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Annie Stamell Headshot

TV and Twitter Go Together Like Cats and the Internet

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Thanks to Twitter, I can pretend to be places I am not. (Oh look! Another article in which I preach the beauty that is the marriage of TV and Twitter, I know you're excited).

You see, the TCAs were this past weekend (and into this week) and I was not there.

What are the TCAs? TCA =Television Critics Association and essentially it's a few days when all the networks loan out their on-screen and off-screen talent to hoards of press. It's a massive publicity stunt, sure, but it's also a very well-executed method of creating buzz. This is even easier with Twitter. You could essentially sit at home and just follow five random TV critics to know what is going on. So it doesn't matter who you are -- everyone gets in on the fun. Sure, I didn't actually get to ask the cast of Chuck about their excitement for the new season or find out about the latest angst-ridden plotlines on The Vampire Diaries. And yeah, I missed out on a Bones-themed breakfast where I had every intention of grilling Executive Producer Hart Hanson about his own Twitter love, but that's okay. Through quotes and "twitpics" (and other snazzy words for basic reporting) I may as well have been in Pasadena mingling with the TV elite.

Does the average person care about the TCAs? Probably not. Should they? Eh. What the average person doesn't realize is they get swept up in the madness regardless. The success of a TV show is so often determined by fan buzz that whatever those five (or more) TV critics you follow on Twitter are saying could dictate why you, or anyone else, will tune into a given show. And this all stems from a carefully orchestrated event. So the TCAs will impact you, whether you care or not. And if you do care? Well, for the passionate TV fans out there, Twitter delivers info about our favorite shows at a rapid-fire pace. Everyone's a critic.

I often find myself reflecting on shows that were cult hits in the 90s, like The X-Files, and wish I could go back in time, give all those diehard fans Twitter, and see what would happen. Would Chris Carter have been on Twitter, doling out spoilers like various other television showrunners today? (I'm guessing no, considering the script for the last X-Files movie was under such high security people had to read it in essentially a locked room... and the movie sort of tanked anyway). Just recently Josh Schwartz joined Twitter and within minutes I was in a full-fledged OC music flashback as he tweeted various favorite songs. As his show Chuck is one of those programs that has a large cult audience but has struggled for ratings, what a brilliant move for Schwartz to join this social networking service just before the new season premiere. And at last, the opportunity for various fans to say "Welcome to Twitter, bitch!"

As an aside, if there is one thing you should take away from this January 2010 TCA round, it is that the CW show Life Unexpected is a must-see. Think of the glory days of the WB, minus Katie Holmes. Which, in my opinion, is better. All the twitics are raving about it already (Get it? Twitter + critic = twitic. I didn't coin that so don't blame me for the headache). I've only watched the first episode and I'm hooked.

What's my point here? Look, I might be a broken record but let me once again say this: Twitter and TV are made to go together. Like cats and the Internet. Let's all join in on the fun.

And while we're on the topic, I'd like to see a show about cats. Maybe cats who Twitter. Or maybe just a channel of YouTube cat videos. Oh, how about a docu-series about making YouTube cat videos... What showrunner wants to make this happen for me? Not you Hart Hanson, if a recent Bones episode with corpse-eating feral cats is any indication of your feline interests. I think Dan Harmon of Community could give us a really compelling cat show. Joel McHale could stretch himself in a guest starring role as a guy who loves cat videos ... Or just give my favorite internet celebrity cat, Maru, his own series already! I can imagine the next round of TCAs when Maru wows the press after jumping into a box...