This "TV disguise" is actually something I've thought about a lot -- many of the cleverest shows on TV use it to great effect.
For instance, I think "Battlestar Galactica" isn't just a satisfying tale of survivors on the run from extermination. It is that, on one level, but wrapped inside that overall structure is a meditation on governing, power, the tension between the military and civilians and an exploration of what human beings will do to each other -- and for each other -- when the "normal" restrictions of human society are taken away.
Likewise, I've always thought "House" is really a weekly ethics seminar. What is moral behavior? What constitutes brutal disregard for others and what constitutes selfless adherence to well-defined ideals? What's the definition of violating a person's individual rights, and when is it OK to ignore those rights in order to save a life? Those kinds of discussions and arguments between House and his staff, or House and Wilson, could be taking place in a graduate philosophy seminar. Lucky for us they take place within a tightly constructed mystery story.
"The Sopranos"? A gangster's tale, to be sure, but also a deeply resonant examination of materialism and what the definition of manhood is in the 21st century.
Would you believe that I think "Deadwood" is, on one level, a treatise on government as well? After all, if you put aside the boozing and the swearing and so forth, the show's really about how people on the edge of a lawless frontier choose to rule themselves.
And way back in the day, I used to think "Grey's Anatomy" was an interesting take on how friendship and ambition collided. Now I'm not sure what it's about, except about how desperate TV writers often seem to be driven by a desire to make their characters as illogical, unlikable and inconsistent as possible.
I've often thought that the smartest TV writers find an idea or a set of challenging ideas that they want to explore, and then find a TV-friendly format that will allow them to do that.
The character of Charlotte will likely appear in the second episode of the season. The role is initially recurring, with a possibility of becoming a series regular down the line.
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