3/5/09 TV and Narrative What is Narrative? Split into three parts Story What happens to whom Discourse How the story is told (first person, third person, changes narrative, moving through time, etc.) Schedule How the story is organized with others Story Series of events in chronological order Equilibrium ? disequilibrium ? equilibrium Settings and characters Character types (hero, villain, etc.) Formulaic? Tv combats formula by using multiple story lines Character involved in several plots Discourse Narration is communicative How is the story told? Narrators Time Can jump in time Schedule TV narratives are unique ? embedded in schedule Two types of schedules Network Network/station as narrator Series TV=continuing story regularly interrupted Narrative Structures Episodic Plots resolve within the episode (next episode is a totally different story) Most likely continuing characters Classic sitcoms and dramas Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, cartoons, Law and Order Serial Narrative arcs Plots continue between episodes, across seasons, across series Soap operas, contemporary dramas Lost, Heroes, Alias Combination Both episodic and serial Most common today The Office, House, Reality TV Narrative Complexity Two types of complexity Structure Serial narratives Long narrative arcs Multiple plot threads Content Medical, legal jargon Social issues, cultural references
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