Flash in the Pan: The Ingredients of Too Many Cooks

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 12:35:38 -0800

Flash in the Pan: The Ingredients of Too Many Cooks:

When asked to contribute to a week about Adult Swim, I chose Too Many Cooks, and applied cooking wordplay liberally.

2017 Oscar Animated Shorts: Reviews and Odds of Winning

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:36:55 -0800


Honorable Mention

Bachelorette Matchmaker

Mon, 18 May 2015 15:55:57 -0700


Go to the show page for The Bachelorette, and play Matchmaker (like predictions on MyGuy).

Give your own roses to the men you think will move on to Week 2.  You’ll earn 300 points for each correct pick.

You can also predict the 4 hometown dates, and the final bachelor, all for big bonus points down the line.

If you’re into this sort of thing…play the game i helped build!

The Legend of Korra Book 3 Roundtable

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:02:58 -0700

The Legend of Korra Book 3 Roundtable:



Hello Republic City! For your reading pleasure, here is Pop Torte’s third post-The Legend of Korra roundtable. Book 3 was a huge step up in quality, which contrasted with constant behind-the-scenes drama. Here to discuss are Christy Admiraal, Noel Kirkpatrick, Andy Seroff, Elena…

Words Invented By TV Shows

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 12:32:54 -0700

Words Invented By TV Shows:




This adjective, which means ‘socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way,’ comes from the hit show New Girl, and was recently inducted into the Collins Dictionary via a Twitter vote.

It’s also the inspiration for this list - the most important and lasting…

More marketing reblogs from me - I had lotsa fun writing this!

nextguide: Disappointment Intervention: Revisiting the How I Met...

Tue, 27 May 2014 15:18:00 -0700


Disappointment Intervention: Revisiting the How I Met Your Mother Series Finale

It didn’t take long to come to the conclusion that the HIMYM finale did not go over well with its loyal fans. Then again, lots of superlatives are thrown around when discussing TV shows, leaving the mental image of a legion of Comic Book Guys bluntly declaring “Worst. Finale. Ever.”

The chief complaint from fans is how the show spent many episodes showing great chemistry between Ted and Robin, but proceeded to constantly undermine that underlying arc in order to keep the series going (and the question unanswered). The show’s constant reiteration of the fact that the mother is not Robin, in combination with the amount of “clues” to the mother’s identity - many of which ended up being red herrings - makes it understandable to be frustrated by the show’s eventual answer to the titular question.

Fans of How I Met Your Mother responded to its finale the same way LOST fans responded to “The End”: feeling betrayed by the amount of intriguing complications that were left unanswered. The difference, of course, is that fans of LOST had the right to expect a tightly woven narrative, because that’s exactly what a high-concept serial drama has to offer. How I Met Your Mother wasn’t pulling massive audiences for its mythology - it was always a sitcom, promising nothing more than Neil Patrick Harris and a premise conducive to running jokes.

Over the last two months since the HIMYM finale, the memory of all those betrayed clues has faded out from the overall story - and rightfully so - because ultimately, they were just devices for the episodes they reside in. What persists is the story of Ted, telling hilarious stories about his younger days to his kids, in a setting that makes the premise of telling these stories make sense.

And it doesn’t hurt to see all that chemistry pay off, either.

I wrote this short piece for Dijit, but I am proud of it so it goes here now, too.

The Legend of Korra Book 2 Roundtable

Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:23:38 -0800

The Legend of Korra Book 2 Roundtable:



Welcome again to Pop Tortes’ annual The Legend of Korra roundtable discussion. Book 2, “Spirits,” was a lot more divisive than the first season, and this year, we have Christy Admiraal, Andy Seroff, and Elena Thrace here to talk about their thoughts and emotions related to the…

Continuing my return into writing about animation, I got the chance to discuss Korra with some TV academics through the internet.

Steven Universe vs. the Cartoon Monomyth

Fri, 15 Nov 2013 00:14:13 -0800

Steven Universe vs. the Cartoon Monomyth:

It’s just a really good show so I had to say something. Lotsa heart.

Why You Should Try Social TV Apps

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 15:53:00 -0800

Ever since we all started tweeting while watching TV, thousands of media types have been trying to come up with a way to get you on their team. Some sent you stickers, some sent you gift cards, some tried to give you content around the episode you were watching (granted, some methods are more effective than others). Ultimately, I agree with my founder Somrat Niyogi who rightly pointed at switching cost from Twitter as the culprit turning this promising space into a field of duds.

