Class 1 Notes
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This 21 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shannon Panagopoulos on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to DC 229 at DePaul University taught by Lee Madsen in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Television Genres in Literature at DePaul University.
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Date Created: 10/12/15
TELEVISION GENRES Why study Television Primary Cultural Importance Golden Age Of Scripted Television A Changing Industry Why study Television Television is of Paramount Cultural Importance This is a Golden Age The Television Industry is in the midst of a huge transition Primary Cultural Importance An American Institution Since July 2 1928 American stations have been broadcasting television The 19405 saw the birth of Network Television NBC CBS ABC Broadcast over pubic airwaves so the government has a say in the content The 19805 saw the expansion of Cable Television and Premium Television USA TBS HBO Rather than being broadcast data is sent through privately owned cables The government FCC has no real say over what is broadcast The 20005 saw the expansion of The Internet You all know what the internet is TV remains the primary source for news and entertainment in this country Today is a Trillion dollar industry in the US A Golden Age of Scripted Television More great scripted programming on TV now than at any other point in history More stories can be told Deeper connections due to the art form The form of TV TV vs Movies Both are a visual medium BUT Movies are watched somewhere else with a room full of strangers TV is watched at home surrounded by loved ones At the movies you spend two hours with a character You spend hours upon hours with the characters on TV Television is a more intimate experience A Changing Industry More outlets broadcasting and producing TV than ever before Networks Cable Premium Internet More ways of consuming TV DVR Tivo Web Streaming Piracy Never been easier to skip the commercials Great for consumer terrible for Industry Studying television The Basics 30 Minute Programs Genre Premise Style Tone Themes Main Characters and How they Relate Pa rts Genre The type of Show MultiCamera Has laughtrack Shot on large soundstage with audience SEINFELD FRIENDS TWO AND A HALF MEN SingleCamera No laugh track Looks more like a movie THE OFFICE COMMUNITY WORKAHOLICS Genre Where39s it go Network Usually 2145 long 3338 pages Safer more appropriate jokes and storylines Airs on one of the networks ABC CBS FOX or NBC MODERN FAMILY THE BIG BANG THEORY NEW GIRL PARKS amp RECREATION Genre Where39s it go Cable Usually 2145 long 3338 pages Edgier humor and storylines Airs on a cable channel Comedy Central TBS AMC WORKAHOLICS SMALL TOWN SECURITY Genre Where39s it go Premium Usually 30 Minutes 4050 pages Anything goes Airs on a Premium Channel HBO SHOWTIME Nudity Sex Drugs Language EASTBOUND amp DOWN WEEDS Genre Where39s it go Internet amp Net ix No restrictions on content of length Orange is the New Black House of Cards Some Shows amp Their Genres VEEP Singlecamera Premium 30 ROCK Singlecamera Network WILFRED Singlecamera Cable HOUSE OF PAYNE Multicamera Cable Remember Genre is the type of show and where it goes Premise It39s a show about The Premise is the big idea the show39s about The unique set of circumstances or world we39ll explore each week WILFRED A depressed man see39s his neighbor39s dog as a man in a dog suit SEX AND THE CITY 4 30Something friends experience dating in New York City What39s the premise for WORKAHOLICS MODERN FAMILY WEEDS Style and Tone The Show39s Personality Style and Tone involve the look sound and feel of the show A more detailed examination of the types of stories and jokes the show employs Family Sitcoms Workplace Sitcoms Social Sitcoms THE SIMPSONS 30 ROCK HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Style and Tone The Show39s Personality Show Architecture Principal Lead NEW GIRL Center and Eccentrics A quotnormal39 center character deals with the craziness of those around him or her 30 ROCK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Eccentric Center Show is focused around one quotEccentricquot main character who deals with relatively 39normal39 other characters FRASIER THE OFFICE Partnership WILL amp GRACE Ensemble FRIENDS Style and Tone Humor and Heart What type of humor does the show use High brow low brow clever irony goofy satire irreverence etc FAMILY GUY vs MODERN FAMILY HOUSE OF PAYNE vs FRASIER Salty or Sweet How engaged are our emotions in the story PARKS amp RECREATION vs SOUTH PARK Is there a message in addition to the story A moral Some truth revealed THEME What39s it really about Theme is the aspect of the human condition represented by the story What39s the show usually