Metcalf, Greg: The DVD Novel. How the Way We Watch Television Changed the Television We Watch. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2012. (233 S.)
Added by: joachim (2/21/13, 3:47 PM)
|Resource type: Book
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-313-38581-0
BibTeX citation key: Metcalf2012
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Keywords: Adaptation, Film adaptation, Seriality, TV
Publisher: ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara)
Now that television shows can live forever as DVD sets, the stories they can tell have changed; television episodes are now crafted as chapters in a season-long novel instead of free-standing stories. This book examines how this significant shift in storytelling occurred.
Is there anything worth watching on television anymore? The majority of programming would seem to be celebrity fanshows, biased news reporting, banal and predictable sitcoms, and reality television shows that celebrate the dysfunctional elements in our society. Actually, today's TV offers plenty of high-quality dramatic series and attitudinal comedy shows. Though some of the best programming fails to be a commercial success while being broadcast, these productions often sell well as DVD sets.
In 1981, NBC’s Hill Street Blues combined the cop show and the soap opera to set the model for primetime serial storytelling, which is evident in The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad. In 1963, ABC’s The Fugitive showed how an anthology series could tell a continuing tale, influencing The X-Files, House, and Fringe. In 1987, NBC’s The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd changed the situation comedy into attitudinal comedy, leading to Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Entourage. The DVD Novel: How the Way We Watch Television Changed the Television We Watch not only examines how American television shows changed, but also what television artists have been able to create.
The book provides an alternate history of American television that compares it to British television, and explains the influence of Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective on the development of long-form television and the evolution of drama shows and sitcoms. The work considers a wide range of network and cable television shows, paying special attention to the work of Steven Bochco, David Milch, and David Simon, and spotlighting the influence of graphic novels and literary novels in changing television.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Because “Excuses” Sounds Too Defensive a Way to Start (ix)
1. Television is an Object and a Narrative Form (1)
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