Narrative complexity of TV series

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Narrative complexity of TV series

  1. 1. Horia Radu, Felix Simon Oesch, Aleksandra Djurica Digital Humanitites Fall Semester 2012Measuring and visualizing the increase in narrative complexity in TV series
  2. 2. Outline• The State of The Art• Definition Of A Research Question• Methodology• Project Plan and Milestones
  3. 3. The State of The Art
  4. 4. #dh101 The State of The Art • 2 books: – “Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling” by Jason Mittel – “Everything Bad is Good for You: How Todays Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter” by Steven Johnson • Visualization of narrative complexity: – Lostalgic – Moviegalaxies – xkcd
  5. 5. Definition Of A Research Question
  6. 6. #dh101 Definition Of A Research Question • Did narrative complexity in TV series increase? increase over the last 20 years? • 1928: very first TV show: Queens Messenger • 80s/90s: NYPD Blue, Seinfeld http://www.earlytelevision.org/queens_messenger.html
  7. 7. #dh101 Definition Of A Research Question • Did narrative complexity in TV series increase over the last 20 years? – technology – experience
  8. 8. #dh101 Definition Of A Research Question • Does narrative complexity vary based on the genre of series? http://girlstalkinsmack.com/lost-to-live-on-as-a-theme-park/ http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100425195709/bigbangtheory/images/5/5a/Season_2_Promo _Pic.jpg
  9. 9. #dh101 Definition Of A Research Question • Do more people tend to watch more complex and elaborate series? • Or does the majority prefer simple forms of entertainment, a series that doesn’t require them to watch every single episode?
  10. 10. Methodology
  11. 11. #dh101 Series • Past: – Twin Peaks – Black Adder – NYPD Blue – ER – Beverly Hills 90210
  12. 12. #dh101 Series • Present: – Battlestar Gallactica – Desperate Housewives – Dexter – Game of Thrones – Breaking Bad – Big Bang Theory
  13. 13. #dh101 Narrative complexity? • 3 factors – Number of characters – Number of places – Number of narrative threads
  14. 14. #dh101 Narrative threads • Number • In parallel/concomitant • Time continuity?
  15. 15. #dh101 Gathering data • Assumption: a series doesn’t change significantly during its lifetime – Especially if they are successful! • Watch only view the first episode – Extrapolate – Use prior knowledge of the series
  16. 16. #dh101 Gathering data • Keep track of: – Character appearances and interactions – Place changes – Narrative threads • which is being shown currently – time frame • Single / multiple • Use prior knowledge as final identification criteria
  17. 17. #dh101 Visualizing • Character visualization – Graph based – Indentify clusters
  18. 18. #dh101
  19. 19. #dh101 Visualizing • Narative threads
  20. 20. #dh101 Popularity • Imdb • Metacritic • Rotten tommato
  21. 21. #dh101 Goals • Extract complexity measure • Analyze and compare series • Validate/invalidate assumptions • Have fun! 
  22. 22. Project Plan & Milestones
  23. 23. #dh101 Project Plan & Milestones Week 1 to 2 – Definition of the project approaches – Test phase • troubleshooting • adjustment • reproducibility valuation
  24. 24. #dh101 Project Plan & Milestones Week 3 to 8 – Implementation – Data gathering phase
  25. 25. #dh101 Project Plan & Milestones Week 9 to 11 – Processing of gathered data – Transformation approach into visualization
  26. 26. #dh101 Project Plan & Milestones Week 12 to 14 – Face Research Question – Evaluation And Conclusion
  27. 27. Thank you for your attention!

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