Friday, April 26, 2013

TV For Dummies

This isn't so much going to be a blog post as it is a public service announcement. Or a dictionary, really. For people who don't know any television jargon. So read on and learn some English that you can use in conversation with me. 

Series- if you don't know what this is, we have a problem. However, there is an added definition that I wouldn't blame you for not knowing (theoretically. In reality I blame everyone for not knowing everything about TV). In British television, a series is what we Americans call a season. Example: There have been two series of Sherlock, and the fandom explodes on a daily basis waiting for the third.

Series Premiere- the first episode of the show, aka the pilot. Often, TV shows have unaired pilots that never see the light of day. Sometimes it's because they have to recast, sometimes it's because the plot needs to be tweaked. Or almost completely redone, as was the case with The Big Bang Theory.

Season Premiere- the first episode of the season. It usually introduces the season's arc (see below), both in plot and character development.

Season Finale- the last episode of the season. Usually, something really big happens in a season finale. People die (sort of like basically every season finale of Supernatural), people leave (I'm still mad at Angel for the third season finale of Buffy), people survive (you go Kristina Braverman!), and companions leave and Doctors regenerate (Ten and Rose, come back to me! Oh, wait, you are!). 

Series Finale- the last episode of a show. You'll probably cry in happiness and scream from sheer grief. If you're not doing either of those, you're living your life wrong. Unless you're watching the series finale of Political Animals, which is probably the point at which you should be yelling at the TV, "GODDAMMIT, why weren't you renewed?!"

Ships/Shipping/Shipper- A ship is short for "relationship." Shipping is also a verb. For example, I ship Buffy and Angel, the ship of all ships (no, seriously, they started the concept of hardcore shipping). When Spike came along and Buffy became romantic with him, the first shipping wars ensued. A shipping war usually involves shippers (people who ship) yelling at each other on the Internets about why their ship is better and using gifs like this to express their emotions:

OTP- One True Pairing. This is your ship of all ships. Usually, people who say they have one OTP are lying. Like me. Right now, my OTP is Destiel (Dean and Castiel on Supernatural). But on any given day, my OTP is also Bangel, Spuffy, Fresley, Victor/Sierra, Dean/Lisa, Ten/Rose, Eleven/Rose, WilTara, WillOz, and Janto. It really just depends on my mood.

BroTP- This is a non-romantic One True Pairing. The "Bro" stands for bromance, or bros. Example: Charlie Bradbury and Dean Winchester (Winbury) are my brotp. Again, you can have more than one. Again, if you say you have only one, you're probably lying. Booth and Sweets are also my brotp. So are Sam and Dean, Emily and Nolan, McSteamy and McDreamy. I also have real life brotp's, like Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

Christmas Special- This is a "British thing" in which they air longer episodes of their TV shows on Christmas and call them special. Do watch them. Do not call them season finales. Example: This year's Doctor Who Christmas special was terrible, and Steven Moffat should step down as showrunner (that bit at the end was just an added opinion).

Arcs- character development or plot that is spread out for more than one episode, usually three or four, up to a whole season (the latter is also known as the season arc). Example: Every season of Buffy had a Big Bad that was utilized as the season-long plot arc.

Standalones- these are episodes that can be watched regardless of your knowledge of the season's arc. You can turn the TV on, flip to an episode, and understand 95% of it without knowing anything about the show. Although again, if you're watching random TV, what are you doing? Would you just pick up a book and open it to page 394 and start reading?

In conclusion, things that we have learned today: television terms, and that Emily has a deep, passionate- one might say insane- love for all things TV. 


  1. I really really like that in your 'Standalone' definition, you compare TV to books. I took a class in college that referred to TV and film as 'texts' and it completely changed the way I looked at the medium. So, I totally applaud that comparison, and wish more people understood it like that. Bravo!

  2. Nice post! Now I know what page to link for my friends whenever I use random TV lingo on them. :p

    On a side note, I always get kind of giggly at the mention of Ship to Ship Combat, mainly because I'm imagining two naval ships locked in combat, firing cannons and torpedoes at each other, the whole works. Except instead of the ships being manned by calm, professional naval troops and officers, it's angry fans.