themes that exist comfortably within traditional genre structures. His episodes depict characters, relationships, and processes that are very much like those involved in the making of a television program. Within this overall theme, Cannell's shows are filled with several consistent and identifiable signatory motifs. He uses a recurring repertoire of themes, phrases, motifs, and metaphors to create television episodes that tell us something about the medium of television itself. If Cannell's programs show the limitations of a commercially supported mass medium like American television, they are also in many ways about those limitations. In a way, all Cannell's shows themselves explain why they are as "bad" as they are.