Saturday, November 22, 2008

From Barth to Baldwin

In the NYT Magazine, Dzyd Ross traces TV's recent digressions to the work of postmodern littérateurs. A teaser:

To the television watcher, constant asides are now recognized as a basic component of the contemporary sitcom vocabulary. Verbal digressions — “Remember the time when . . . ” or “What would it be like if . . .” — often lead to alternative scenarios, tangents and realities, each with new characters and sets that can consume long stretches of the show’s running time. Much has been made of how “30 Rock” is revitalizing the classic “Frasier”/“Friends”/“Seinfeld” sitcom, but Fey’s program is, like most of the deeply funny and cutting-edge comedies of the last few years, a bold experiment in narrative.

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