Many have said we’re living through television’s “second Golden Age.” A time when quality dramatic programming is at an all-time high. The “first Golden Age” is generally considered the late-40s to the early-60s. The era when receivers of television broadcasts — the medium itself first successfully executed in the late-20s — started to become within the realm of affordable, and broadcast networks started to bring original programming to the airwaves a number of hours each week.
Humanity was connected as never before, and some of the medium’s earliest purveyors hoped to bring art, education, and journalism of the highest order into people’s homes with the immediacy radio had long provided, but with the now nearly miraculous element of visuals added. While Hollywood was threatened, believing the medium could topple motion pictures. Talent of a high caliber was initially attracted to the nascent medium of enormous untapped potential.
But would Millennials, particularly those of the 18 to 24 set, even know who Rod Serling, Edward R. Murrow, or even Lucille Ball were?
As for the “Second Golden Age”…
There is no question that some extraordinarily sophisticated, well-written, beautifully acted and executed TV has been made since the start of the millennium. It’s not just been on cable, either. These days, it originates from all sources.
And it certainly has not been exclusively via streaming, although the medium has had its home runs (‘House of Cards,’ ‘TransParent,’ ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’). Services like Roku and Apple TV have altered the way ratings are gauged and have made the long existent and available On Demand and DVR technologies more integral than ever before if pay TV (be they cable, DSL, or satellite) providers want to stay in the game.
Some shows can still achieve “must see” status. ‘Game of Thrones’ for example, seems to inspire such devotion. And in keeping with our core theme here, that devotion spans generational divides, class divides, heck even nerds and non-nerds. How many shows that take place in a universe with dragons can say that?
But the broadcast networks — clearly having their hand forced, with the ante upped — have contributed to this climate of “no seriously, TV is good now” in the past few years. Such beloved series as ‘Lost,’ ‘Community,’ ’30 Rock,’ ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Friday Night Lights,” and guilty pleasures such as ‘24,’ and all the CW’s superhero shows, all came from good old fashioned free, broadcast television.
And of course cable has its megahits, by whatever metric they measure such things. The above mentioned ‘Thrones,’ the below goofed on ‘Homeland.’ That show with the zombies, which should be awesome but maybe isn’t, but is really popular. All of we here at StatSocial — well, many of us, at least — are sworn fans of ‘Silicon Valley.’ And I know our CEO — a later Millennial, I believe — was very into Westworld.
Televisual entertainment is not in short supply these days, especially if you toss in the numerous YouTube stars, and then the additional plethora of more anonymous self-produced content to be found on YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and anywhere that hosts video.
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My family got cable television when I was 5. It came to my North Jersey town in 1976. At that age, getting to watch Philadelphia channels was inconceivably exotic. It was almost like actually being in Philadelphia and watching TV.
Anyway, my memory of TV where it was just three networks, three local channels, and PBS is faint, but it does exist. I also have vivid memories of exploring UHF at a very early age. It felt like receiving transmissions from outer space, or like I had ventured into a territory where I wasn’t quite allowed.
I had a vivid imagination as a tyke.
Speaking of tykes. One things the grouchier types say about not just Millennials, as I do more than hint at above, but our entire society (but especially Millennials), is that we/they are infantilized. Arrested in our childhood. Superhero movies dominate the cineplexes, it’s perfectly normal for grown adults, with good jobs to play video games, etc.
As one who has been a ‘Doctor Who’ fan since the age of 10, and has sat through the very worst episodes — and for a period in the mid-late-80s it was inconceivably abysmal — more than once, but I also adore the revived series. It’s like rooting for a sports team, you stand by them when they’re losing, and then you get to rejoice in their victories. I mean, it’s now a critically acclaimed, multiple BAFTA winning series. But it still provides me with palpable warmth and comfort.
My point here is that while I don’t read superhero comics, nor do I care about superhero movies. I’m also not an especially avid fan of video games (although as a kid my Atari and I were very well acquainted, and maybe in my late-teens/early-20s my Nintendos — original and eventually super NES — were not strangers either), but I’m not innocent. Heck, I thought that last ‘Mad Max’ film was genuinely beautiful.
