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22 Cards in this Set

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Complex television-

Cinematic/novelistic are other terms for complex television. Alternative to traditional episodic television. It is not a genre, it is a narrational mode. Art TV/operatic.

Characteristics of complex television-

High production costs


Epic story lines

High profile stars

Psychological depth


Complex characters

Rejection of plot closure

Cumulative narrative 

Lack of weekly resolution

Narrative enigma, complex narrative

Forensic fandom

Mittel on complex narratives-

“I believe such cross-media comparisons obscure rather than reveal the specificities of television’s storytelling form. Television’s narrative complexity is predicated on specific facets of storytelling that seem uniquely suited to the television series structure apart from film and literature and that distinguish it from conventional modes of episodic and serial forms.” (Mittell 2015, p. 18).

Features of TV-

Extradiagetic features

Strict formatting

Loyalty to genre- genres that only exist in tv such as the sitcom, reality tv, soap opera

Extended time frame

Character development

Multiple interwoven storylines

Different characters/different casts

Callback/self referentiality

Canned laughter

Special guest characters.

TV analysis-

Tv is a domestic medium, a cultural experience of watching together (coming rarer with the internet age and binge viewing etc).

The four main aspects of serial TV-

1) The story world

2) Characters

3) Events

- Major (kernals)

- Minor (satellites)

- Narrative statements

- Narrative enigmas

4) Temporality

- Story time

- Discourse time

- Narration time/screen time

Operational reflexivity-

“Operational reflexivity encourages us to simultaneously care about the story and marvel at its telling.” (Mittell 2015, p.46)

Boxed aesthetic-

TV is a writers medium. An era of intense fan consumption, screening service/boxsets. The boxed aesthetic is the ability to collect and curate these volumes.

Epic fantasy-

High fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, defined either by its setting in a fictional universe or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot


The medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.

Chekov's gun-

The term has come to mean "an insignificant object that later turns out to be important.". It comes from Anton Chekhov’s famous book writing advice: ‘If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.’.

Narrative enigma-

Given or concept based. An event that leads to more questions. Short lived, think Lost. Gimmick. Hard to carry momentum.

Narrative statement-

A discreet event, carries the storyline forwards.

Plot vs Storyline-

Plot- what is what you see on screen

Story- chronological events

Story time-

The time frame of the diegesis. How time passes within the story world. Typically follows straightforward chronology and linear progression.

Discourse time-

The temporal structure and duration of the story as told within a given narrative. Almost always differs from from story time via ellipses.

Screen time-

Narration time or screen time is the temporal framework involved in telling and receiving the story. Strictly controlled.

Context, post-90s TV-

Channels grow, audiences shrink

Rise of reality tv

Intense fan activities - forensic fandom

Rise of subscription channels

Box sets

Case study, why are people talking about GOT-

Graphic language/sexuality/violence

Character death

Strong female characters

Complex story structure

Gritty/noir realism

Brienne of Tarth-

Iconography of high epic fantasy and its myth of the exceptional woman

Chivalry and codes of honour

Threats of sexual violence

Courtly love

Anachronistic character

Arya Stark-

Cross dressing



Oedipal narrative

GOT pilot-

King Robert Baratheon majestically arrives in Winterfell, the home of his old and trusted friend, Eddard Stark, Warden of the North, with an important offer.On the eastern continent, the exiled Princess Daenerys Targaryenmarries Khal Drogo, a warlord of the Dothraki with tens of thousands of warriors at his command. Her brother, Viserys, callously plans to win Drogo's allegiance with the marriage, so that he may return home to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne, which was seized by force from his father by Robert.In the frozen lands, beyond the Wall, the wildlings are on the move, to the alarm of the Night's Watch. But even farther north, something colder and darker is beginning to stir.