Television Aesthetics and Style

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-07-04
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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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.

Author Biography

Steven Peacock is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Hertfordshire. He is the author of Colour: Cinema Aesthetics (Manchester University Press, 2010) and editor/author of Reading 24: TV against the Clock (I B Tauris, 2007). He is also editor of 'The Television Series' for Manchester University Press, and is currently completing a monograph on Aaron Sorkin for the Series. He has written extensively on the subject of television aesthetics, with a particular interest in the US serial drama.

Jason Jacobs is Reader in Cultural History at the University of Queensland. He is author of The Intimate Screen (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Body Trauma TV (British Film Institute, 2003). He is currently completing a monograph on David Milch for the Manchester University Press Television Series and is the chief investigator on an Australian Research Council funded project about the history of BBC Worldwide. He has written extensively on the subject of television aesthetics.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Jason Jacobs and Steven Peacock
Part One: Conceptual Debates 1. Television Aesthetics: Stylistic Analysis and Beyond, Sarah Cardwell
2. The Qualities of Complexity: Vast versus Dense Seriality in Contemporary Television, Jason Mittell
3. What Does it Mean to Call Television ‘Cinematic’?, Brett Mills
4. Rescuing Television from “The Cinematic”: The Perils of Dismissing Television Style, Deborah L. Jaramillo
Part Two: Aesthetics and Style of Television Comedy
5. Why Comedy is at Home on Television, Alex Clayton
6. Situating Comedy: Inhabitation and Duration in Classical American Sitcoms, Sérgio Dias Branco
7. Arrested Developments: Towards an Aesthetic of the Contemporary US Sitcom, Timotheus Vermuelen and James Whitfield
8. Better or Differently: Style and Repetition in The Trip, James Walters
9. The Presentation of Detail and the Organization of Time in The Royle Family, James Zborowski
10. The Man From ISIS: Archer and the Animated Aesthetics of Adult Cartoons, Holly Randell-Moon and Arthur J. Randell
Part Three: Critical Analyses of Television Drama
11. Don Draper and the Promises of Life, George Toles
12. Justifying Justified, William Rothman
13. HBO Aesthetics, Quality TV and Boardwalk Empire, Janet McCabe
14. Storytelling in Song: Television Music, Narrative and Allusion in The O.C., Faye Woods
15. Camera and Performer: Energetic Engagement with The Shield, Lucy Fife Donaldson
16. Flashforwards in Breaking Bad: Openness, Closure and Possibility, Elliott Logan
17. The Fantastic Style of Shameless, Beth Johnson
Part Four: Non-Fiction and History
18. ‘Let’s Just Watch it for a Few Minutes’: This is Your Life in 1958, Charles Barr
19. Gaudy Nights: Dance and Reality Television’s Display of Talent, Frances Bonner
20. Television Sublime: The Experimental Television of Lithuanian CAC TV, Linus Andersson
21. Closer to the Action: Post-War American Television and the Zoom Shot, Nick Hall
22. Think-Tape: The Aesthetics of Montage in the Post-War TV Documentary, Ieuan Franklin 23. What FUIs Can Do: The Promises of Computing in Contemporary TV Series, Cormac Deane

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