Use of Social Media in TV Series featuring Castle, The Mentalist, House, Cougar Town and NCIS Los Angeles
The majority of internet users are actively utilizing social media, whether it is to let the world know what they are up to, catch up with friends, promote their business, play games or pretty much do anything else you can think of. On Wikipedia, social media is defined as “media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques “. You can use social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, micro-blogging sites like Twitter or social-bookmarking sites like Stmble Upon or Digg. Then of course there is always blogging and video-sharing sites. The keywords are social interaction and sharing.
Since the term social media is more popular than ever before, there was no way TV show writers could remain indifferent to this rising trend. Many episodes of hit TV shows- regardless of their genres- included Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube, blogs and other websites in the plots or subplots of their episodes. Here are such 5 TV shows:
Castle - Twitter, Myspace, Blogs
Image via http://www.whedon.info
Above: Nathan Fillion as Rick Castle and Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett
In two specific episodes, the comedy/drama/mystery/thriller series Castle included Twitter and a social networking site like Myspace. I can’t remember whether it was actually myspace or another similar and/or fictitious site as the usage wa in a subplot and the episode aired quite some months ago. However I remember how exactly it was used.
Now, Castle’ s general plot and characters are previously reviewed and I also wrote a factoid on why writers should watch Castle, as the main character Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a crime novels writer. His mother, Martha Rodgers is an actress and eccentric woman. She has posted her profile on a social networking site and reconnected with one of her old flames. She might have gotten help from her granddaughter Alexis Castle, when it comes to the technical aspects.
In Season 2, Episode 22, Castle and Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) try to solve a murder that took place in a chic restaurant’s kitchen. The manager is Kate’s old high school friend and she finds meeting Castle exciting. She also has fun when she finds out that Castle is watching the interrogation room and has heard everything she and Beckett are arguing about. She takes out the phone and says “I have to tweet about this!”
In another episode-concerning the death about the owner of a male cosmetics company (Season 2, Episode 23), Castle and Beckett interrogate a model- who is the ex-girlfriend of the victim. When they ask about her alibi for the murder, she says she was on a plane and ended up sitting to Perez Hilton (a famous celebrity blogger in real life). So Castle googles on his phone and sees that Perez has already blogged about this incident. This officially lets her off the hook.
Cougar Town- Twitter
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Cougar Town is a comedy starring Courteney Cox. She plays a single, newly divorced mother of a teenager. She works as a real estate agent and her assistant, Laurie (Busy Phillips) keeps tweeting about anything and everything. Her actions are more about the updating/sharing mania concerning twitter.
NCIS Los Angeles – Facebook, Blogs
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NCIS Los Angeles- is the Los Angeles branch of the show NCIS. NCIS Los Angeles stars L.L. Cool J. and Chris O’ Donnell, and involves agents trying to solve crimes related to the navy. Just like most criminal shows, NCIS is not without its computer geek. In this show, it is played by Barrett Foa. His character Eric brags in one episode that he has hit the 1.000 friends mark on Facebook. His friends at the office make fun of him but even the typically serious director Leon congratulates him on the trademark.
Another episode features a crossover from the original NCIS series- that show’s very own geek character Abby (Pauley Perrette). A serial killer who has successfully disguised himself by not killing according to a pattern is suspected to be a serial killer. Abby has shared her insights on her blog. She comes to L.A. to help with the case. As it turns out, she has already interacted with the killer through the blog post comments.
The Mentalist- Video Sharing Site
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The Mentalist is a drama starring Simon Baker where a mentalist (a man with the ability to read humans and manipulate behavior) is working with the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) on murder cases. One of the team members receives an email one day- it is a link to a video site where the killer has posted a video of his murder.
Image via beniartikyormayin.com
In Season 6, Episode 14 of House, the exceptionally brilliant and eccentric diagnostician Gregory House and his team of doctors admit a blogger patient. She blogs absolutely everything and anything about her life, which of course annoys the hell out of her husband. It also upsets him more when she decides to ask her readers about the most important medical decisions she has to make.
Here is a clip of the episode on youtube.com: