Although Film Studies has successfully (re)turned attention to matters of style and interpretation, its sibling discipline has left the territory uncharted - until now. The question of how television operates on a stylistic level has been critically underexplored, despite being fundamental to our viewing experience. This significant new work redresses a vital gap in Television Studies by engaging with the stylistic dynamics of TV; exploring the aesthetic properties and values of both the medium and particular types of output (specific programmes); and raising important questions about the way we judge television as both cultural artifact and art form. Television Aesthetics and Style provides a unique and vital intervention in the field, raising key questions about television's artistic properties and possibilities. Through a series of case-studies by internationally renowned scholars, the collection takes a radical step forward in understanding TV's stylistic achievements.
This new collection of essays seeks to focus on three areas where television has recently been in an intriguing state of flux. Taking as our background the emergence of multimedia conglomerates and cash-rich cable channels, we look at the way old national terrestrial channels and the brash new internationally commercialized ones have innovated in the domain of television programming. In all there are fourteen original essays, an introduction to the book’s theme by the editor and a foreword by Professor Annette Hill. Section one “Realizing the Real” looks at contemporary patterns of television consumption and the presentational styles which package the real in news, current affairs and other ‘live’ television formats. Essays on rhetorical strategies in the news coverage of the war in Iraq, on national and international inflections of Sky News in Europe and coverage of the recent EURO2004 football tournament, as well the multi-channel reporting of a prominent paedophilia scandal, are presented in this section. They all analyse the extent to which the grounded and the local are threatened and distorted by hegemonic forces in media today. The findings of a comprehensive new study of Portuguese social practices and viewing habits are also featured in this section. Section Two “Realizing Performance” addresses the way new trends in reality programming and other documentary practices have impacted on fiction and entertainment television. There are essays on the recent wave of British television comedy heavily influenced by TV newsmagazine and fly-on-the-wall documentary styles and two pieces on new American series, 24 and CSI, which have revolutionized the narrative parameters and evidential base for thrillers and cop shows respectively, coming up with new ways to ‘perform’ space, time and science. Finally there is an essay on Nigel Kneale’s The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968), a survivor from the era of the single play who seems to anticipate the future of television in reality-based gameshow-style entertainment. Each of these essays shows that the success of these programmes is dependent on a fresh restylization of the conventions and formulas which govern mainstream television programming. They therefore see the representation of the real in fiction as primarily an aesthetic reappraisal. Section Three “Performing the Real” looks at the explosion in reality television programming itself. It focuses on the coming to pass of 70s and 80s theorists’ visions of both a passive voyeuristic society and one increasingly at peace with the notion of surveillance. We have been progressively acculturated to watching and being watched. Orwellian anxiety has given way to Baudrillardian acceptance of the message and the medium fused in a new order of mediated reality or hyperreality. Essays refer specifically to the globalization of shows and formats and their local inflections and to coverage of reality shows in print media and on the net. There are essays on The Bachelor and gender stereotyping, Joe Millionaire and the conventions of melodrama, and two on Big Brother, one on the problems of communication within a sealed environment and another on its reception in Portugal. Concerns about the self and its authenticity are consistency raised in all the essays of this section.
Based on effective empirical research from three axesperception, cognition, and composition - this book presents aesthetic principles of television images drawn from converging research in academic disciplines such as psychology (perceptual, cognitive, and experimental), neurophysiology, and the fine arts. Investigations in these diverse academic disciplines have provided the constructs and strengthened the foundations of the theory of television aesthetics set forth in this book. This volume offers a response to three ongoing needs: the need to develop the main composition principles pertinent to the visual communication medium of television; the need to establish the field of television aesthetics as an extension of the broader field of visual literacy; and the need to promote television aesthetics to both students and consumers of television.
With a common focus on the decisions made by filmmakers, the essays in this collection explore different aspects of the relationship between textual detail and broader conceptual frameworks. These texts reflect not only those areas of film history which have traditionally been explored through mise-en-scène criticism, but also areas such as the avant-garde and television drama which have not tended to receive such detailed investigation. In these ways, the book conducts a series of dialogues with issues in film study which are specifically provoked by close analysis.
