"Series" rather than "TV" on Fanfare? June 23, 2022 5:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm pretty sure this has been discussed before but I can't find it. Is it possible to change the category "TV" to "Series" or "Series Show" on Fanfare? With so many series being watched on various streaming platforms and various devices, TV doesn't seem like a helpful category to me?
posted by Zumbador to Feature Requests at 5:59 AM (39 comments total)

I understand the logic, but it feels like maybe that ship has sailed, like calling downloadable audio shows "podcasts" even though iPods aren't even in production anymore, or using the floppy disc icon to denote saving to hard drive. Or glove compartments that few people have put gloves in since ladies also wore hats.

Time passing does weird things to labelling. It's just a quirk of modern life.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:24 AM on June 23 [14 favorites]

And, would all the Marvel and Star Wars films need to be reassigned?
posted by sammyo at 6:34 AM on June 23

Sort of like your phone is rarely used to make or receive phone calls. Maybe it should be a Star Trek communicator.

Having said that, I agree that the category "TV" is not as descriptive or as accurate as "series".
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:48 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]

I still want a category for Games! I hope with the new improvements to MeFi that this will be in the future pipeline. 🙏
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:48 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]

Yes I wondered about things having to be reassigned too. Is there a better term than series that indicates "not a movie"?
I think this is a bit different from podcast as a term, where I think most people have forgotten about the ipod specific connection.
It took me a while to register that "TV" meant series shows, and not, you know, just stuff that gets shown on TV?

But maybe I'm out of touch with how most people use that term. I watch most shows on my computer or phone and I just don't think of either of those as watching TV.
posted by Zumbador at 6:51 AM on June 23

I generally think of "TV" to mean episodic content, not things literally in a television, just for the record.
posted by sagc at 7:04 AM on June 23 [10 favorites]

Anecdata: I absolutely still refer to serialized media of the type we're discussing as tv shows, even when it has never been available to me on a "television set."

If we're going to change the category though, I vote going old school and calling them "stories" as in soap operas. This would be even more confusing than tv but would make me laugh. Gotta make time to catch my stories.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:05 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]

"Long form serialized stories" (LFSS)
posted by sammyo at 8:02 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]

It never occurred to me to think of television viewed through Netflix, Hulu, or the like as not television. (I often watch it on the television, which probably helps. But I don't think my DVDs of old tv shows stop being television either, even if I watch them on my computer.)

If you changed to series, I would wonder what movie and book series would fall in the category and be confused about why it didn't.
posted by blueberry monster at 10:14 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]

Fanfare for serials
Fanfare for cereals
Fanfare for serials about serial killers
Fanfare for serials about serial killers who eat cereals

Episode 1 is a focus on Jeffery Dahmer--you won't believe what he had for breakfast!
posted by phunniemee at 10:42 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]

what's a "TV"?
posted by alchemist at 11:29 AM on June 23

Maybe it's an American thing?
posted by Zumbador at 11:55 AM on June 23

I feel like I've accidentally stepped into something I don't understand without context of being American.
There's some kind of subtext around humble bragging about not watching TV, I guess?
posted by Zumbador at 11:59 AM on June 23

Such is my understanding, and it’s a holdover from when films were prestigious and epic while television was see as trivial and forgettable. Anyone under age thirty-five or so has trouble recalling when this was that easily defined: in the admittedly off-kilter year of 2020, Bad Boys for Life, Sonic the Hedgehog and Jumanji: The Next Level were all in the top five domestic box office hits. People staying home might have been watching Better Call Saul or Lovecraft Country or The Queen’s Gambit .
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:34 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

Yes in the days before prestige television there was absolutely a kind of person who took enormous pride in being the sort of person who didn't waste their wild and precious life guffawing at a screen full of doofuses, and instead Read Books and Saw Films at the Film Festivals and Went to the Symphony and Also Probably Never Even Put Cream in Their Coffee and was just generally better and more sophisticated than us normal folks with our "Simpsons references."

I don't know what those folks are doing now, probably sneering at us for using the wrong garlic.

Anyway, another vote that anything with episodes pretty much slots itself into the "TV" category in my brain regardless of what device it's being streamed on -- even my television itself no longer receives a "TV signal," it just displays the same streamed content on a bigger screen than my laptop.

Also, shit...if you ever wonder whether Metafilter is, as some do lately, The Worst It's Ever Been, that 2003 throwback should counter that notion very tidily. What a goddamn nightmare.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:40 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]

Let's just make a carbon copy of the TV category and call it Series.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 1:17 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

I guess I don’t see the point-are people missing a bunch of content because they don’t understand the TV label? What about one off things that aren’t movies-like the Oscars? TV is retro which is of course inherently cool and seems simplest.
posted by purenitrous at 2:48 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]

I used to be pretty noisy about not watching television around that Terrible Time in MetaFilter History. The main reason for being so noxious about it was this: TV got really, really shitty and unwatchable when reality television utterly eclipsed all other forms of programming. Enabling technologies to get around this problem hadn't matured. Distaste for the major nosedive in content quality was pretty easy to project as having been Othered by the popular culture.

