The rise of social media has changed the way we communicate, the way we express ourselves, the way we consume information and entertainment. But when it comes to creating compelling television, five leading showrunners agree that social media is good for one thing: driving them crazy.
In this clip from the Envelope Emmy Roundtable hosted by The Times' Martin Miller, "Homeland" creator Alex Gansa says of social media feedback, "I paid attention to it when it was positive. And then when it went negative, I just stopped listening. You have to stop listening, because it will completely make you crazy."
Terence Winter of "Boardwalk Empire" says what sends him up the wall is people dissecting a series in progress, as if reviewing one chapter of a book at a time.
"They'll say, 'Well this [episode] went nowhere,'" Winter says. "Well, you don't know that yet. Or they'll criticize things … instead of viewing the piece as a whole. And of course there's so much cyberspace that has to be filled up with words, so [you have] 90 people recapping the same episode of 'Jersey Shore' and every other show. It's just sort of destructive after a while."
Glen Mazzara of "The Walking Dead" agrees. "All of these shows are arced out over a season, so not every episode is going to be kickass and fast-paced," he says. "Sometimes it'll be slower because you're slowing things down to then build. And it's interesting how some critics will get that and some critics won't."
"The Walking Dead," he says, has "a very vocal fan base. It's a lot of people trying to provoke you, it's a lot of people with strong opinions, and it's not necessarily people paying attention to the whole. You have to really take it with a grain of salt."
Still, Mazzara is active on Twitter, of which he says, "It's a good way to engage fans and try to be playful and all of that."