You Killed McDreamy, You Bastard!

RIP McDreamyOnce upon a time, I watched Grey’s Anatomy. Yes, when it was the show du jour. I don’t know when I stopped watching. I can’t remember why I got bored with the show, maybe it was because I never shipped MerDer. All I know is it was way before they even killed McSteamy.

I swear, doctors at Seattle Grace have a higher mortality rate than students at Sunnydale High. While doing my research, I found out that the hospital is now called Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, note the “memorial” part of that.

Like many viewers, I thought Dr. McDreamy was hot, but I quit caring about this character, years ago, until they killed him Thursday night. That made him interesting again to me.

One thing that flips me out is how ABC made a tribute video to him and People Magazine wrote an obituary for the character. Many other characters don’t get the distinction of being memorialized in such a manner, as if Dr. Derek Sheppard, 1966-2015, was a real person.

What I find additionally fascinating about all this is how this seemingly big plot twist could bring back excitement and chatter for a show that is long past it’s expiration date. So many characters die in brutal and devastating ways, because it brings emotions up and is designed to bring shows to the next level. Or many times to write out actors, whom are done with the show. Why not go out in a blaze of glory, than to just leave town?

It also envitablelly pisses off faithful fans of the show that say that they will stop watching the show after something like this happens. There is tons of anger out there for this move and fans feel like the story was rushed and not earned. They feel betrayed as they spent 11 years with this guy to have him go out like that.

What is shocking to me is that fans still find killing off characters shocking. They think that a show NEEDS a happy ending and that they are entitled to it. That their fav character is above human mortality. Writers and showrunners get guff from fans who feel traumatized because of a turn that they don’t like. People crave the drama, until it offends them. For those communication and media scholars out there, it’s parasocial interaction run amok.

Character death is a way of life in our modern TV age. Everyone should be under the impression that NO characters are safe. In 2015 there are no sacred cows, realizing this makes television viewing so much easier.


New Blog Focus: Death on Television

imageMy blog is changing its focus.

Let me know if you heard this joke?  George R. R. Martin, Joss Whedon, and Steven Moffat walk into a bar…and everyone you’ve ever loved dies.   On the surface, that’s not funny.  The funny is not the tragic death part, but  the part about  character death being so ubiquitous.   In the age of the great big television epic, characters die all the time.   In the past TV characters didn’t die all that much, but now it’s expected.

The aims of this blog:

• find meaning in character death
• memorialize fallen television characters
• discuss the televisual grieving process
• explore ways that mourning TV characters
• “embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet”

Television, Uncategorized

Objectives, Subjectivity & Roasting Joffrey – Reblog


I’m teaching a course on Public Relations.  This semester, I started a blog to pass on to my students and others who are interested in PR topics.  The post below is TV related and I thought that readers of this blog might want to check it out.


One of my favorite social media promotions occurred last month.  To promote Game of Thrones, a roast of the character Joffrey Baratheon was held on December 12.

This article from Advertising Age, looks into how HBO and 360i an agency focused on digital promotions developed the campaign.  Part of it was done through social media research and the fact that Joffrey is the most hated character on TV today: http://adage.com/article/news/hbo-launches-internet-roast-game-thrones/245650/

Not everyone thought the campaign was successful. Here is an article from Defamer, that thought the campaign was lacking: http://defamer.gawker.com/hbo-is-attempting-an-awkward-twitter-roast-of-king-joff-1482104767

The lesson here is that all campaigns are subjective.  Some people will like it and others will not.  This shows the importance of setting your own communication objectives for any campaign.  Did it do what HBO wanted it to do?  I’m not sure, but from my end, it was a fun way for fans to talk about the show at a time when new episodes were not on the air.


Protest Freedom and Transformation in Space: Firefly as Road Narrative

ImageMy essay, “Protest Freedom and Transformation in Space: Firefly as Road Narrative” is a student essay in a new textbook, The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts by Deanna Sellnow.  My paper ended up in the book because a professor of mine, Dr. Tom Endres, wrote a chapter in the book and he chose my essay as the student example. The paper was written for a graduate course in communications. 

Versions of this paper were also presented at two academic conferences. It was presented at the 2012 Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The theme of that conference was The Image of the Road.   Another incarnation of the paper was presented at The 2012 Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses in Vancouver, Canada. That conference is dedicated to the works of Joss Whedon. 

Read the book version of the essay. 


Dear Joss Whedon: STFU

I’m getting more and more skeptical of Joss.

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

“But the word feminist, it doesn’t sit with me, it doesn’t add up. I want to talk about my problem that I have with it. First of all, on a very base level, just to listen to it. We start with fem. That’s good… Ist. I hate it. I hate it. Fail on ist. It’s just this little dark, black, it must be hissed. Ist! It’s Germanic but not in the romantic way. It’s just this terrible ending with this wonderful beginning… 

Let’s rise up a little bit from my obsession with sound to the meaning. Ist in it’s meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can’t be born an ist. It’s not natural… So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state…

And so unless somebody comes up with a better one – and…

View original post 1,148 more words


The Southwest Popular/American Culture Conference is Awesome

updated-deadlineI’ve presented at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico several times.  If you are a popular culture fan and can make it to New Mexico in February, it is a great experience.  The conference is a warm and welcoming community. The conference is open not just for those in academia.  Fans, bloggers and others that love discussing popular culture  are welcome.

I present in the Science Fiction and Fantasy area and have covered topics such as Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog, Dollhouse, and The Vampire Diaries.  I’ve just been accepted to present at the 2014 Conference and the deadline for submissions has been extended to November, 15.

The conference covers interesting and diverse subject areas, from film, television, music.  If you like it there is probably a panel on it. Here are some areas that readers of my blog might be interested in presenting or at least attending.

Let me know, if I’ll see you in Albuquerque in February. 


The Walking Dead is Good For You

walking-dead-season-4A Fox News contributor, Dr. Manny Alvarez wrote a column,  “America’s obsession with ‘The Walking Dead‘ is hurting our society.”  The article claims that America’s fascination with zombies is all about violence .  In his mind, “entertainment should help us soothe our brains so that we can ease our minds of some of the stress from our daily lives.”

I have a different view about the purpose of entertainment.  The best entertainment should expand your mind, it should make you think, it should make you feel.

The final line in Alvarez’s article is, “Stop obsessing over eating brains, and focus on cultivating your own.”  The Walking Dead is a show that  “cultivates” brains.  The drama of The Walking Dead, makes you think of the beauty of humans and the survival instinct. The Walking Dead shows the power of the collective.  It is better to be part of a group you trust than to be alone.  The first few episodes of Season 4 are intriguing, since people are not protected even within the “safe” walls of the prison compound they call home.

We want Rick to be an effective leader.  We want Maggie and Glenn’s romance to thrive in this ugly and dark world.  We want Daryl to evolve into an epic hero.  We want Carl to behave.

We put ourselves in the character’s shoes, not because we want to kill zombies, but imagine what we would do in this situation.  Would I survive this?  How would I survive this?  Would I want to survive this?  These questions make you think about important life and death issues. This is more vital and interesting than “entertainment that eases our minds.” That is the kind of entertainment that is mindless.