TV Analysis

Alex and Nick discuss how television viewing habits impact the writing and enjoyment of TV shows.

How does the way you consume a show influence the audience? How have changes in viewing habits transformed television writing itself? What are some ways to use that paradigm shift in your own writing?

The Paper Team binges in one sitting…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – How people consume TV today (00:52)
2 – How viewing habits impact the perception of TV shows (11:37)
3 – How viewing habits affect and influence TV writing (25:44)
4 – A little about the future of TV viewing (42:20)
Takeaways and Resources (45:45)

Links

Over-the-top content (OTT)
YouTube TV
YouTube Red
“Why mythological shows are often idolized” – TV Calling
The Hatch
Final Five
“Damon Lindelof Doesn’t Want Critics To Binge Season 3 of The Leftovers” – IndieWire
“The Art of the TV Episode” (PT20)
“Two Boats and a Helicopter” (1×03 – The Leftovers)
“Guest” (1×06 – The Leftovers)
“The Bythewoods and The Writers Retreat” – 3rd & Fairfax
Flesh and Bone

Resources

“Netflix Studied Your Binge-Watching Habit” – The New York Times
“Series, Movie, Series, Repeat: A New Netflix Binge Routine” – Netflix

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

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

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

For the first Paper Team Live event, Alex and Nick go to WonderCon 2017 to host a panel on the dialogue between TV writers and their fans.
This relationship has become a vital tool for many television shows — and one that is often very fickle. That’s why we’ve invited writers and assistants from several beloved shows to share their thoughts on the issue.

Panelists include Ray Utarnachitt (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Jill Weinberger (Chicago Fire), Tennessee Martin (Lucifer), Diya Mishra (The Tick), and Taylor Brogan (The Shannara Chronicles).

What does a typical conversation look like between a writers’ room and their fandom? How much attention do TV writers pay to fans? Have fans’ voices changed the course of a story or character? What is it like going from being a fan of a show to being involved directly in the creative decisions?

The Paper Team goes live in room 209…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Live Paper Team WonderCon panel (00:00:38)
Next Time On (01:01:15)

Links

Taylor Brogan on Twitter
Diya Mishra on Twitter
Tennessee Martin on Twitter
Jill Weinberger on Twitter
Ray Utarnachitt on Twitter
The Shannara Chronicles
Into the Badlands
Gilmore Girls
Emily Gilmore
Powerless
The Tick
Pokémon (anime)
Lucifer
South of Nowhere
Chicago Fire
Wonder Woman (TV series)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s Your Move
The Tick Writers’ Room on Twitter
Lucifer Writers’ Room on Twitter
Into the Badlands Writers’ Room on Twitter
The Shannara Chronicles Writers’ Room on Twitter
Derek Haas
Marc Guggenheim
Ben Edlund
Person of Interest
Terry Brooks
ATX Television Festival
Hep Alien
Amy Sherman-Palladino
Sutton Foster
Rachael Harris
“The One Where Rachel Has a Baby: Part 1” (8×23 – Friends)
Psych
Michael Emerson
Sports Night
Holly Robinson Peete
Iron Fist (TV series)
Atom (Ryan Choi)
Atom (Ray Palmer)
Brandon Routh
Hogsmeade
The Magicians (TV series)
iZombie (TV series)
Victoria Thompson’s “Gaslight Mysteries”
Grace and Frankie
Legion (TV series)
Good Girls Revolt
Riverdale (TV series)
Lee Toland Krieger

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

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick are joined by Buffy the Vampire Slayer expert Evan Schmitt to discuss visual storytelling in television writing through the prism of two episodes, “Hush” and “Restless”.

How do you convey information visually? How can you use imagery to illustrate story and character? What does exposition look like without dialogue? How creepy are the Gentlemen? What was the Cheese Man all about?

The Paper Team invokes the First Slayer…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – About “Hush” and “Restless” (01:39)
2 – Narrative structures of “Hush” and “Restless” (11:08)
3 – Visual storytelling in “Hush” (18:33)
4 – Visual storytelling in “Restless” (40:53)
Takeaways and Resources (56:37)

Announcement

Paper Team is going to WonderCon 2017! Join our panel “Writer Versus Fandom: TV Writer’s Rooms and Fan Interaction” on Sunday, April 2 at 4:00PM in Room 209.

Links

Evan Schmitt on Instagram
Paper Team panel at WonderCon 2017
Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD
“Hush” (4×10 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Restless” (4×22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Shooting script for “Hush” (dated November 3, 1999)
Shooting script for “Restless” (dated April 8, 2000)
The Ascension
“Primeval” (4×21 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“How Joss Whedon and the Buffy writers’ room broke episodes” – TV Calling
The Gentlemen
Cheese Man
“Beer Bad” (4×05 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Ozymandias” (5×14 – Breaking Bad)
Christophe Beck
Saint-Saëns’ “Danse macabre”
“The Zeppo” (3×13 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Ethan Rayne
“Band Candy” (3×06 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Ripper
Maggie Walsh
“Graduation Day” (3×21-22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“This Year’s Girl” (4×15 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Dawn Summers
Joyce Summers
Mr. Pointy
“The Gift” (5×22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Resources

Buffy World’s episode index with shooting scripts
“Tough Enough: Female Friendship and Heroism in Xena and Buffy” – Dr. Sharon Ross
Dr. Sharon Ross (Columbia College Chicago)

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

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

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of themes and values in television writing, and how you can use them to your advantage in your own TV scripts.

Why are themes and values important in television writing? What are some examples of both? How do you work them in scripts? How do you avoid preachiness in the writing?

The Paper Team shares their motifs…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What are themes and values? (01:20)
2 – How to write themes and values in TV (14:12)
3 – Avoiding preachiness in your writing (23:10)
Takeaways and Resources (27:28)

Links

Survivor: Blood vs. Water
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
“Far Beyond the Stars” (6×13 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Sons of Anarchy
Everybody Loves Raymond
Desperate Housewives
“Earshot” (3×18 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Danny Strong
Buffy Studies
“Beer Bad” (4×05 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Scorpius (Farscape)
The Outer Limits (1963 TV series)
The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)
“Chaos is a ladder” speech from Game of Thrones (Video)
“BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish”

Resources

“Philosophy of…” Books
“The Philosophy of The Simpsons” – William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, Aeon J. Skoble
Star Trek episodes with social themes

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

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

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

675 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

What’s Alex Watching?

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