"Genuinely transnational in content, as sensitive to the importance of production as consumption, covering the full range of approaches from political economy to textual analysis, and written by a star-studded cast of contributors" - Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner, University of Queensland "Finally, we have before us a first rate, and wide ranging volume that reframes television studies afresh, boldly synthesising debates in the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences...This volume should be in every library and media scholar’s bookshelf." - Professor Ravi Sundaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Bringing together a truly international spread of contributors from across the UK, US, South America, Mexico and Australia, this Handbook charts the field of television studies from issues of ownership and regulation through to reception and consumption. Separate chapters are dedicated to examining the roles of journalists, writers, cinematographers, producers and manufacturers in the production process, whilst others explore different formats including sport, novella and soap opera, news and current affairs, music and reality TV. The final section analyses the pivotal role played by audiences in the contexts of gender, race and class, and spans a range of topics from effects studies to audience consumption. The SAGE Handbook of Television Studies is an essential reference work for all advanced undergraduates, graduate students and academics across broadcasting, mass communication and media studies.
Style matters. Television relies on style—setting, lighting, videography, editing, and so on—to set moods, hail viewers, construct meanings, build narratives, sell products, and shape information. Yet, to date, style has been the most understudied aspect of the medium. In this book, Jeremy G. Butler examines the meanings behind television’s stylstic conventions. Television Style dissects how style signifies and what significance it has had in specific television contexts. Using hundreds of frame captures from television programs, Television Style dares to look closely at television. Miami Vice, ER, soap operas, sitcoms, and commercials, among other prototypical television texts, are deconstructed in an attempt to understand how style functions in television. Television Style also assays the state of style during an era of media convergence and the ostensible demise of network television. This book is a much needed introduction to television style, and essential reading at a moment when the medium is undergoing radical transformation, perhaps even a stylistic renaissance. Discover additional examples and resources on the companion website: www.tvstylebook.com.
Over the past two decades, new technologies, changing viewer practices, and the proliferation of genres and channels has transformed American television. One of the most notable impacts of these shifts is the emergence of highly complex and elaborate forms of serial narrative, resulting in a robust period of formal experimentation and risky programming rarely seen in a medium that is typically viewed as formulaic and convention bound. Complex TV offers a sustained analysis of the poetics of television narrative, focusing on how storytelling has changed in recent years and how viewers make sense of these innovations. Through close analyses of key programs, including The Wire, Lost, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Veronica Mars, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Mad Men the book traces the emergence of this narrative mode, focusing on issues such as viewer comprehension, transmedia storytelling, serial authorship, character change, and cultural evaluation. Developing a television-specific set of narrative theories, Complex TV argues that television is the most vital and important storytelling medium of our time.
The concept of aesthetics is traditionally connected with art and high culture (e.g. literature, theatre, pictorial art etc.) whereas mass media such as television are usually associated with a lack of cultural quality, originality and authenticity - and consequently with a lack of aesthetics. And, undoubtedly, most television programmes will fail if judged by the aesthetic standards and valuation criteria of traditional art forms. However, television as a medium also has aesthetic aspects. The aesthetics of television concern the medium's means of expression, its forms, conventions and ""styles"". But it also concerns the content and the relationship between content and expression, as well as the relationship between programme and genre, programme and audience etc. The aim of the anthology is to describe and analyse television as an aesthetic phenomenon. It addresses the question from different approaches and in a variety of ways: general, aesthetic problems concerning the audio-visual media, the special aesthetic means of expression belonging to the television medium, the quality of the individual programme, the distinctive features and aesthetic codes of individual TV genres, enunciation and forms of address in television etc. Among the TV genres and programme formats dealt with are: talk shows, television documentaries, police series, TV sport, TV fiction, TV advertising, everyday talk on television, comedy series, TV journalism, and interactive programme formats.
This history of British and American television drama since 1970 charts the increased transnationalisation of the two production systems. From The Forsyte Saga to Roots to Episodes , it highlights the close relationship that drives innovation and quality on both sides of the Atlantic.
Although the "decline" of network television in the face of cable programming was an institutional crisis of television history, John Caldwell's classic volume Televisuality reveals that this decline spawned a flurry of new production initiatives to reassert network authority. Television in the 1980s hyped an extensive array of exhibitionist practices to raise the prime-time marquee above the multi-channel flow. Televisuality demonstrates the cultural logic of stylistic exhibitionism in everything from prestige series (Northern Exposure) and "loss-leader" event-status programming (War and Remembrance) to lower "trash" and "tabloid" forms (Pee-Wee's Playhouse and reality TV). Caldwell shows how "import-auteurs" like Oliver Stone and David Lynch were stylized for prime time as videographics packaged and tamed crisis news coverage. By drawing on production experience and critical and cultural analysis, and by tying technologies to aesthetics and ideology, Televisuality is a powerful call for desegregation of theory and practice in media scholarship and an end to the willful blindness of "high theory."
This pioneering book provides detailed analysis of scenes from nine British television dramas produced between 1954 and 2001. Taking dinner table scenes as a recurring motif, the study analyses changes in televisual style with reference to production practices, technology, aesthetic preferences, and social and institutional change.
