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 AmericanTV crime drama in order to interrogate these multiple
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 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.
Jancovich and Lyons, 2003: 1), a spate of publications has made visible and valorised current Americantelevision 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 AmericanTV’ 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.
production contexts. The history of
the Anglophone swashbuckler involves understanding the institutional
contexts of both the British and the Americantelevision 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
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. Americantelevision had a not dissimilar debt to Broadway and to New Deal documentary. In both cultures
mixtures of drama and documentary were effected principally for
anthology series on Americantelevision 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
The last decade has seen a diffusion of the Gothic across a wide range of cultural sites, a relative explosion of Gothic images and narratives prompting a renewed critical interest in the genre. However, very little sustained attention has been paid to what we might term 'Gothic television' until this point. This book fills this gap by offering an analysis of where and how the genre might be located on British and US television, from the start of television broadcasting to the present day. In this analysis, Gothic television is understood as a domestic form of a genre which is deeply concerned with the domestic, writing stories of unspeakable family secrets and homely trauma large across the television screen. The book begins with a discussion on two divergent strands of Gothic television that developed in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, charting the emergence of the restrained, suggestive ghost story and the effects-laden, supernatural horror tale. It then focuses on the adaptation of what has been termed 'female Gothic' or 'women's Gothic' novels. The book moves on to discuss two hybrid forms of Gothic drama in the 1960s, the Gothic family sitcoms The Munsters and The Addams Family, and the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Finally, it looks at some recent examples of Gothic television in the United States, starting with a discussion of the long-form serial drama, Twin Peaks, as the initiator of a trend for dark, uncanny drama on North American television.
in on the ‘McDonald’s of video’, Netflix was founded, prefiguring a dramatic transformation in Americantelevision. At the turn of the millennium, huge sales of DVD players were driving the success of rental by mail, with the writing on the wall for video stores and VHS (Video Home System). In 2007, having delivered over one billion DVDs, Netflix introduced streaming. Americantelevision was about to be revolutionised by the advent of video on demand.
New technology for the delivery of television into American homes paved the way for television’s most significant
legitimate and lent it cultural value around the turn of the century was partly the targeting of niche or fan audiences and partly discourses of authorship.
The development of Americantelevision in the 1980s and early 1990s, which resulted in new types of television drama and new channels, has been called ‘television's second golden age’: it created a tradition of quality television that includes ‘ auteurism , genre hybridity, a new and heightened sense of realism, niche marketing