about in a broader sense Friendship amp Loyalty Family Dynamics Love Of ce Politics Main Characters amp How they Relate Main Characters are in opening titles Characters39 Comic Point of View The way the character views himself versus how the world views the character Michael on THE OFFICE Tobias on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Main Characters amp How they Relate Characterizations The way a character acts or behaves idiosyncrasies catch phrases habits Kenneth on 30 ROCK Jess on NEW GIRL Humanization and Likability In spite of this person39s aws why do we the audience still like him or her Jack on 30 ROCK Gob on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Main Characters amp How they Relate Character Dynamics How do the characters relate Family ties subordinates and bosses old friends and lovers etc Pa rts Locale Where39s the show take place Cold Open The part before the opening credits Sometimes a oneoffjoke sometimes involves story DNA lnformation contained in each episode which pertains to the larger story of the season Pa rts Act A section of the larger script On Network and Cable shows the End of Acts are marked by commercial breaks 24 Acts SEINFELD WORKAHOLICS Acts made up of Scenes Scenes made up of Beats Beats are basic elements of story A character wants something and is having trouble getting it Tag The part at the end often shown over the credits Can be a oneoffjoke or contain story DNA 60 Minute Programs Genre Premise Style Tone Themes Main Characters and How they Relate Pa rts Genre The Type of Show Procedural Each week is a selfcontained story with few if any storylines lasting longer than one episode By and large you could watch episode 3 and then episode 33 and not miss a beat LAW amp ORDER CSI CRIMINAL MINDS HOUSE Serial Major storylines overlap from week to week Best viewed in order DALLAS LOST BREAKING BAD Genre Where39s it go Network Usually 43 minutes long 5565 pages Edgy things may be discussed but not seen usually lighter in tone but not always Airs on one of the networks ABC CBS FOX or NBC ONCE UPON ATIME PERSON OF INTEREST CHUCK Genre Where39s it go Cable Usually 48 long 5565 pages Edgier storylines more complex characters Airs on a cable channel AMC USA CW MAD MEN MONK GOSSIP GIRL Genre Where39s it go Premium Usually 60 5575 pages RARELY longer than 65 Anything goes Airs on a Premium Channel HBO SHOWTIME THE WIRE THE SOPRANOS HOMELAND Internet No content or length requirements HOUSE OF CARDS ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Some Shows amp Their Genres PERSON OF INTEREST Network Procedural LOST Network Serial DEXTER Premium Serial ARMY WIVES Cable Serial Remember Genre is the type of show and where it goes Premise It39s a show about The Premise is the big idea the show39s about The unique set of circumstances or world we39ll explore each week THE WIRE A detailed look at all aspects of the drug trade in Baltimore CSI Detectives use trace evidence to solve crimes PREI IY LITTLE LIARS 4 best friends receive texts From an anonymous blackmailer What39s the premise for THE AMERICANS THE NEWSROOM BREAKING BAD Style and Tone The Show39s Personality Style and Tone involve the look sound and feel of the show A more detailed examination of the world and types of stories the show will explore Cop Drama Medical Drama Legal Drama Supernatural Drama Sci Fi Drama Teen Drama CRIMINAL MINDS GREY39S ANATOMY DAMAGES BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER DR WHO PRE39ITY LITI39LE LIARS Show Architecture Principal Lead HOUSE Partnership THE X FILES Ensemble SIX FEET UNDER Style and Tone Gritty or Gleaming What type of details are we given Glitzy gritty satirical soapy dramedy lighthearted serious THE SOPRANOS vs GOSSIP GIRL Salty or Sweet How do we feel about the characters BREAKING BAD vs HOUSE Is there a message in addition to the story A moral Some truth revealed SOPRANOS everything is for sale HOUSE everyone lies THEME What39s it really about Theme is the aspect of the human condition represented by the story What39s the show usually about in a broader sense Friendship amp Loyalty Family Dynamics Love Justice Feminism Anything goes Main Characters amp How they Relate Main Characters are in opening titles Characters39 Worldview The way the character views the world and himself JR Ewing on DALLAS Joan on MAD MEN Characterizations The way a character acts or behaves idiosyncrasies catch phrases habits Saul on BREAKING BAD Omar on THE WIRE Main Characters amp How they Relate Humanization and Likability In spite of this person39s aws why do we the audience still like him or her Don Draper on MAD MEN Character Dynamics How do the characters relate Family ties subordinates and bosses old friends and lovers etc Pa rts Locale Where39s the show take place Teaser The part before the opening credits