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  1. 1. Serialized/Open-Ended Text  Character Driven  Inspired by Woman’s Domestic Fiction of the  19th Century—Jane Austin/Emily Bronte The Events of Every Day Life Elevated to an Operatic  Form—Heightened Melodrama Considered a “woman’s” genre—situated on the low  rung of the culture hierarchy Relationships/Romance /Family—Central Focus  Love Triangles, Weddings, Far-Fetched (Back from  the Dead)
  2. 2. When a plot threatens to become  too absorbing, it is interrupted by another storyline resuming or a commercial break. These shows also engage in  repetitive and monotonous storytelling to present the viewers with the ability to maintain an adequate comprehension of storylines and character development
  3. 3. The Guiding Light (1937)  began as radio drama which eventually transferred to television. Soap Operas reached  their peak in the 1980’s. Luke and Laura’s  Wedding on General Hospital still remains highest rated episode of daytime television.
  4. 4. In 1981, General Hospital’ s “ICE  PRINCESS” storyline generated a large number of male viewers with it’s action/adventure/sci-fi plot elements. Since the mid-90’s, the show has  become mob-centric with Sonny Corinthos (A Tony-Soprano type character) as its central character. The show incorporates action/violence in attempts to draw a male audience. However, the traditional soap elements override and fail to shed the daytime soap stigma.
  5. 5. Prime-Time Soap Operas  prevailed in the 80’s with Knots Landing, Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest becoming long-running rating sensations. Utilized elements of the  traditional soap opera. In the 90’s traditional soaps  displaced themselves into the teen soap-Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek
  6. 6. HILL STREET BLUES (1981-1987)  Combined the elements of a serialized  soap opera with the police procedural drama. Each episode featured intertwined  storylines—some self-contained, some open-texted. Intertwined urban action/violence  elements(masculine driven) with exploration of personal lives, romantic interests, other forms of melodrama (traditional soap opera)
  7. 7. Utilizes the Elements of  Masculine-Driven Films Action/Adventure/ Violence/Crime The Sopranos (The  Godfather/Goodfellas) 24 (Die Hard/Clear and  Present Danger/Air Force One) The Shield (Dirty Harry)  Deadwood (Westerns)  Hill Street Blues/NYPD Blue  (French Connection/In The Heat of the Night)
  8. 8. Serialized—Follows criteria of complex  narrative-arcs/open-text Protagonist exudes ultra-masculinity,  Morally ambiguous  Fleeting Moments of Sensitivity  Physically aggressive  many consume excessive amounts of alcohol or  are in recovery (ex Andy Sipowicz-alcoholic/Jack Bauer-Heroin Addiction) Occupations are male-dominated  Densely plotted--generally opposes the  repetitive and slow paced storytelling of the traditional soap opera Hyper-sexuality and male bonding overrides  romance Unlike the traditional daytime soap opera-these  shows are generally respected by critics –many are multiple Emmy-winners (NYPD BLUE/THE SOPRANOS/24)
  9. 9. Prior to 1998, NBC’s Hill Street Blues and  ABC’s NYPD Blue were the most successful male soap operas. Cable is responsible for the influx of a new  wave of male soap operas. In 1997, HBO launched OZ, a year later-The  Sopranos—followed by The Wire, Deadwood, Entourage Showtime-Californication  FX- The Shield, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy.  Network-24, The West Wing, Prison Break,  Life on Mars Subgenre—geek soap opera—Smallville,  LOST, Supernatural, Heroes, Chuck
  10. 10. Oz (Prison Drama)  Californication (Sexualized  drama focused on amoral sex addict) Entourage (Bromance/amoral  Hollywood lifestyle) The Sopranos (Mob-centric)  Deadwood (western)  The Wire (crime drama)  24 (counter-terrorism) 
  11. 11. With Male Soap Operas and  Procedurals taking prominence, ABC decided to reboot the traditional prime time soap format in 2004 with an 18-34 year-old sensibility—launching Desperate Housewives and (later in the season) Grey’s Anatomy to commercial and critical success. Did the male soap opera  help give the female soap opera critical respectability?
  12. 12. Aired on FX March 12, 2002-  November 25, 2008 (7 Seasons) Emmy nominated  Michael Chiklis (Best Actor 2002)  The series revolves around an  experimental division of the LAPD set up in the fictional Farmington district (quot;the Farmquot;) of L.A. Converted church (quot;the Barnquot;) serves  as the police station. Strike Team (Vic Mackey, Shane  Vendrell, Curtis Lemansky (Lem), and Ronnie Gardocki) Cross legal and moral boundaries to  maintain justice on the streets of Los Angeles.
  13. 13. Rogue Police Detective—Can Be  Both Good and Bad (referred to as “Al Capone with a Badge.”) Rude, Sexists, Obnoxious,  Adulterer, Murderer, Liar, Thief, Self-Serving Divorced (3 Children-son and  daughter diagnosed with autism)-pursues illegal money to support his family. In pilot episode, Vic shot fellow  cop, Terry Crowley, point blank in the face, because Crowley was assigned to bust Vic for being a dirty cop. This event became the impetus for the show’s enormously complex series arc.
  14. 14. When Vic discovered that Julien, one of the  cops in the squad, was gay, he threatened to reveal the man‘s secret unless the cop decided to give false witness in a case to protect Vic and another dirty cop who stole some cocaine confiscated during a drug bust. Vic can be a good cop like -he gives a  prostitute money to get off the street for the night and go home to see her kid. He also protects his Strike Team (as long as his interests are fulfilled) Vic has a troubled marriage with his  wife, Corrine. They have a son who is autistic. For romance outside the home, Vic carries on an affair with fellow police officer Danielle quot;Dannyquot; Sofer.
  15. 15. Penultimate Episode of Season  Internal Affairs Lt .Kavanaugh (Forrest Whitaker) is determined to bring  down Vic for his crimes. Vic and Kavanaugh have been playing game of cat and mouse  throughout the season. As a result of Kavanaugh turning one of Vic's informants, IAD became  aware of Lem stealing heroin which he never turned in. Having found the heroin, IAD is capable of arresting Lem, but  Kavanaugh wants him to incriminate the whole team . Lem remains loyal to Mackey-he looks to him as a surrogate father.  Vic is worried that if Lem goes to prison, that he will be killed by one of  Vic’s nemesis—Antwon Mitchell. Prior to this episode, Kavanuagh tried but eventually withheld from  raping Vic’s ex-wife. Vic realizes Kavanaugh’s ex-wife is his achilles heel. 
  16. 16. Subplot—recurring investigation into a  series of hate crimes against the homosexual community. Romance is displaced by the  father/brother relationship Vic possesses with his strike team. Dialogue is extremely coarse, sexually  graphic Sexual objectification of Kavanaugh’s  ex-wife Danielle “Danny” is carrying Vic’s baby  Julien’s denial of his homosexuality-  extends through the entire run of the series.