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Television Criticism
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Television Criticism

Third Edition


February 2016 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Television Criticism, Third Edition by Victoria O’Donnell provides a foundational approach to the nature of television criticism. Rhetorical studies, cultural studies, representation, narrative theories, and postmodernism are established for greater understanding and appreciation of the critical perspectives on television. Illustrated with contemporary examples, this updated Third Edition includes a new, extensive sample critical analysis of The Big Bang Theory and reflects recent changes in the ways television is viewed across multiple devices and the impact of the Internet on television.

 
PART I: ORIENTATION
 
Chapter 1: The Work of the Critic
Introduction

 
The Ends of Criticism

 
Journalistic Television Criticism

 
The Critical Stance

 
Criticism and Culture

 
Narrative and Contextual Reality

 
Critical Categories and Critical Choices

 
The Familiar and the Unfamiliar in Television

 
Critical Orientation

 
 
Chapter 2: Demystifying the Business of Television
Introduction

 
The Impact of the Internet and the Role of Advertising, Schedules, and Ratings

 
The Strategies of Television Advertising

 
Product Promotion Within Television Programs

 
Product Placement

 
Scheduling and Advertising

 
The Production of a Television Show

 
The Production Team

 
 
PART II: FORMAL ASPECTS OF TELEVISION
 
Chapter 3: Production Techniques and Television Style
Introduction

 
Length of Shot and Framing

 
Multi-Camera Production

 
Reaction Shots

 
Lighting

 
Production on Film Versus Digital Video

 
Style, Reception, and Digital Video Practices

 
Camera Choice Follows Function

 
Television Sound and Editing

 
Production Styles

 
Art Direction

 
The Split Screen

 
Directors

 
Actors

 
 
Chapter 4: Television, the Nation’s Storyteller
Introduction

 
Storytelling and the Human Condition

 
The Nature of Narrative

 
Narrative Theories

 
Narrative Structure

 
Intertextuality

 
Characters

 
Archetypes

 
Myth

 
 
Chapter 5: Television Genres
Introduction

 
Television Genre, Production, and Scheduling

 
The Rules for Classifying Genres

 
Genre and Television Criticism

 
Comedy

 
Talk Shows

 
News

 
Magazine Shows

 
Drama

 
Soap Opera

 
Science Fiction

 
Reality Shows

 
Sports

 
Children’s Television

 
Game Shows

 
Other Genres

 
 
PART III: THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO TELEVISION CRITICISM
 
Chapter 6: Rhetoric and Culture
Introduction

 
Rhetoric

 
Cultural Studies

 
 
Chapter 7: Representation and Its Audience
Introduction

 
What Is Representation?

 
Television Representation

 
Interpreting Representation

 
Reception of Televisual Images

 
Symbols

 
The Illusion of Reality

 
The Need for Images

 
Representation of the “Other”

 
Advice for Television Critics

 
Representation and Collective Memory

 
 
Chapter 8: Postmodernism
Introduction

 
Postmodernism Defined

 
Postmodern Television

 
The Influence of MTV

 
Postmodern Theories

 
 
PART IV: CRITICAL APPLICATIONS
 
Chapter 9: Guidelines for Television Criticism
Introduction

 
Critical Orientation

 
Story and Genre

 
Organization

 
Demographics

 
Context

 
The Look of the Program and Its Codes

 
Analysis

 
Judgment

 
Writing Television Criticism

 
 
Chapter 10: Sample Criticism of a Television Program: The Big Bang Theory—Season 8, Episode 824, “The Commitment Determination”
Introduction

 
Thesis

 
Purpose

 
Description of The Big Bang Theory

 
Production Information

 
Description of the Episode

 
Questions for Analysis

 
Analysis and Interpretation

 

This book is a great resource and very relevant. Unfortunately it arrived late (August, 2020). We are not able to decide in time.

Mr Elastus Mambwe
Communications, University of Zambia
August 19, 2019

Very useful for theorising the viewing of content across multiple devices, students commented that this feels like a really up-to-date way of considering television

Miss Lynda Juliet Fitzwater
Interdiscipline , University for the Creative Arts
June 3, 2016
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:  

  • References to new technologies enhance television criticism by showing students how technology affects how we watch television, opens opportunities for interactivity, and moderates the ways in which advertising and ratings are used.
  • Chapters devoted to theories of rhetoric, cultural theory, representation, narrative, and postmodernism are presented to give the reader a better understanding of different approaches.
  • Updated pedagogy with current examples, exercises, new photos from contemporary television programming, and an updated glossary and references enable readers to facilitate content application.
  • A new sample critique of The Big Bang Theory (Chapter 10) provides the reader with a detailed illustration of how critical guidelines are used to develop a critique of a complex television program.
  • Opportunities for interactivity are emphasized between viewers and television personnel to show students the many ways in which television is distributed and how the Internet and social media have had an impact on television watching.    

KEY FEATURES:    

  • Original guidelines for television analysis gives students the tools they need to create their own critiques.
  • The use of narrative theories enhances the recognition that television is a story-making medium in all genres, allowing readers to think beyond fiction television.
  • The presentation of classical and new theories specifically adapted to the criticism of television gives the reader a better understanding of methodology.
  • Exercises and Suggested Readings appear at the end of each chapter to encourage critical thinking.
 

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 7


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