Tag Archives: metaphor

Jazz as Metaphor for Not Having a Plan

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was an article about the Showtime show Homeland and its upcoming second season. Towards the end of the article, there is brief discussion of how the show’s first season was shot and planned.

Remarkably, the creators did not map out the first season’s convoluted plot in advance. “Six episodes in, we didn’t entirely know where it was going,” Mr. Gansa said.

Mr. Gordon called it “a jazz improvisation.” The Carrie breakdown was slotted first for Episode 3, then 6, then 8. Of course, he said, in hindsight it looked inevitable that it come toward the season’s end.

As something to ponder for the coming weeks, is “jazz improvisation” an appropriate metaphor? Is it positive or negative? Considering the structures of jazz composition, collective improvisation, and recording we have been analyzing in class, I wonder if the skill and established relationships that go into making an effective performance (and recording) are being downplayed in this metaphor. What do you think?



Filed under Etc.