THE TOP TV NETWORKS WITH MILLENNIALS AGES 18 TO 24
A quick glance down the list of top networks with the younger Millennials — who we remind you for this study start at age 18 — doesn’t start to definitively cease in raising a red flag until number 3, But granted, when I first got Nickelodeon in 1979, one of their most frequently aired programs was, well, this…
Looking at today’s Nickelodeon schedule I see that between 9:30 AM and 8:00 PM there are five episodes of PAW Patrol, which I know nothing about but seems like the sort of show a 21-year old should be watching, four episodes of Spongebob, three episodes of ‘The Loud House,’ two episodes of ‘The Thundermans,’ two episodes of ‘Blaze and the Monster Machines,’ and so on.
I’m assuming ‘The Loud House’ has little to do with PBS’ groundbreaking, 1974 vérité documentary series, ‘An American Family.’ Which in its day made household names of a Santa Barbara based family called the Louds, as it filmed their day-to-day lives, and wound up capturing the central couple’s separation, and one of the sons — Lance Loud, lead singer of a genuinely decent New York band called The Mumps — coming out to his parents as gay.
The series was a direct inspiration for MTV’s ‘The Real World,’ according to that show’s producers, and the meteoric popularity of that now 20-plus year old property triggered the whole darned reality TV boom. This is one 70s pop culture reference that is not entirely irrelevant. As our so-called Second Golden Age is rife with so-called reality programming.
But back to Nick and college kids, I watched ‘Ren & Stimpy’ quite regularly when in my late-teens and early-twenties. But that show was frankly wholly inappropriate for children (although I’d have been obsessed with it when I was a kid). None of these shows look like that actually quite spectacularly hilarious and bizarre creation, although it’s my understanding that Spongebob at least was a quality piece of work.
Freeform, the former ABC Family, is slightly less surprising given how popular the network’s live action adaptation of the popular YA mystery series, ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ is. PLL will dominate Twitter trends every time a season begins or ends, or any time there’s a major plot development, or even if a marathon is being aired.
Since rebranding as Freeform, the network’s focus has decidedly skewed more teenaged. But not so much college aged. But this bunch is 72% more likely to watch it than their older peers. And I guess that sort of makes sense. Still, as the next list indicates, the interests of their apparent fellows could not be more different once they cross the graduation threshold.
THE TOP TV NETWORKS WITH MILLENNIALS AGES 25 TO 34
Okay, Bravo started as a classy network, just like A&E once did, but we all know that changed a long time ago. Home shopping, lots of 24 hour news of different stripes, and an English language channel targeted at Latinos, specifically Latino Millennials. Well, while they’re not killing it, it does seem they’re reaching their target. 29% more so than they’re reaching the younger Millennials.
Then we’ve got TBS’ endless ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Family Guy,’ and ‘Big Bang Theory’ reruns. And this group tunes in not to ESPN, at least not to a degree significantly in excess of their younger peers, but instead to the CBS Sports Network, of which they’re 88% more likely to be fans than the younger, prettier portion of the Millennial class.
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We’re going to resist commenting directly on the younger list, and instead comment by comparing and contrasting the two right off the bat.
THE TOP TV GENRES WITH MILLENNIALS AGES 18 TO 24
What is wrong with the older Millennials, is the quarter-life crisis and its fallout so bad that they’ve forgotten how to laugh? You see here a marketer is posed with a challenge. Can you restore joy and laughter to those StatSocial recognizes as having little interest in such things?
Regardless, in the here and now, on American TV, we have ‘Broad City,’ ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘Inside Amy Schumer,’ ‘Drunk History’… And as always, ‘South Park.’
Let’s see what these poor folks are viewing in their joyless lives.