The crime in most procedurals The thing that hooks the audience in Act A section of the larger script On Network and Cable shows the End of Acts are marked by commercial breaks 46 Acts LAW amp ORDERGRAY39S ANATOMY Acts made up of Scenes Scenes made up of Beats Beats are the basic elements of story A character wants something and is having trouble getting it The situation comedy DC 229 television genres The Situation comedy Evolved from radio comedy plays and migrated nicely to Television A staple of American Television since its inception The genre travels well throughout the world both in English speaking countries and beyond The production of sitcoms The schedule is ideal for the business of TV Usually a twoweek process from script to air Can use one or two sets and a couple lm inserts cheap The stable and consistent characters allow the shows to be produced by an in house team of writers and production staff at an industrial pace The production of sitcoms A factory produced piece of art The form lends itself to commercials Big problems leave the audience wondering what will happen next Big laughs keep them coming back after the ads Viewer loyalty proved it could sustain spinoffs of established brands characters The Simplicity of sitcoms Combine comic talent with dramatic character choices and actions Comedy is serious business Put funny actors in ctional situations and let the natural genius of the actor take over Stories become vehicles for a comedic voice Lesser known actors shine a light on one another and ensembles are born The Simplicity of sitcoms The Episode Familiar Status Quo gt Ritual Error Made gt Ritual Lesson Learned gt Familiar Status Quo From order to disorder amp back to order again Sitcoms rely on the characters never changing or growing The Simplicity of sitcoms The Situation is a frame on which you can hang all manner ofjokes or gags Can populate with ANY subject matter or characters Due to mass appeal can carry much larger themes The family sitcom Focused on internal family roles Literal Roseanne Rede ned Full House or Metaphorical Howl Met Your Mother The bedrock of broadcast TV Taught audiences media literacy how to watch TV Life skills mutual accommodation talking rather than ghting The family sitcom The Uniqueness of the family dynamics is central to the form Rede ned families monster families witch families alien families etc Even 39normal families are shown as fractured dysfunctional Might be family seen from unique perspective Sister Sister or Clarissa Explains it All Speaks directly to camera The workplace sitcom quotWorkplacequot sitcom is a bit of a misnomer as most of these sitcoms are less concerned with the dynamics of any given occupation than they are concerned with relationships and sexual chemistry Nonetheless they usually take place at a business Focus largely on relationship situations Social relationships workplace relationships coworkers subordinates and superiors romantic relationships The workplace sitcom However the rise of white collarjobs has also seen a rise in white collar humor Dynamics resemble those within a family Michael as Dad on The Of ce Liz as Mom on 30 Rock MUST BE a quasifamily element for most TV to function Some shows obviously follow characters from work to home and back again 30 Rock Friends Sex and the City Seinfeld Storylines A Story The Main Storyline of the episode B Story The Storyline of the second most importance screen time C Story The Story of third most importance screen time Runner A plotdriving joke which the episode returns to over and over Not all sitcoms have a runner Series Arc Story DNA Information contained in this episode which pertains to the larger story of the season Not all sitcoms have Series Arc Story DNA Cold Open The part before the opening credits Sometimes a oneoffjoke sometimes involves story DNA Act 2 Act or 4 Act Structure Tag Sometimes over the credits sitcoms will have another scene or two This is called the quotTagquot It can be a oneoffjoke or contain story DNA Not all sitcoms have a tag Watch for Genre Premise Style and Tone Themes Locale Main Characters and How they Relate lnclass viewing Newsradio quotThe Public Domainquot Breakdown Multicamera network sitcom A zany look behind the microphones at WNYX New York39s second rated news radio station Principal Lead Dave Center and Eccentrics Dave is the 39normal39 center surrounded by these eccentric characters Sarcastic irreverent goofy slapstick silly Moments of sweetness but no real moral to each episode Relationships office politics deception the role of media wealth New York City Main Characters amp How they Relate Dave Nelson As News Director Dave oversees the daily operations at WNYX stuck between a crazy boss and crazier subordinates He grew up in Wisconsin and is very much a sh out of water as a small town boy