This book explores the formative period of British television drama, concentrating on the years 1936-55. It examines the continuities and changes of early television drama, and the impact this had upon the subsequent 'golden age'. In particular, it questions the caricature of early television drama as 'photographed stage plays' and argues that early television pioneers in fact produced a diverse range of innovative drama productions, using a wide range of techniques.
Swedish Crime Fiction became an international phenomenon in the first decade of the twenty-first century, starting first with novels but then percolating through Swedish-language television serials and films and onto English-language BBC productions and Hollywood remakes. This book looks at the rich history of 'Scandinavian noir', examines the appeal of this particular genre and attempts to reveal why it is distinct from the plethora of other crime fictions. Examining the popularity of Steig Larsson's international success with his Millennium trilogy, as well as Henning Mankell's Wallander across the various media, Peacock also tracks some lesser-known novels and television programmes. He illustrates how the bleakness of the country's 'noirs' reflects particular events and cultural and political changes, with the clash of national characteristics becoming a key feature. It will appeal to students and researchers of crime fiction and of film and television studies, as well as the many fans of the novels and dramatic representations.
Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television debates the ways in which melodrama expresses and gives meaning to: trauma and pathos; memory and historical re-visioning; home and borders; gendered and queer relations; the family and psychic identities; the national and emerging public cultures; and morality and ethics.
Confronting the issue of the unacceptable as a social category, this collection of international essays provides distinctive perspectives on the theme of what is deemed socially acceptable. The book reveals the ways category of the unacceptable reflects sexual, racial and political fault-lines of a society.
For nearly two decades, Television: Critical Methods and Applications has served as the foremost guide to television studies. Designed for the television studies course in communication and media studies curricula, Television explains in depth how television programs and commercials are made and how they function as producers of meaning. Author Jeremy G. Butler shows the ways in which camera style, lighting, set design, editing, and sound combine to produce meanings that viewers take away from their television experience. He supplies students with a whole toolbox of implements to disassemble television and read between the lines, teaching them to incorporate critical thinking into their own television viewing. The fourth edition builds upon the pedagogy of previous editions to best accommodate current modes of understanding and teaching television. Highlights of the fourth edition include: New chapter and part organization to reflect the current approach to teaching television—with greatly expanded methods and theories chapters. An entirely new chapter on modes of production and their impact on what you see on the screen. Discussions integrated throughout on the latest developments in television’s on-going convergence with other media, such as material on transmedia storytelling and YouTube’s impact on video distribution. Over three hundred printed illustrations, including new and better quality frame grabs of recent television shows and commercials. A companion website featuring color frame grabs, a glossary, flash cards, and editing and sound exercises for students, as well as PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi and other materials for instructors. Links to online videos that support examples in the text are also provided. With its distinctive approach to examining television, Television is appropriate for courses in television studies, media criticism, and general critical studies.
Examines social and cultural phenomena through the lens of different television shows We all have opinions about the television shows we watch, but television criticism is about much more than simply evaluating the merits of a particular show and deeming it ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Rather, criticism uses the close examination of a television program to explore that program’s cultural significance, creative strategies, and its place in a broader social context. How to Watch Television brings together forty original essays from today’s leading scholars on television culture, writing about the programs they care (and think) the most about. Each essay focuses on a particular television show, demonstrating one way to read the program and, through it, our media culture. The essays model how to practice media criticism in accessible language, providing critical insights through analysis—suggesting a way of looking at TV that students and interested viewers might emulate. The contributors discuss a wide range of television programs past and present, covering many formats and genres, spanning fiction and non-fiction, broadcast and cable, providing a broad representation of the programs that are likely to be covered in a media studies course. While the book primarily focuses on American television, important programs with international origins and transnational circulation are also covered. Addressing television series from the medium’s earliest days to contemporary online transformations of television, How to Watch Television is designed to engender classroom discussion among television critics of all backgrounds.
Journalism and Mass Communication in Africa provides the first in-depth analysis of the evolution of mass communication and the impact of new media technologies in Cameroon. Written and edited by African scholars, this volume maps out the changing media ecology of Cameroon and provides practical survey methods for communication research. The work details the impact mass public communication has had on the empowerment of Cameroon's 15 million people and the development of grassroots participatory democracy.
Just how bad is television? Drawing on a range of theoretical sources including Husserl Lacan, Lefebvre, Sartre, Schutz and Adam Smith, this book takes a phenomenological approach to the small screen to offer an original sociological approach to television and its contribution to moral culture of late modern societies.