THE TOP TV GENRES WITH MILLENNIALS AGES 25 TO 34
Of course, documentaries. Probably about the trouble and strife in the world, and that’s great. It’s good to stay informed. But have these folks seen ‘American Movie’? Both inspiring and hilarious? Or how about ‘Crumb,’ or ‘Grey Gardens’? All strangely upsetting, inspiring, and amusing.
I’m with them on the music thing, and would contend this is a source of shame for the youngster Millennials tantamount to what the paucity of comedy says of the oldsters. However, this is specifically relating to TV. Is there even music on TV any longer? I may need to reconsider that judgment.
Ignoring the vocal many who believe all of mass media is liberal in its bias — via conspiracy or coincidence — would you personally consider HBO a particularly liberal network?
Well, we see with our own two eyes that even Ballers has an audience that is over 50% liberal. One might be inclined to answer the question “yes,” and move on.
But hold up…
Why are we asking? And who are we? If you are lucky enough to find yourself at StatSocial for the first time, we’ll explain. What we do here is analyze social media audiences. By which we mean any group of individuals who have gravitated toward one another in a social media context, or who you or I have bunched together ourselves. All self-identified redheads from Des Moines who listen to the Shirelles?
We can, if there are any of them, tell you what laundry detergents they prefer, what TV shows they watch, how old they are, in what geographic regions besides Des Moines they’re most common, and honestly just about anything you could imagine.
Fans, vocal detractors, hashtaggers, and for marketers — whose attention we’d love most of all to get — of greatest value, your own audience. No longer need your social media marketing campaigns consist of so much guess work and crossed fingers. You’ll know from day one with whom you’re communicating.
We get inside the audience, and we stress virtually any social audience you could imagine, and tell you who they really are as people.
Lately, for fun and education and as fans of the network, we’ve been focusing our blog entries on the programs of HBO. In this instance — with the assistance of our exciting partnership with IBM Watson and the integration of their Personality Insights™ tool into our reports — we are seeing which of HBO’s current shows’ audiences are most liberal.
The victor by a safe margin is Silicon Valley;. At times satirical (created by the great Mike Judge of Beavis and Butthead,Office Space, and Idiocracy fame), but during too many moments for comfort — since it deals with an industry already so grotesque and bizarre (and from all ends, from the multi-billion dollar multi-national to the wannabe entrepreneur in his garage) — it can just tell the truth and allow the industry it portrays with bone chilling accuracy to ridicule itself.
But it’s also as exquisitely plotted a sitcom as there’s ever been, and not one single member of its ensemble cast falls short of being Emmy worthy. Oh, and against all odds, even though they’re not always the most scrupulous, or brave, or reasonable bunch, you consistently root for the central characters.
The very unique region of northern California that shares the program’s name is so prominent it’s almost one of the characters. But, as tech folks who’ve never set foot in Palo Alto, we — and every single other person we’ve ever met in tech, pretty much all of whom watch Silicon Valley — will assure you it has nailed the entire industry; from the billionaire to the bottom feeder.
While the voting record of the real-life Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly Democrat, as tends to be the case among all tech types for reasons we couldn’t even begin to guess at, IBM Watson and their excellent Personality Insights™ tool does not define “liberal” and “conservative” in quite so cut and dried left/right terms
Personality Insights™ defines liberalism as “a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values.” Which if extrapolated upon starts to sound like something closer to “classical liberalism,” which by most modern definitions is considered a conservative ideology.
It can all get kind of confusing.
But we’re not here to teach political science, we’re here to beguile you with StatSocial science.
As background for our conclusions…
The baseline for all of our calculations — unless otherwise noted or specially requested — is the average social media audience. To what degree do the audiences of these shows conform to, or defy, Personality Insights’ definition of liberalism when compared to the average?
Below is a quick and dirty example of the sort of basic data you’d find in a StatSocial report (these, incidentally, are the top TV shows with Silicon Valley’s fans; starting with number two, as number one is rather evident.)
click to enlarge
The blue line is the actual percentage of fans of the audience being analyzed who are also fans of the corresponding item on the list. The grey line represents the baseline; which, as we say, will usually be the average of all of social media as a whole. Finally is one of our favorite and most special metrics, “the multiple,” which tells you the likelihood of one specific audience’s member also being a member of another specific audience.
