The Art of the TV Promo | Memorable & Spoiler-Filled TV Trailers

The Art of the TV Promo

How some people manage to watch an episode of something live and then not stayed tuned for the promo is beyond me. I need those few extra seconds of whatever I am watching and always make sure to set my DVR to run a minute or two late so I don’t miss anything, which includes the ‘next time on’ portion of my program. Even when I’ve watch TV online I’ll seek out the show’s promo immediately after.

But there is a real art to making TV promos and trailers. Of course a TV show’s genre is going to dictate the hook or the tease, but sometimes I really feel like less is more.

For episodic and procedural series, I get it, networks need to show something crazy in order to keep the casual viewer coming back for more, but for serialized series, I’m going to assume that viewers will be tuning in again and again no matter what airs after the credits. (Spoilers Below)

TV Promos Set the Expectations

I’ve got a theory that most TV promos, and movie trailers for that matter, are going to make something look better than it really is. After all, 30-60 seconds is not enough time to really highlight flaws.

But with that being said, I do think it is possible for a promo to oversell how incredible the next episode will be. In fact, the more an episode becomes a ‘must see’ or ‘can’t miss’ I become weary of what I am about to see.

From my experience, ER is the most notable repeat offender of setting unrealistic expectations, especially in its later seasons:

Should TV Promos Tease or Spoiler?

Maybe the oversell is unavoidable, I mean they are meant to create hype, but spoiling big plot points is not. In fact, it’s my biggest pet peeve with TV promos – Is it really necessary to give away a major twist or character death just to ensure viewers will return?

And I’m not talking about the ones that allude to an upcoming ominous event, I’m talking about ones that flat out say someone is going to die:

 

Much like ER, as House M.D. aged it began relying on more and more ridiculous plot twists and similarly crazy promos, but I do have to give them props for this more-subtle preview for “Simple Explanation” (5×20), the fifth season’s infamous Kutner episode.

Next Time On…

I don’t want this blog entry to only be a rant about TV promos, so I figured I’d also share some of my favorites:

Fringe promos were, and are, some of the most creative previews I’ve ever seen. To check out more of the series’ standouts I recommend reading E! Online’s interview with Ari Margolis, the mastermind in FOX’s special ops department.

The following Smallville and House M.D. promos are also effective, but for me they are more memorable for their choices in music:

 

So what’s your TV promo pet peeve? Do you even watch promos? If so, are there any previews that standout to you, either for their excellence or absurdity? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below.

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Entertainment Turned Tourist Attraction

Entertainment Turned Tourist Attraction

For vacation this year I happily left the cold weather behind for a few days and traveled south to Universal Studios and SeaWorld in Florida. And while I loved the roller coasters and warm weather – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was one of the main highlights. I read the books, saw the movies, and now I can say I’ve had Butterbeer, wandered through Hogwarts, and ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks restaurant in Hogsmeade.

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We’re Just Friends: Fandom & Shipping

We’re Just Friends: Fandom & Shipping

According to Wikipedia, ‘shipping’, which is derived from the word ‘relationship’, “is the belief that two characters, fictional or non-fictional, are (or will be, or should be) in a romantic relationship”.*

Other definitions I found online say about the same thing. A few made mention that shipping could be platonic, but typically its romantic in nature, and that’s what I don’t get. Why can’t fans be content with friendships?

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Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy Some Turkey & TV

Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy Some Turkey & TV

Buffy Thanksgiving Panks

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for this year – and no, those things are not TV related (I do have a life outside of the box), but in the spirit of this blog – here’s some entertainment for your turkey filled day.
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Hurricane Sandy Is Coming – Take Shelter With Some TV

Frankenstorm coming your way? Assuming you have power and/or the Internet, why not wait out the storm with some of your favorite TV characters who are likewise feeling the effects of mother nature’s fury.

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The 2012 Halloween Episode Rundown

Trick or Treat! Halloween is almost here, which of course means it’s time for your favorite characters to get all dressed up for this season’s Halloween episodes.

To help plan out your fall-holiday viewing, here’s a rundown of upcoming Halloween specials:

ABC Family’s annual 13 Nights of Halloween kicks off this Friday, October 19th. Special new episodes of Pretty Little Liars (Tues. 10/23 8pm) and Switched at Birth (Mon. 10/22 8pm) headline the event.

