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Is Popular Culture Good For You? For You, Is Popular Culture Good? What Is Popular Culture Good For?
Formal Properties of Television Narrative Complexity <ul><li>Interplay between episodic & serial norms </li></ul><ul><li>E...
The Operational Aesthetic <ul><li>Pleasure of process, not just product </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative as machine to be admir...
Why Complexity? Why Now? <ul><li>Industry: Dedicated Quality Audiences  </li></ul><ul><li>Technology: Rewatchability, Prec...
 
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Narrative Complexity in American Television

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Talk at MIT Communication Forum, Fall 2005

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Narrative Complexity in American Television

  1. 1. Is Popular Culture Good For You? For You, Is Popular Culture Good? What Is Popular Culture Good For?
  2. 2. Formal Properties of Television Narrative Complexity <ul><li>Interplay between episodic & serial norms </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental storytelling strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit authorial identity </li></ul><ul><li>Self-conscious & explicit storytelling mechanics </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Operational Aesthetic <ul><li>Pleasure of process, not just product </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative as machine to be admired </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling as special effect </li></ul><ul><li>Elegance of design & construction </li></ul><ul><li>Pleasure in being manipulated & analyzing storytelling process </li></ul><ul><li>Viewers as amateur narratologists </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Complexity? Why Now? <ul><li>Industry: Dedicated Quality Audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Technology: Rewatchability, Precision </li></ul><ul><li>Audience: Generational Savviness, Participatory Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Culture: Procedural Literacy </li></ul>

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