For example, based on the chart above, we know that fans of Silicon Valley are 12.88 times more likely to be fans of Parks and Recreation than the average social media user. You can read a whole lot about the “multiple” and how game changing it can be, by by visiting blog.statsocial.com and clicking around
But we digress…
While this isn’t about governmental policy and politics, per se, the natural next place to look are all the same the network’s most overtly political shows. HBO currently runs two programs of direct political commentary, satirical in nature though they both may be. First, there’s the panel show, Real Time with Bill Maher.
Hosted, as it is, by an individual of unmistakably left-leaning, progressive views, he indeed famously does not toe the party line to the letter. He has cultivated an image of iconoclasm for every once in a while, in his characteristically blustery way bucking the status quo.
For example, he espouses an unapologetic and open hostility for Islam (exceeding his already outspoken distaste for all religion) — and a, let’s call it, “open-mindedness” to certain military interventions in the Middle East — that do not fall in lockstep with the mainstream Democrat, the audience he presumably most courts and certainly most attracts. In that way, he is indeed behaving “liberally” according to the Personality Insights™ definition. (“a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values,” in this case the authority being mainstream liberalism, and his readiness made manifest in his rants against Islam).
Continuing to speak of “liberalism” as a left or right thing, Maher also has his additional pet causes such as drug legalization, and such. Those subjects find more sympathies on the left perhaps, but is there by no means a unanimity on the subject.
Then there’s the runner-up on our list. Last Week Tonight. The show is hosted by an alumnus of Comedy Central’s unambiguously liberal — in the sense that we as a society, not merely IBM Watson define it — The Daily Show, British comedian John Oliver.
Oliver holds views on certain subjects that would more find him described as a moderate, or could easily garner him sympathy from the right and the left, where views on certain topics are hardly universal — his pieces on civil asset forfeiture, or even the death penalty (the last being an issue with many conservative opponents, such as all Catholics), easily could have found him fans from throughout the political spectrum — for the most part, he is pretty much the same kind of party-line liberal his old boss Jon Stewart was (and we’d imagine still is). But not exclusively.
Oliver’s wife is an Iraq War vet, and he involves himself in veterans’ causes quite openly. This hardly means he supports all U.S. military action, but still might run contrary to assumption.
That explains number one, two and four quite handily. They are shows which we could argue aggressively seek to upset the apple cart, and also court a liberal audience in the more conventional right/left sense as well.
They surely have acquired such an audience — a liberal audience — in the Personality Insights™ sense, to degrees rather significantly exceeding the baseline.
But what of show number three? Is there a liberal agenda at play behind all the armor and swords and D&D soap opera?
Well, George R.R. Martin, the author the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels which Thrones so vividly brings to life is an unabashed Democrat. He doesn’t blog and/or speak of politics often, but when he has he’s volunteered opinions such as Barack Obama is “the most intelligent president we’ve had since Jimmy Carter.” But is that personal feeling reflected in the work? Is Thrones a particularly liberal show?
A purely hypothetical situation wherein HBO’s best and brightest gather to “make a difference.”
Martin is too good of a writer to allow his characters’ conflicts to be either so easily judged or resolved, and without turning this into a Thrones blog it could be said that his characters have at times exhibited heroism, or made choices clearly intended to be regarded as wise, that flouted political correctness and conventional liberal wisdom.
But they have always bucked authority. If the show has any central motifs, bucking authority is one of its strongest.
The program is nuanced, and its characters’ choices are not always obvious. This is why — while its audience is comfortably liberal — it still finds a not insignificant nearly 35% who do not identify as liberals among its fans.
It reminds one of the early-2000s HBO series, the widely hailed The Wire.While creator David Simon never made any bones about his liberalism, the program pulled in admirers from all corners.. So universal, finessed, and dead-on was the show’s critique of the bureaucracy and corruption consuming the average American city, and the show’s storytelling was so excellent, it found fans of all political and ideological stripes.
