TV to tell us almost nothing’, Guardian (15 March 2013 ), www.theguardian.com/tvandradioblog/2013/mar/15/our-queen .
For example, Ann Gray and Erin Bell, History
on Television (Routledge: London, 2013 ),
See Joe Moran, Armchair Nation (Profile
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.
This book focuses attention on a particular aspect of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) remit. It examines how the concepts of both 'public service' and the 'popular' were interpreted by the BBC. The book also examines how their relationship changed over time, moving across the early history of radio and television, up until the advent of Independent Television (ITV). It explores The Grove Family, which has secured a certain visibility in British television history due to its status as "British television's first soap opera". By focusing on a number of programme case studies such as the soap opera, the quiz/game show, the 'problem' show and programmes dealing with celebrity culture, the book demonstrates how BBC television surprisingly explored popular interests and desires. The book details how the quiz or game show, or to use the dominant term from the time, the "give-away" show, has been used to map sharp differences between the BBC and ITV in the 1950s. It focuses on the BBC's 'problem' or 'private life' programme, Is This Your Problem? ( ITYP?), in which members of the public asked the advice of an expert panel. The book explores television's relations with fame in the 1950s. It details how This is Your Life (TIYL) became a privileged site for debates about television's renegotiation of the boundaries of public/private, particularly with regard to audiences' cultural access to famous selves.
negotiating the national popular
s has been argued in previous chapters, discourses relating to what
constitutes popular culture in France have experienced a sweeping
paradigm shift in the last fifty or so years. This has been witnessed across
a range of cultural practices and philosophical and political debates. This
period of change and negotiation coincides to a great extent with the
development and gradual entrenchment of television in French cultural
life, from its early days as a little-watched curiosity
that because ‘television promotes an
aesthetic of realism . TV characters strike us as being just like the
actors who play them’ ( 2003 : 56). Gleason
was able to show a range of characters in his variety show rather than
be restricted to the argumentative bus driver, Ralph Kramden, as he was
in The Honeymooners . It meant that this performance could go
further and is one of the reasons that the show
progressive group of writers, producers and
directors in the 1960s at the BBC, where he was a script editor on
The Wednesday Play, working alongside Tony Garnett, Ken Loach,
James MacTaggart, Dennis Potter and Roger Smith. In 1968 Trodd
left to set up Kestrel Films with Garnett, Loach and MacTaggart as
‘British TV’s first independent drama production company’ (Cook,
1995: 62). In addition to producing feature films such as Loach’s Kes
(1969), Kestrel signed a contract with the new ITV company London
Weekend Television to provide the company with single plays,
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.
This book aims to provide resources for critical thinking on key aspects of television drama in Britain since 1960, including institutional, textual, cultural and audience-centred modes of study. It explores the continuing popularity of the situation comedy, and makes a convincing case for considering sitcom as a key popular genre. By offering a sense of how 'real' audiences respond to, and engage with, actual programmes in specific social situations, dominant conceptions of the social meanings of Carla Lane's Butterflies and Jimmy Perry and David Croft's Dad's Army are challenged and renegotiated. The book takes up Queer As Folk to focus on its status as an authored intervention in debates about the representation of homosexuality. It demonstrates that The Prisoner series inhabits contradictions by unpacking the complex question of the series's authorship, and the inadequacy of attributing its meanings to its creator, star performer or production team, for example. The book argues that The Demon Headmaster makes a significant contribution to the project of exploring and defining questions of ethics and justice in social organisation, in part, by claiming children's culture as a space of experimentation, resistance and subversion. It looks at the ways in which television drama embodies assumptions about its audience, and pursues this in a sophisticated way in relation to late twentieth-century television adaptations of 'the female Gothic'. The struggle between the BBC power-base in London and its satellite Departments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also dealt with.
The director in television’s
In this chapter I explore Alan Clarke’s personal and professional
origins, and his emergence as a director in a writer’s medium. I begin
with a sketch of his background and early theatre work, comparing
these with the backgrounds of others of his generation in order to
establish the social contexts which shaped Clarke’s thematic concerns
and the television landscape around him. I then trace his developing
technique by looking at several of the plays which he made for ITV in
the 1960s and the BBC in the early 1970s
This book addresses the aesthetics of British television programmes, charting some key examples of experiment and formal or stylistic innovation, drawing mostly on arts documentaries and drama productions. It turns to the work of the little known Langham Group. In contrast to the populism of Armchair Theatre, the group emerged from a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) initiative to consider 'the problem of experimental television programmes'. The book discusses very varied examples of experimental television that flourished during the 1960s. It also introduces Channel 4 with an insider's account of a world of utopian hopes and the snares of the schedule. The book then looks at two series that attempted to experiment with the presentation of art to British television viewers: New Tempo and Who Is?. It explores the relationship between the series and Troy Kennedy Martin's 'Nats Go Home' manifesto, a polemic against naturalism in television drama which provided a theoretical rationale for the experimentalism of Diary of a Young Man. The book further examines the product of that experiment, placing it in the context of John McGrath's other work and his own 1979 'manifesto' for progressive television. It argues that Dennis Potter's drama, and particularly The Singing Detective, contributes to experimental television through systematic comment on, and elaboration of, the medium's inherent polysemic nature. Finally, the book focuses on the presentation of pop music on television, specifically the pop promo, rather than the dedicated music television programme.