This week, Andrew shares with the group his continuing love of Masterchef Junior, which leads to a mini-celebration of that rare animal, the Non-Cynical Competition Reality Show.
After that it’s back to the TV Book Club mines for episodes 4-8 of the Freeform (nee ABC Family) one-season wonder Bunheads. Does the show get past its rough opening episodes? So all the teenagers start to feel like fully realized characters? Is “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” originally a They Might Be Giants song? We answer all these questions and more!
Margaret, Kathryn and Andrew answer a listener mailbag question and discuss all the many nuances of when it is and is not okay to talk while watching television. Andrew reveals a rule in his house about what you’re allowed to say while watching Game of Thrones, and Margaret discusses the tricky ins and outs of being a veteran watching with a newbie. They then turn to the main topic: whether streaming television is a new genre and how binge-watching changes our opinions of shows. This topic is spurred on by Alan Sepinwall’s interview with Transparent creator Jill Soloway, James Ponewozik’s piece Steaming TV Isn’t Just A New Way to Watch, It’s a New Genre, and Willa Paskin’s discussion of binge-watching Master of None.
To help kick off 2016, we talk about our TV-related resolutions. For Andrew, it's to watch more of the shows Kathryn and Margaret have recommended to him; for Margaret, it's to be more like Andrew.
Then we move on to our TV Book Club discussion of the one-season wonder Bunheads, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino of Gilmore Girls fame. It's a rough start to the series - the setup is awkward and the first few episodes are consumed with making it work. But rest assured, it gets better.
We kick off the episode with the brief return of our Bashville segment, in which Margaret (surprisingly!) praises a recent change on the ABC series Nashville. Next, we turn to our primary discussion of the week, a concept we call High Wire TV. We define this idea in a few different ways, and consider the broader pitfalls and possibilities of TV that tries to do everything all at once. Andrew talks about Game of Thrones, Kathryn praises Jane the Virgin, and Margaret brings up How to Get Away with Murder and the broader Shonda-verse. All of this feeds into Kathryn's growing realization that she has way too many thoughts on this topic, and we end with an introduction of our new TV Club series, the ABC Family show Bunheads.