At a point it becomes not about left or right, and certainly not policy. It becomes about being human and asking yourself what would you do? When you can identify with a character, or can share in identifying an ill in society or in human nature, or share in an admiration of bravery and heroism, storytelling transcends mere politics. Liberalism in this sense is universally comprehensible.
Looking at the above chart two pieces of info which might seem missing.
“Was “liberalism” actually the top personality trait of the show in question?”
Then, “whatever its percent, if not the top Personality Insight™ of the show in question, what was?”
Interesting fact, one of the lowest ranked shows on this list found liberalism as its most defining personality trait. Whereas one of the top three, found liberalism a mere fourth on its personality list.
The characters on Girls more often speak of standing up to authority, or wishing they had the courage to do so, then actually doing so. Yet, their desire to make a mark in this world, to be iconoclastic, creative, and unique define them. It’s just that they’re less clear on how to go about accomplishing those things, and aren’t always motivated to do the work.
Looked at this way — and assuming such desires and apprehensions can be found among their core audience — their ranking makes perfect sense.
Here we’ve provided another colorful chart. It tells you which Personality Insight™ (usually imagination) the show’s audience most strongly identified with, and then shows where among their list of Personality Insights™ liberalism was ranked.
Yup, Girls’ strongest Personality Insight™ is liberalism, while still having one of the least liberal audiences by percentage. In addition to our above observations regarding ambition vs. reality, this type of statistic becomes much more easily achieved when a program’s social audience exceeds a million people, as does that of Girls.
And without belaboring the point it is precisely through THIS sort of insight that StatSocial gives marketers an edge. Girls’ top trait is liberalism. BUT, a vastly smaller portion of their audience fits this definition than most of the other shows. The added granularity and greater perspective change the story. If you use your imagination you could see how in some cases the added perspective of the bigger picture could change your plans quite a lot, and frankly you shouldn’t spend cent one without it.
The below chart might look okay, but it provides little in the way of surprising insight. Our having run it at all was cheeky and politically questionable. But it does demonstrate to you — the potential user of our magnificent StatSocial service — the granularity at your disposal when analyzing whatever audience it is that’s piquing your interest.
In this case we see if you were to eliminate the 87% of Girls’ audience that identifies as female, it would rank at around 6th place as opposed to 14th. We stopped making out chart after that as the male fans of Girls mirrored the female fans in nearly every relevant way. We had hoped for more in the way of revelation.
Anyway, we’ve gone on long enough. For goodness’ sake, 54% of the audience of BALLERS is identified as as having liberal personality type above all others. HBO, based on this criteria, and frankly more conventional criteria as well, is a liberal-leaning network.
HBO, we love you, and we really mean that. The writer of this blog entry remembers when you were on only on a few hours a day — in the late 70s — and anxiously waiting for you to start broadcasting.
I watched Young Frankenstein on you, with my father. The ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz” section made him laugh as hard as I’ve ever seen him laugh at anything, and that is an exceedingly fond memory. So you and me HBO, we’s cool.
But, love you or not, you’ve gotta admit, HBO? A little liberal. And according to Personality Insights™ definition, a lot.
To learn much more about StatSocial, the curious are encouraged to visit the StatSocial site itself, where you’ll find all sorts of stuff including sample reports.
If you like what you’ve read, please take a few minutes to watch this overview of StatSocial’s data:
What does late night TV’s Stephen Colbert have to do with HBO’s excellent Silicon Valley?
Some would surely say that both are funny. We are not an entertainment blog so our varying opinions there are of little consequence. Colbert has had Silicon Valley cast members as well as the show’s creators as guests on his Late Show with Stephen Colbert. So, they do share that.
But we have another connection in mind, one specific to — aw heck, let’s just go there and say exclusive to — StatSocial, the company whose website you’ve either been awesome enough to visit of your own volition, or lucky enough to stumble upon.
