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November 11, 2010 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Tweets of Anarchy and Replying with the Enemy: A look at television showrunners' Twitter feeds by Myles McNutt.
posted by shakespeherian (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I like Dan Harmon's Twitter feed a lot. Even more after reading that second article.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:00 AM on November 11, 2010

Twitter in some industries has emerged as a kind of grapevine or cafeteria where people make thinly veiled passive-aggressive wipes at their company and spread gossip - so the emergence of out right "I am talking to you directly internet person!" is just really, really amusing.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 AM on November 11, 2010

Dude! He's one of ours! *dances*
posted by Madamina at 8:31 AM on November 11, 2010

posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on November 11, 2010


Yeah, you know that thing how you preview like three hundred times and don't see the most obvious stupid thing?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 AM on November 11, 2010

Happens to me all of the time! My kingdom for an edit window!
posted by ericb at 8:40 AM on November 11, 2010

My kingdom for a better kingdom.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:47 AM on November 11, 2010

[My kingdom for a small tag and some square brackets. Carry on.]
posted by cortex at 9:03 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Showrunner is such a weird word.
posted by orme at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2010

Showrunner is such a weird word.

I think it's a great word. It may be made up (but, hey, so is "sitcom"), but it's one of the few job titles in TV production that consistently means exactly what it says.

An Executive Producer could mean anything from "person who created and writes the show" to "person who put up a big chunk of money" to "guy who happens to be high enough up in the hierarchy of the production company to demand an EP credit even though he doesn't even know exactly what the show is about."

And once you get into various "producers," "associate producers," "coordinating producers," and so on, you're covering everyone from the writers room, to the people who do the actual production management, to the EP's cousin who really wants that Associate Producer credit so he can put "producer" on his business card, and use the title to try to pick up idiots at shitty bars.

A showrunner, on the other hand, is exactly what it says on the tin. It's the dude (or lady, but it is mostly dudes) who runs the show. So kinda I dig it, as a word.
posted by dersins at 10:04 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Excuse the fangirlish nature of this comment, but Community and its Twitter presence are fascinating to observe if you've ever participated in nerdy fandom online. Dan Harmon regularly responds to fans, pokes fun at his detractors, and has a severely self-deprecating sense of humor (last night he tweeted this picture of his office door). But more than that, he openly negotiates with fan reaction in a really thoughtful way. When the show first started, there was a lot of negative buzz around the character Britta, who was positioned as both the holier-than-thou foil to the main character and his potential love interest. Fans reacted with a lot of "ugh, HATE her" comments, and Harmon recognized that the character was being asked to do too much. She was already posed negatively as the buzzkill who conflicted with the likable protagonist, and now fans were pre-anticipating that she would fulfill the stock "they fall in love because the showrunner says so" narrative. So the whole first season was him actively playing with both expectations -- Britta's buzzkill nature, taken to its extreme, ended up making her incredibly endearing, and her position as the love interest was actively forefronted by the other characters in a way that made the whole thing seem ridiculous, even though (SPOILERS) they had kissed by the third episode and had sex by the end of the season.

He's also the rare showrunner who hears about fan "shipping" of characters and examines it for what it says about the relationships in the show, rather than just dismissing it as a gross things girls do. There's a scene in the first season where all the characters wordlessly assess their sexual interest in all the other characters, and besides being hilarious, it also showed a willingness to break away from convention that is totally awesome.
posted by brookedel at 10:05 AM on November 11, 2010 [6 favorites]

even though (SPOILERS) they had kissed by the third episode and had sex by the end of the season.

All of which was entirely worth it for the MOST AWKWARD KISS EVER at the beginning of Season 2.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:21 AM on November 11, 2010

Most awkward kiss ever? I gather you don't watch Sons of Anarchy.
posted by box at 10:40 AM on November 11, 2010

I'm not a showrunner, or even close, but my Twitter feed is followed by a lot of fans of the show that I'm on. It's a very weird dynamic, and not one I'm totally comfortable with. I tweeted that I'd said hello to an actor who was going to guest-star on our program, and it ended up on Entertainment Weekly a week later. I knew intellectually before that that nothing is private on the Internet, but wow, that was an eye-opener. Now I won't even make jokes about the show out of fear that someone will take it seriously and the showrunner will come in here and ask me why ET is asking him if the show is really moving to the year 3000.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:26 AM on November 11, 2010

Best thing I learned from this is that Louis CK comments on TV Blogger threads about his show in which he says things like
"Every episode is tacking a different thing. Some people will be confused. That's okay. I think it's worth it. If it irks you to watch it because of that, I understand. But I still want to make the show this way. And they're letting me. "
Which is just beautiful that a showrunner can say that.
posted by Brainy at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2010

Brainy: "Which is just beautiful that a showrunner can say that."

Yeah, Louie is an auteur in the way that most people who work in television aren't allowed to be. My understanding is that he accepted a lowball offer from FX in return for having absolute, 100% control of the show. As in, they wire him money and he Fedexes them a DVD.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:59 PM on November 11, 2010

Jeez, Bookhouse, and now every Mefite on here is clicking on your profile to see Who You Are.

posted by emjaybee at 1:35 PM on November 11, 2010

I am nobody. That's what made it so weird.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:16 PM on November 11, 2010

roll truck roll, I read that same article and it made me almost get breathless at how wonderful it is that he can have such a deal. What got me about this one was that he is so accepting of being unaccepted and so interested in pursuing his vision and seeing it through. Like some grand television experiment that seems to be succeeding on all levels. End derail.
posted by Brainy at 2:31 PM on November 11, 2010

Man louie is both genius and hard to watch at the same time.

community manages to have the most imaginative "real world" episodes. It is completely absurd and yet completely plausible all at the same time.

I don't even know who you are bookhouse, but as I just spent what feels like every waking hour on a spec in the last two days (rewrites) for a chance at a chance for a fellowship, all established writers are object of my envy.

ha ha and i did click to see who you were. It didn't help.
posted by djduckie at 11:07 AM on November 12, 2010

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