Categorizing TV Shows

February 20, 2015 7:50 PM

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Categorizing TV Shows

Is Orange Is the New Black a comedy or a drama? Is True Detective a drama or a miniseries? It depends whom you ask. At the Emmy Awards, the procedure had generally been to ask the people who make the show, as a result of which the same show will compete as comedy and drama in different awards competitions, and shows with the same structure (say, Fargo and True Detective) will compete in entirely different categories.

Call it category gaming or the ambiguous nature of art. It’s both really, but the Emmys is trying to introduce some order into the process with new rules defining categories. Some of them are simple common sense and provide welcome clarity: for instance, if a drama tells one self-contained story ove...

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