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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  

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.
 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 7


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