PLL Halloween episode

The other 20+hours worth of programming belong to a smorgasbord of family-favorite Halloween flicks like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, Coraline, Haunted Mansion, Edward Scissorhands, The Addams Family, and cable premiers of Monster House and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

You’ll also be able to catch offbeat movies like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mummy, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

More Halloween Laughs than Scares on TV this Year

Kids and teens aren’t the only ones getting dressed up, almost every network comedy is getting into the spirit too. Check out all of the FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC sitcoms airing Halloween episodes this year:  The Big Bang Theory (Thurs. 10/25 8pm), The Middle (Wed. 10/24 8pm), Modern Family (Wed. 10/24 9pm), Happy Endings (Tues. 10/30 9pm), New Girl (Tues. 10/30 9pm), Suburgatory (Wed. 10/24 9:30pm), The Office (Thurs. 10/25 9pm), Up All Night (Thurs. 10/25 8:The Office Halloween Season 9 30pm), Ben and Kate (Tues. 10/30 8:30pm), The Neighbors (Wed. 10/24 8:30pm) and The Mindy Project (Tues. 10/30 9:30pm).

The 2012 TV season also provides the chance to see characters from 666 Park Avenue (Sun. 10/28 10pm), Blue Bloods (Fri. 10/26 10pm), Hawaii Five-0 (Mon. 10/29 10pm), and Hart of Dixie (Tues. 10/30 8pm) in Halloween costumes.

And Don’t Forget About the Halloween Specials

If you’re a fan of Byran Fuller’s work (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daises, & Dead Like Me) and why wouldn’t you be, than I highly recommend that you check out NBC’s special presentation of Mockingbird Lane (Fri. 10/26 8pm)This reboot of the Munsters has long been stuck in the Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Browncreative stages of production, but now with NBC’s decision to air the “pilot” as a Halloween special, it may be all we see of Fuller’s quirky take on this famous family. The potential series stars Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as Lily, and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa.

I saved the best for last – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownABC will air the timeless Halloween classic on the big night, Oct. 31st at 8pm.

Looking for The Simpson’s latest installment of  ‘Treehouse of Horrors‘? Hate to break it to you, but it already aired on October 7th. Look for it on FOX.com, Hulu.com, or OnDemand.
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Watch The Pilot For ABC’s Once Upon A Time Now

Fairy tale fans don’t have to wait until this Sunday to watch ABC’s new series Once Upon A Time. While the first eight minutes of the pilot has been making their way around the Internet, the entire first episode is now available thanks to IMDB.

ABC Once Upon A Time Season One Episode OneOnce Upon A Time officially premiers this Sunday, October 23rd at 8pm.

If you prefer your fairy tales to be a bit darker, NBC’s Grimm premiers next Friday (Oct. 28th) at 9m.

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Mid-Mid-Season Replacements

Here we go again; for cable channels April is just another month during their year-round programming, but for broadcast networks April is a last ditch effort to launch new shows when others have failed. Here are four shows that are either returning or premiering that may end up taking some more of your free time. Enjoy.

AMC, best known for shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead is now diving into the crime genre with their new show The Killing, which premiers this Sunday April 3rd at 9pm. The show will kick off with a two-hour premier event and revolves around the investigation of the murder of Rosie Larsen, a teenager from Seattle. The show is actually based on a Danish series, but given AMC’s recent track record of quality ‘original’ programs, I’m pretty interested. Plus a few other notable series revolved around solving the murder of a young girl like Veronica Mars and Twin Peaks.

And of course there’s Friday Night Lights, which begins its fifth and final season run on NBC on Friday April 15th at 8pm. For anyone who hasn’t seen this show, you’re missing out. Offering plenty of ecstatic and equally gut-wrenching moments, with everything in between, this show is about so much more than football. I know I always rave about the works of Whedon, but I also need to take a second and say that Jason Katims is a genius too. This is another show where the characters, soundtrack, and quiet moments really elevate the series beyond a typical TV show. I’m not suggesting skipping the earlier seasons to quickly catch-up but here’s a music video that does a pretty good job of summing up season four, well the football parts anyway.

America’s Best Dance Crew is back too! The show returns to the TV schedule on April 7th at 10pm on MTV – More crews, more Mario Lopez, and more of Lil Mama giving non-sensical speeches. Also season six promises to bring us even more popular music from the likes of Rihanna, Bieber, The Black Eyed Peas, and Ke$ha. I know I for one can’t wait to hear ABDC’s remixed versions of popular Black Eyed Peas songs. (That’s sarcasm for anyone who doesn’t know me.)

On April 13th, Happy Endings premiers on ABC. The new comedy will join their Wednesday night comedy block at the 10 o’clock hour. However, the premier is slated for a 9:30pm showing, right after a presumably new episode of Modern Family. I’m pretty particular when it comes to comedies but I think I’ll give this one a shot. Mostly because I don’t watch anything else during that time but also because one of the actors, Eliza Coupe, rocked on the last two seasons of Scrubs as Dr. Mahoney. Plus the preview looks amusing enough.

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