What we’re focusing on here is Mr. Colbert’s vaunted position as the top ranked social media Influencer among the social media fans of this particularly awesome HBO series
Show: Silicon Valley Top Social Media Influencer: Stephen Colbert
If somehow unfamiliar, Silicon Valley is a partially satirical, partially too-accurate-for-comfort exploration of the very unique part of the world that shares the series’ title. Exploring everything from tiny start-ups to massive multi-billion dollar, multinational technology behemoths, the show takes on the various worlds of technology, but particularly those surrounding the web, with savagery and accuracy, and yet with characters you actually like and care about.
Stephen Colbert, as it turns out, is the social media influencer who finds the greatest favor among the fans of Silicon Valley. Achieving this seemingly desirable feat with only 13.57% of the program’s fans also identifying as fans of his. It would seem the fans of the HBO program are interested in an assortment of influencers of an unusually sizable breadth and quantity.
Did that make any sense to you, well let’s explain ourselves futher and we promise it will all click for you by sunrise.
Welcome to StatSocial
First off, to both the old friend and the new acquaintance, hello. You’re at StatSocial.com.
Who and/or what are we? We measure and analyze social media audiences. To some that term explains itself, to others it may already be in their vocabulary in some form. If you’re here there’s a greater than average shot that you have some idea what we’re talking about,
To us it is any group of individuals who either gravitate toward one another, or in whom it can be observed that a common trait and/or traits, are shared in a social media context.
We’ll spare you the egghead talk of definite appeal to the anthropologically minded. At the end of the day, and the beginning as well, StatSocial presents itself and sells itself quite consciously and directly as a marketing tool. One we believe essential to anyone seeking to harness the unprecedented ability social media has provided marketers to communicate directly with an audience.
An audience in our analysis needn’t consist of individuals aware of each other. They need only share a common trait or behavior of literally any sort.
The audiences with which we’re concerned — in terms of what kinds of people gravitate toward what kinds of things — are consistent, and they are knowable beyond mere demographics, geography, or even likes and dislikes (and we can get pretty esoteric with those). We can tell you what kinds of personalities these people have, with extraordinary nuance and accuracy.
Let’s start somewhere simple. Even kind of stupid. You know your audience likes cars. That’s knowledge you possess without StatSocial’s assistance.
But do you know what makes of cars. What years of those makes? And did you know that 78% of those audience members also like umbrellas? That kind of specific yet actionable insight is common in our reporting.
You could have sold that lady that car and umbrella if only you’d had StatSocial and knew what kind of cars she liked. And if only she wasn’t a painting.
We can get comical with examples, but we’ll play this one straight. Say, for some reason there was a value in your learning all there was to know about Portland Trail Blazers’ fans, ages 18–34, originating from the Austin, Texas area. We’ll tell you more than you thought possible, and it will be correct. We’ll give you their ages in much more granular terms, we’ll tell you what other teams or sports they like, and we’ll go much deeper than that. Favorite restaurants, shoes, tires. Do they play musical instruments? Is it clarinet?
And we also give you the biggies, like favorite TV shows, movies, consumer goods, sports teams, and on and on.
Something of which there are dozens included in any web based StatSocial report are a vast array of top 100 lists. Hobbies, packaged goods, movies, and on and on. Data vastly exceeding the top 100 is readily available to you, as we index data points on many topics by the tens of thousands, but right there at your fingertips you can know the top 100 this, or that.
In this case, it would be the top 100 favorite social influencers, of the TV show of your choice, readily at your disposal.
In the case of the below, just to give a taste, we provide Silicon Valley’s top 10. It might look a little like this:
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The percentage shown in the blue line at the top is the actual percentage of fans of the corresponding item who are also fans of the audience being analyzed, in this case Silicon Valley.
The percentage shown in the grey line is the baseline from which all our statistics are calculated by default, which is the average behavior of the global social media audience. Unless otherwise noted or requested, you can assume this is the baseline against which we’re comparing all our stats.
The metric to the far right is our “multiple” metric and it is awesome, but we’ll get into it in another entry. Or just poke around the blog. It is already explained somewhere, and explained again in detail, in entries throughout the blog.
