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From here to maternity

The book examines the representation of mothers on quality American television investigating how their portrayal links to their economic and political oppression. Arguing that mothers on television betray a deep cultural misogyny, it concludes that patriarchy has an investment in the ways our televisual mothers are positioned.

Criminal minds, CSI: NY and Law and order
Ruth Hawthorn
John Miller

apparently mainstream commercial present. Tattoos function as symptoms of a psychological and social deviance commodified in the construction of crime as entertainment, but also as signs of a self-confident and empowered youth culture closely linked to tattooing’s subcultural origins. The ostensibly divergent roles of tattooing as atavistic outsider art and emergent fashion become difficult to disentangle. This chapter offers three case studies of the depiction of tattoos in North American TV crime drama in order to interrogate these multiple

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
From 9/11 to Donald Trump

American television was about to be revolutionised by the advent of video on demand in 2007, when Netflix, having delivered over one billion DVDs, introduced streaming. This book explores the role that fictional television has played in the world politics of the US in the twenty-first century. It focuses on the second golden age of television, which has coincided with the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump. The book is structured in three parts. Part I considers what is at stake in rethinking the act of watching television as a political and academic enterprise. Part II considers fictional television shows dealing explicitly with the subject matter of formal politics. It explores discourses of realpolitik in House of Cards and Game of Thrones, arguing that the shows reinforce dominant assumptions that power and strategy inevitably trump ethical considerations. It also analyses constructions of counterterrorism in Homeland, The West Wing, and 24, exploring the ways in which dominant narratives have been contested and reinforced since the onset of the War on Terror. Part III considers television shows dealing only implicitly with political themes, exploring three shows that make profound interventions into the political underpinnings of American life: The Wire, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Finally, the book explores the legacies of The Sopranos and Mad Men, as well as the theme of resistance in The Handmaid's Tale.

Docudrama on film and television

Docudrama has become centrally important not only in television production but also in film. They require pre-production research and this is a key marker of difference between docudrama and other kinds of drama. In its emphasis on personality, modern docudrama adheres to a US 'made-for-TV movie' mode that Todd Gitlin has described as ' little personal stories that executives think a mass audience will take as revelations of the contemporary'. This book outlines the main legal and regulatory issues that concern docudrama. The sheer proliferation of words and phases coined to categorise forms that mix drama and documentary is in itself remarkable. Phrases, compound nouns and noun coinages have been drawn mainly from four root words: documentary, drama, fact, and fiction. The book discusses the form's principal codes and conventions to which people in a media-literate environment respond, and that they recognise prior to categorising what they watch. Cultures are living things, condensing around 'key words'. Such words mark out points of interest, contestation and anxiety. Griersonian documentary actively embraced an artfulness always likely to be at odds with the recording of 'actuality'. The history of factual drama replays in microcosm the essential differences in emphases between the British and American television systems. Societies under threat from shadowy 'terrorist' organisations offered new templates for the docudramas that eventually fuelled 1990s 'co-pros' of interest to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. The current spectrum of 'intergeneric hybridisation' in film and television can be represented graphically.


David Simon’s American City is the first comprehensive study of showrunner David Simon’s productions, devoting a full chapter to each of Simon’s series. The book examines the much studied The Wire but, crucially, also looks beyond this serial in order to explore the other aspects of urban America that Simon has presented in serials like Show Me a Hero and The Deuce. Zooming in on Simon’s depiction of urban realities in contemporary American society, the book explores how each of his serials offers distinct takes on the American city but the book also shows how Simon’s works articulate a sustained and intricate exploration of urban problems in America. This volume traces the urban through-line in Simon’s work and shows how his oeuvre coheres as a whole in its exploration of current social issues in the American city.

Abstract only
Kim Akass

. While this book is about the representation of motherhood in quality American television series, 11 the story starts long before and has its roots in a protracted and circuitous history. From philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s philosophies about women’s duties as wives and mothers, 12 through theorizations of feminist film and television scholars, to a possible reinvigorated future for feminist

in Mothers on American television
24 and Spooks; Buried and Oz
Robin Nelson

Jancovich and Lyons, 2003: 1), a spate of publications has made visible and valorised current American television output in the academy.4 In journalism, too, Andrew Billen, for example, wrote a substantial article for the Observer on 28 July 2002 entitled ‘Why I love American TV’ and subheaded ‘British television could once boast the best writers, actors and directors in the world … but no longer. The greatest shows on earth now come from the United States’ (2002: 5). Thus “American Quality TV” currently dominates the discourse. But this has not always been the case. The

in State of play
Abstract only
James Chapman

production contexts. The history of the Anglophone swashbuckler involves understanding the institutional contexts of both the British and the American television industries. The first question to be asked in any historical study of a genre is to define it: what is (and is not) a swashbuckler? All definitions of genre are to some extent arbitrary, of course, largely because we all intuitively know what constitutes a particular genre and tend to fall back on a common-sense understanding of, say, the Western. For the swashbuckler, however, the issue is rather more difficult

in Swashbucklers
Derek Paget

the first phase of development documentary was the important element. In the era of ‘Griersonian television’, documentary’s probity and sobriety were little doubted by audiences relatively unschooled in understandings of representation. In this pioneering phase, British television’s synergy with contemporary theatre and its debt to the legacy of Grierson was at its strongest. American television had a not dissimilar debt to Broadway and to New Deal documentary. In both cultures mixtures of drama and documentary were effected principally for technical, operational

in No other way to tell it
American Gothic television in the 1960s
Helen Wheatley

anthology series on American television was prefigured by the genre’s popularity on the radio, again highlighting the relationship between the domestic reception context and the Gothic text. Indeed, several shows which first appeared on the radio made a successful transition to television, such as the anthology drama series, Suspense (CBS, 1949–64). Suspense featured the adaptation of classic

in Gothic television