Today, I’m going to give you a few reasons why you should try out that social TV app.

I. Future Social TV: They can’t make what you want if you don’t tell them what you want.

We can all imagine a wondrous, magical social TV experience. Voting for a contestant via an app as opposed to calling in. Seeing comments from your friends appear as you watch the episode. Having the stats of the game you’re watching, one tap away. 

A major problem with the second screen space right now is that we’re is looking for an all-in-one app - each of these 2nd screen products on its own is not that impressive and not seen worth the switching cost. This user demand is in direct conflict with the start-ups mantra “nail it, then scale it” (meaning start by doing one thing well). 

If you’re at all familiar with start-ups, you know that users (specifically, monthly active users) is the universal currency for success, not revenue. This dovetails nicely with tech trend that indicates more than ever, what a consumer uses has a greater influence on their world than what a consumer buys. Therefore, I encourage you to vote with your actions. If you believe in widespread social TV beyond the Twitter stream and Storify summariesbe an advocate for the foundation of next generation media technology.

When you advocate a service, everyone wins. You are informing the industry, as well as your peers, what you think constitutes a valuable social TV experience.

II.  Current Social TV: Foundation for more elaborate services

The current state of the industry is fragmented, and as a result, so will be the experience of anyone partaking in multiple social TV products. On behalf of everyone, I apologize that innovation + business = lots of little incremental steps.

That being said, there are two apps I would like to recommend. You’ve probably seen them around and didn’t care enough to check them out, but now that I got you thinking about the incentives of buying in despite the fetal state of the industry, maybe you’ll investigate.


Why two image-grabbing services? For one, a social TV service should promote screen literacy (if we’re talking about screens, we should speak the same language). Imagine including that actor’s perfect facial expression to go with your joke, or sharing an Easter egg you spotted in a show’s background with the frame to prove it. Second, they’re supplementary to the current social TV status quo, which is posting to your largest audience (Facebook and Twitter). They’re not trying to make you change your behavior, they’re trying to improve it when the time is right. Third, even without taking all your social TV business to their product, using these apps allows for them to continue designing and working towards something better. Their database will grow, meaning they can design something more omni-capable without fighting empty rooms and antsy investors. And finally, because they help make…

III.  Future Social TV: A complete picture

Nielsen’s ratings are a common point of contention for anyone interested in television. Whether it’s a fan whose show got canceled, or a scheduler trying to optimize promotion and viewers, the ratings has evolved into a de facto recorded history for the medium, despite designed to simply determine ad sales rates. Up until now, there were very few quantifiable, widely-available resources to study the entire ecosystem. Social TV is the incredible opportunity to get a much bigger glimpse into one of the largest, yet most enigmatic industries, all while positively augmenting our collective experience.

Currently, Social TV is a “live-only” concept, in that it exists, functions, and disappears alongside the airing of a program.(1) Networks are happy to have another reason to get fans to watch live and watch commercials, and Twitter is happy to help. You know as well as I, however, that live only constitutes a (shrinking) portion of television viewing. Left out of the equation is DVR users, pirates, and the entire West Coast. As an academic, industry professional, or fellow TV nut, we know what damage an incomplete picture can cause (see: Nielsen).

(1. Social TV experiences on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, et al. orient around a real-time system that was misappropriated for TV. A dedicated Social TV app would orient experiences around screen time, not real time. This is non-negotiable, because time-shifted viewing will slowly dominate TV consumption.)

We should fight for the democratized system that most completely expresses the television viewer. By using and sharing services that recognize and facilitate time-shifted viewing, we’re not just casting a vote of confidence in the value of a more comprehensive picture, we’re voting against the incomplete picture, which is currently dominating the space.

IV. Afterthoughts

Hopefully I have given you some perspective into the challenges of working in entertainment technology. From up here, Silicon Valley and Hollywood look like a odd couple pairing of The Unstoppable Force and The Immovable Object. They overcome their differences…while fighting crime. Fall 2013.

In closing, explore social TV. There are a lot of interesting services out there, so if you find a good one, keep it around. The world will be better for it.

edit Feb 2013:

A spoiler for the west coast is trending!You did it, East coast!

— Brian Collins (@BrianWCollins) February 8, 2013