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Jonathan Bignell and Stephen Lacey

Academic studies of television have attempted to address the question of quality in a range of ways, and this introduction can only provide an overview of that debate (see Brunsdon 1997 , Mulgan 1990 for example). Quality is not only a matter of contested definition as an academic term, but also relates problematically to the notion of ‘good’ television. While academic work has largely eschewed the making of distinctions that value one programme or genre over another, informal discourse about television and television drama in particular very often consists

in Popular television drama
Jonathan Bignell and Stephen Lacey

This book aims to provide resources for critical thinking about key aspects of television drama in Britain since 1960, including institutional, textual, cultural and audience-centred modes of study. It comprises original essays on aspects of British television drama which our contributors believe have not yet been adequately theorised or researched in existing scholarship. The book presents and contests significant strands of critical work in television drama studies, using case study examples to show how critical approaches are in dialogue with specific

in Popular television drama
Women, domesticity and the female Gothic adaptation on television
Helen Wheatley

identities of the central protagonist, DCI Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren), the murder victims she investigates throughout the course of the narrative(s), and the viewer of the drama who watches her do so. In both of the above cases, the question of genre – and the representation of femininity within particular genres – is tied to the notion of gendered forms of viewing via practices and positions which are then either examined empirically (through audience study) or located in an examination of text and context and their address to an assumed female viewer. The analysis

in Popular television drama
American Gothic television in the 1960s
Helen Wheatley

Productions Inc., 1966–71). Focusing on the representation of the home and extended family in these programmes, an analysis of the ways in which these texts expose prevalent anxieties in the 1960s around the instability of the familial unit and normative gender identities will be offered. The previous chapter, examining the female Gothic narrative on British television, discussed the congruence between the

in Gothic television
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Gothic television – texts and contexts
Helen Wheatley

genre might be ‘working through’ (and attendant questions of the genre’s transgressive potential), to more recent debates surrounding the ways in which Gothic fictions address issues of identity and identification, with a renewed interest in readership and the potential uses and pleasures of the Gothic text. While the films considered within the field of Gothic cinema studies are diverse, the questions

in Gothic television
The ghost story on British television
Helen Wheatley

styles, a fact which also contests the misguided assumption of earlier studies that nascent television drama was singularly theatrical in origin. Jason Jacobs, in his extensive analysis of the early development of British television drama, has successfully redressed the notion that all early television drama was simply ‘static, boring, theatrical’ (2000: 3), arguing that

in Gothic television
Monstrous becomings in Abel Ferrara’s Body Snatchers
Jay McRoy

exhibiting extreme delusional fixations. People afraid to sleep. People afraid to deal with family members. Afraid of family members. Exhibiting paranoia about others, about other people’s identities. People afraid of themselves. All of a sudden I’ve got a camp full of very displaced people. The use of the term

in Monstrous adaptations
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Peter Hutchings

. Of course, this does not mean that the question of national identity is unimportant, but it does need to be recognised that ‘Britishness’ is not some stable essence waiting to be discovered in its various manifestations by perceptive critics. Instead it exists as a set of ideas and discourses that circulate within a number of different contexts and which are subject to contestation and endless renegotiation. A revealing

in Terence Fisher
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Jonathan Rayner

. The value of the images themselves has been seen to be contestable, in the context of the gallery’s exhibition of photographs and in Nina’s job. Early in the film we see her questioning a businessman to prove that he has given nearly worthless paintings to charitable organisations (themselves owned by his parent company) and claimed huge tax write-offs in compensation. Through the course of her investigation and her evaluation of testimonies and reports of the drowning, Nina comes to view personal and social identity as

in Contemporary Australian cinema
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"The Pest House," "Hell House," and "The Murder House"
Julia M. Wright

landscapes and synthetic identities.” 4 Sconce is concerned here with the different valuations of the “media occult,” but my concern is rather with the narrativization of its arrival, in which Baudrillard’s hyperreal is, I would suggest, the gothic shadow of the technological progress celebrated by the Enlightenment. As Hogle has noted, Baudrillard’s larger argument about

in Men with stakes