This collection appraises an eclectic selection of programmes, exploring and weighing their particular achievements and their contribution to the television landscape. It does so via a simultaneous engagement with the concepts of complexity and simplicity. This book considers how complexity, which is currently attracting much interest in TV studies, impacts upon the practice of critical and evaluative interpretation. It engages reflectively and critically with a range of recent work on televisual complexity, expands existing conceptions of complex TV and directs attention to neglected sources and types of complexity. It also reassesses simplicity, a relatively neglected category in TV criticism, as a helpful criterion for evaluation. It seeks out and reappraises the importance of simple qualities to particular TV works, and explores how simplicity might be revalued as a potentially positive and valuable aesthetic feature. Finally, the book illuminates the creative achievements that arise from balancing simplicity with complexity.
The contributors to this collection come from diverse areas of TV studies, bringing with them myriad interests, expertise and perspectives. All chapters undertake close analysis of selected moments in television, considering a wide range of stylistic elements including mise-en-scène, spatial organisation and composition, scripting, costuming, characterisation, performance, lighting and sound design, colour and patterning. The range of television works addressed is similarly broad, covering UK and US drama, comedy-drama, sitcom, animation, science fiction, adaptation and advertisement. Programmes comprise The Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards, Father Ted, Rick and Morty, Killing Eve, The Wire, Veep, Doctor Who, Vanity Fair and The Long Wait.
Complexity theory is not a theory of international relations. Originally developed in theoretical physics and cybernetics (e.g. Wiener 1948 ; von Bertalanffy 1968 ), this theory has only recently been transported into the study of global politics and its sub-categories. Its application to UN peacekeeping is only just beginning to occur. Complexity theory is primarily concerned with explaining change processes in complex systems (Johnson 2009 ; Mitchell 2011 ). In a complicated system, outcomes are determined and finite and can be predicted
professional practices. This research found that there was ‘a continuing need for journeys and physical meetings due to issues of trust , design intensity, physical inspection and exchange, and interaction complexity’ (emphasis added). There were ‘few signs of … de-localization or disintermediation’. It concluded that ‘An economizing effect of mobile phones on supply chain processes may therefore co-exist with the entrenchment of supply chain structures and a growing “competitive divide” between those with and without access to telephony.’ 63
narration. The Wire , which concluded over ten years ago, has received extravagant praise within the realms of popular reviewing and criticism, as well as substantial academic attention, both within television studies and in a range of other disciplines. It is accurate to state that much of this praise and attention is focused, in one way or another, on various ways in which The Wire achieves complexity. My intention in what follows is not to overturn this judgement but rather to offer some complications
1 ‘Why pamper life’s complexities?’: An introduction to the book Sean Campbell and Colin Coulter There are certain moments when the winds of popular cultural appraisal shift with a pace and in a direction that few could have anticipated. The radical reevaluation of The Smiths that has occurred in recent years marks an especially striking case in point. It might seem odd to recall now, but there was a time not so long ago when the cultural stock of the band was at a low. Amid the ascent and ubiquity of dance music in the early 1990s, The Smiths – who had
question of the extent to which clothes mean what they say, or how much they really reveal about the characters, and the challenges and contradictions raised by the show's stylistic approaches rarely allow straightforward answers. Can costumes ‘lie’? In his book on contemporary television's potential for complexity, Jason Mittell ( 2015 ) builds his poetics entirely on storytelling and character, and in the process not only neglects but actively rejects the value of costuming. In a section of Complex TV where Mittell writes about change in serial
3436 Unpacking international organisations:2833Prelims 22/3/10 14:56 Page 193 10 Complexity and stability in international bureaucracies The normalisation of IO studies What happens when people (including civil servants) enter multi-structural, multi-disciplinary, multi-national and multilingual bureaucracies? The large majority will initially probably be puzzled by the differences, idiosyncrasies and novelty. The routines, procedures, justifications and ways of doing things in international bureaucracies are typically different from national bureaucracies
1 Complexity and diversity – the ‘global problematique’ Crisis – what crisis?1 Why ‘a new imperative’? Is it an exaggeration to use this expression about engagement – a subject that many inside and outside the world of the academy still consider marginal, an interruption to the main business of universities? We live at a time when many of our assumptions about the economy, politics and social identity are being deeply challenged. In 2007–08, diverse regions volunteered to undertake action research to understand and strengthen the contribution of their higher
1 On the complexities and limits of market organisation Richard R. Nelson Introduction The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system. The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the lines of the standard textbook model in economics. For-profit firms are the vehicle of production and provision. Given what suppliers offer, free choice on the part of customers, who decide on the basis of their own knowledge and preferences where to spend
This book seeks to offer a rather wider frame of analysis than is typically adopted in accounts of the nature and significance of The Smiths. It focuses on the Catholic and broader religious dimensions of The Smiths. The book explores the theme of suicide in the songs of The Smiths. It also seeks to examine how the kitchen-sink dramas of the early 1960s influenced Morrissey's writing. The book proposes that beyond the literal references in his lyrics there lies a sensibility at the heart of these films akin to the one found in his poetic impulse. The book expands the argument with some concluding thoughts on how cinema has 'returned the favour' by employing The Smiths' songs in various ways. It examines the particular forms of national identity that are imagined in the work of The Smiths. The book ranges from class, sexuality, Catholicism, and Thatcherism to musical poetics and fandom. It then focuses on lyrics, interviews, the city of Manchester, cultural iconography, and the cult of Morrissey. The distinctive sense of Englishness that pervades the lyrics, interviews, and cover art of the band is located within a specific tradition of popular culture from which they have drawn and to which they have contributed a great deal. The book breaches the standard confines of music history, rock biography, and pop culture studies to give a sustained critical analysis of the band that is timely and illuminating.