What of the remainder of the favorite social influencers among the fans of HBO’s shows?
Show: Ballers Top Social Media Influencer: Dwayne Johnson
When it comes to Ballers, a show about a bunch of dudes who ball — — and it’s not a double entendre like that AC/DC song — I mean, it sort of is, but it’s not about that. You can smell what the kingpin social influencer is cooking. This paragraph is flirting with disaster…
No, it’s not Emeril Lagasse. Although, good guess, Former pro-wrestler and head baller (?), who wrestled under the name “The Rock,” had a catchphrase where he’d ask the audience if they could “smell what The Rock” was cooking. If I recall correctly, the audience usually could.
Unlike Colbert not even the faintest analysis of his victory is necessary as he is the show’s star.
Mr. “The Rock” Johnson administering his finishing move, ‘The People’s Elbow,’ for which even though I hated that era or wrestling I will always give him credit as genius.
Show: Togetherness Top Social Media Influencer: Sarah Silverman
And now we reach, as somehow seemed inevitable, the prolific Duplass brothers, inventors of “mumblecore”… maybe, if there ever was such a thing. It was in theory an indie-film non-movement from the early ’00. The name was a derisive term a critic came up with — possibly even Roger Ebert (RIP) — to make fun of a trend in movies toward no-budget, handheld video camera shot films where nothing happens. A bunch of which I think were made by the Duplass brothers.
These films all seemed to star Greta Gerwig. Except there really never was such a thing as “mumblecore,” we’re told. Or something.
They, these Duplass brothers, really do exist, though. As did their HBO series Togetherness; the top social media influencer among the fans of which is the lovely Miss Sarah Silverman.
Mark Duplass and Greta Gerwig in a movie, the title of which I refuse to find out.
I’m confused by the Duplasses. Maybe they’re edgier than I think they are. They just seemed so Sundance Channel to me, I zoned them out. And the younger brother is kinda handsome and he’s in everything.
And I’m getting too old to care about the Duplass brothers. They look like they workout, or do they?
I decidedly do not. So I won’t be writing any checks with this mouth, unless getting my ass kicked counts as cashing them.
But we love Sarah Silverman. So yay for her, and the Duplasses’ fans for liking her more than other social influencers they also like.
Shows:Last Week Today with John Oliver, Real Time with Bill Maher, Girls, and Veep.
GUESS WHO the top social influencers are on these shows? John Oliver, Bill Maher, Lena Dunham, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (all of whom get made fun of somewhere in this blog I’m sure, so I’ll spare them here).
Lena Duham in the mumblecore film Tiny Furniture, which mumbled its way right into Judd Apatow’s heart, who in turn charmed the good folks at HBO. In a way we have Apatow to thank for Kylo Ren. Make of that what you will.
The point being here — and YES, there is one — it’s not news to you nor us that their fans like them. Those shows and those individuals are virtually synonymous. So, we’ll move on.
Show: True Detective Top Social Media Influencer: Matthew McConaughey
Life is a dream.
True Detective does choose Matthew McConaughey as its top social influencer. But a season — a baffling, terrible season — has come and gone since his time on the show. I think we can all admit how badly we missed him. Man, that first season was so good.
Show: Looking Top Social Media Influencer: Neil Patrick Harris
Looking already has to deal with the boneheaded stigma of being “the gay show” — a label they didn’t precisely shun — did they really need to make Neil Patrick Harris their number one influencer? Throw a curveball. Mean Joe Greene (is he on Twitter?). Lyle Alzado, if he weren’t dead from a brain tumor, would have been perfect. Brian Bosworth?
One of only three shows I followed this year, I was suitably impressed. That said, I eventually did stop watching it. I never could quite tell what it wanted to be, in terms of tone. But yes like everyone else in the world I do love me some NPH. For his Hedwig alone, he can be in my top five social influencers.