I do not have opinions on what garlic anyone might choose, as long as there's more of it.
posted by majick at 4:47 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

If we renamed TV to series, where would things like the Oscars or the Olympics end up classified?
posted by jacquilynne at 5:26 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

jacquilynne: "Events" would probably be a good term?
posted by flatluigi at 6:14 PM on June 23

Having been raised by southern Californian parents who “didn’t even own a TV” (to my young dismay), in their case it was definitely not about the quality vs films, which were equally likely to rot our brains out in their book.
posted by thoroughburro at 6:49 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

TV only came to South Africa when I was around 6 years old. We didn't have a TV for most of my childhood as my parents believed most TV programmes were terrible quality.
At the time, there was only one channel, and very much government controlled propaganda. I grew up in apartheid SA in the 70s and 80s with anti-apartheid parents, so they had a point
When we finally got a TV, it was covered with a cloth most of the time and we weren't allowed to watch without our parents supervision.
Nature documentaries (which I loved) and Heidi, for some reason.
I used to watch random crap when my parents were out, always careful to put the cloth back in place so they wouldn't know.
posted by Zumbador at 9:20 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

Is this something I'd have to not have a TV to understand?
posted by 7segment at 12:05 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I still want a category for Games! I hope with the new improvements to MeFi that this will be in the future pipeline. 🙏
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:48 PM

Just another plug for A Videogame Club on FanFare where anyone can post a game and discuss a game!
posted by lazaruslong at 4:19 AM on June 24

I don't know what those folks are doing now, probably sneering at us for using the wrong garlic

Pretty sure the "I don't even own a television" people have now become the "I don't use social media" people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:45 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

I like this request and +1 it.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 12:55 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Wait, a new garlic dropped?
posted by rikschell at 2:37 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

Books also comes sometimes in series form.
posted by NotLost at 4:03 PM on June 24

Books also comes sometimes in series form.

True. That's why I suggested "series show".

It seems most people here are happy with TV, though.

Seems odd to me when that smooshes together a bunch of things that don't really go together? Like someone mentioned earlier, does it make sense to have a category that doesn't distinguish between the Oscars, the Olympics, and a mini series? Is that intuitive?

Especially as the boundary between movies and TV series is already very blurred, so that from the point of view of a viewer's needs, it actually makes more sense to categorise, for example, the Marvel movies series in the same box as "The Umbrella Academy" series.

I know this isn't going to happen here, but it's still interesting to think about it.
posted by Zumbador at 9:06 PM on June 24

"Video That Is Not Movies"
posted by Marticus at 4:07 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]

Since it has been mentioned a couple times, non-episodic televised events have their own category - special events. If you want to post about the Olympics, Oscars, Eurovision, etc, Special Events is its own category. It used to be that mods were the only ones who could make special event posts, but frimble recently added that category to new posts in Fanfare and anyone can make one now

I think this is a fine thing to discuss, although the tv category doesn't phase me personally. Fanfare is kinda confusing in numerous ways, and I hope we can figure out ways to get it more usable for more people.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:51 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]

I really don't understand why you'd put all the stand-alone, feature-length Marvel movies in the same place as the Umbrella Academy, a serial, episodic TV show?
posted by sagc at 2:03 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]

Is this something I'd have to not have a TV to understand?

I haven't had a TV since 2015 or so. That was back when Vizio went weird for a bit and stopped putting tuners in their displays. It was basically a Chromecast with some video inputs and a big screen. They later added some smart TV bullshit to it in a firmware update.

Since it doesn't have a tuner it's technically a monitor, but I still call it a TV and say I'm watching TV if I'm watching things that aren't YouTube or movies. It seems most of the streaming services agree with that nomenclature. At least one I have names the categories "Movies" and "Series," but most say "Movies" and "TV" or "TV Shows".
posted by wierdo at 8:12 AM on June 26

I really don't understand why you'd put all the stand-alone, feature-length Marvel movies

Well the last one I saw had a central character (played by Elizabeth Olsen) who was the star of a (not very) long form serialized "TV series". And the film about a wizard (not named Harry) was a direct follow on from a sequence of long form dramas that were originally released in theatrical form - serially, maintaining cohesive plot threads over many episodes - but frequently viewed on the same device. For me he same format that I for one viewed WandaVision. So is WandaVision bunch of shortish films or is the Marvel universe a series rather long TV episodes?

All of which is a bit snarky but I do think the discussion of the wild and wacky transition of media formats is worthwhile.
posted by sammyo at 12:13 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]

So is WandaVision bunch of shortish films or is the Marvel universe a series rather long TV episodes?

They're both live-action reboots of comics and so should go under "Books".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:51 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]

Now I'm wondering about all the new things people watch and listen that might fall between the cracks.

Live play role playing shows like critical role fit OK in TV, even though they occasionally show in movie theatres and are published as podcasts too.

What about YouTube channels that people follow? How to videos, slice of life, music shows, live cameras at zoos, political commentary etc. Most of those fit into TV, sure, but after a certain point, isn't it like having a category for "recorded image with sound that was broadcast" and isn't particularly useful as a organisational category?
posted by Zumbador at 10:45 PM on June 26

Look, I've managed so far to refrain from putting up videos from Adrian's Digital Basement, and will until there's a retro computing category. 🤓
posted by Marticus at 11:31 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]

Podcasts have their own category, do they not? I guess I just don't see a way to make this change without creating more confusion, rather than less.
posted by sagc at 3:23 AM on June 27

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