Here’s the deal with Neil Patrick Harris. For years actors remained closeted — and many still do — for many reasons, but one being a fear on the part of casting directors that audiences won’t accept openly gay actors in straight roles. NPH came out, and continued to play a character on his hit sitcom that was not only straight, but a womanizer. And nobody cared. Dude had guts and broke down bigger walls than for which he gets credit.
Looking on the other hand thinks its much gutsier than it is. Maybe it will find itself in season two.
Show: Westworld Top Social Media Influencer: Chris Pratt
Now I knew Westworld was coming to HBO. I thought it was a TV show based on the Michael Crichton novel, which had in the 70s been adapted into a film version every Gen X-er knows and loves. But when I found this is some crazy high tech cockamamie thing which uses CGI trickery to bring elements from the movies into the show as they were, well my geek heart went all a-flutter.
Yul Brynner sadly died of lung cancer in 1985. But the malfunctioning robot cowboy he played in the 1973 film — about a wild west theme park which uses animatronic robots who wind up going kaka-kookoo and wreaking all sorts of havoc (even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ve seen it parodied) — is now alive and well thanks to creepy CGI. What a wonderful world we live in.
Oh hell yes
Anyway, the top social influencer here is Chris Pratt, with a respectable 36% of fans in common. Our theory is a connection in the viewers’ minds between Crichton’s original theme park gone kooky hit book and movie being revisited — and starring no one less esteemed than Sir Anthony Hopkins — and the recent and extremely successful revival of one of Crichton’s other cautionary theme parks in Jurassic World.
Show: Game of Thrones Top Social Media Influencer: Emma Watson
Emma Watson, who I really want to call Dame Emma Watson (as I’m sure one day we all will — whether she ever has the title bestowed upon her or not), leads the pack of influencers being followed by the fans of the jewel in HBO’s crown. I am of course speaking of a certain game, involving certain thrones. While the Harry Potter series has its violence and “adult” moments, it does seem a somewhat mismatched marriage of the genteel and the profane. But at the same time it makes perfect sense.
I know little about Emma Watson, truthfully, but it seems like Game of Thrones fans would like her. Evidently they do.
Show: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
Top Social Media Influencer: Adam Schefter
Adam Schefter, and would you look at that? A puppy.
Adam Schefter is, I believe a sports writer who is believed to be funny? Is that a thing? He is a sports writer, I know that much (look, I watched Looking and Girls — although we’re both psyched about Westworld… I mean, come on!). Therefore his being Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s top social influencer probably makes sense?
These things don’t quite.
Show: The Leftovers Top Social Media Influencer: Steve Carrrell (?)
The Leftovers, a not quite post-apocalyptic but post cataclysmic event drama starring Justin Theroux finds Steve Carrrell — who did give a good dramatic turn in the otherwise boring Foxcatcher back a year or so ago — as its number one. 28% of The Leftovers’ fans like Carrrell — as you should, he’s terrific — and that’s enough to make him the influencer with whom they have the most common fans.
Steve Carrell with Oscar on his mind, not knowing that one day he would be influencing the social media fans of HBO’s The Leftovers to such a staggering degree.
Show: Vinyl Top Social Media Influencer: Jimmy Kimmel (?)
And Vinyl, a show produced by Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger, the latter of whom is on social media (so why not him?), finds Jimmy Kimmel ruling its roost, with over a quarter of the fans of the overwrought dramatization of the decadence, drugs, and vice of the New York City music industry of the 1970s also enjoying a nice prank, and a good natured laugh of the sort Kimmel has been making his bread off of for many a year now.
The real New York Dolls, dramatized to a barely watchable degree in Vinyl. Here they stand in front of Gem Spa, the bodega that stands to this day, on he corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place.
So, is this entry the best demonstration of our wares? Click around, the wares are there, and you’ll comment “ah, there’s the wares.”
Many more HBO entries coming shortly. Most liberal shows? And then we’re getting into a whole Netflix thing. Keep this blog bookmarked. The coming days and weeks are going to be fun.
To learn much more about StatSocial, the curious are encouraged to visit the StatSocial site itself, where you’ll find all sorts of stuff including sample reports.
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