in the Big City He is everyone39s boss except Jimmy He has an on again off again romance with Lisa Likability through empathy Dave is in over his head and we love him for it because most everyone knows what that feels like Main Characters amp How they Relate Lisa Miller Drive Time Producer at WNYX Lisa thinks she should have Dave39s job Logical studious and somewhat cod Lisa got 1600 on her SATs and that39s also the number of times she39 tell you her score deaistic educated serious Close with Beth her con dant sometimes dates Dave has a terrible time with Bill the thorn in her side Likability by inteigence she39s super smart and capable and we love her for it Main Characters amp How they Relate JimmyJames The man so nice they named him twice Owner of WNYX and myriad other media outlets But WNYX is 39the heart of the beast39 Eccentric selfmade billionaire from humble Florida roots never went to college Dave39s direct boss often undermining what Dave is trying to do Procapitalism Likability through kindness he really loves these people and thus we love him Main Characters amp How they Relate BHlMcNeak Lead DriveTime DJ Bill39s an asshole and a liar Condescending narcissistic sel sh in all the worst ways A thorn in the side of Dave and Lisa Jokes are usually mean shocking and hilarious Was put in an insane asylum for arguing a traf c ticket Likability through failure we like Bill because he fails in his worst schemes Catherine Duke Other Lead DJ Bill39s rival The classic quotSassy chickquot Catherine won39t hesitate to slap you if you deserve it Sexual tension between her and Joe though it39s largely onesided adversarial antagonistic relationship with Bill Respected byJimmy Main Characters amp How they Relate Matthew Brock Reporter though all he ever really does is play computer solitaire The of ce weirdo spastic cat person lots of weird ticks and habits Jokes are super goofy and strange Likable because he39s so pathetic Beth Dave39s secretary The spunky redhead Very sweet but not na39ive comically broke Jimmy39s favorite friendly with Lisa and Joe treats Matthew like her brother doesn39t fully respect Dave Likable because her position is so low we empathize Main Characters amp How they Relate Joe Garrelli The Station Engineer Joe doesn39t believe in modern medicine or anything else anyone else is trying to tell him Never went to college owns a van conspiracy theorist extraordinaire stupid but selfassured tough Likable because he39s nice to our heroes sweet Storylines A Story Dave tries to prove he can control the of ce so he won39t be replaced B Story Jimmy is being lmed for a Documentary C Story Bill prepares a song and dance number Runner In spite of being red Matthew won39t leave the of ce Series Arc Story DNA Everyone misses Matthew Cold Open Dave and Lisa arrive and are surprised to learn Andrea the Ef ciency Expert Jimmy hired has brought on Steve to take over half of Dave39s job Joe and Beth miss Matthew and blame Dave for letting Andrea re him Matthew continues to hang around the of ce in spite of being red Dave tries to send him home but Matthew doesn39t get it Dave struggles to hide Matthew39s presence from Andrea and Steve Act I A B C storylines Andrea tells Dave he has until the end of the day to prove he39s a good boss and doesn39t need Steve He attempts to conduct the morning meeting urging everyone to be on their best behavior Bill thinks it39s obvious everyone39s going to get red He39s lined up another career Joe urges Dave to get Matthew his job back Matthew still won39t leave and is making things worse Act I A B C storylines Bill reveals his new career as a songwriter doing satirical songs about politics Dave begs him not to let it interfere with his work Bill sings and plays on a piano which irks Dave Dave tries to talk to Andrea about Matthew butJimmy interrupts He39s being lmed for a documentary Dave begs Jimmy to not do the shoot today but Jimmy refuses Act A B C amp runner storylines When the lming starts Jimmy is terrible on camera And oblivious to this fact Bill continues singing songs in the hallway infuriating Dave Matthew continues hanging around the of ce complicating Dave39s efforts to appear in charge Lisa has a plan to hide how bad Jimmy is on lm the crew sill just lie about what they39re lming Cut means roll etc Dave is not thrilled with the plan Act A B C amp runner storylines Jimmy believing the cameras are off badmouths the Citizens for Broadcasting Decency and admits to bribing 39hundreds of guys39 in spite of Lisa39s efforts to get them to stop lming nclass viewing Law amp Order SVU llRaWII Breakdown Network procedural mystery Police Drama The Special Victims Unit investigates crimes of a sexual nature or crimes involving children Dark gritty grounded ripped from the headlines The morality of the justice system guilt innocence ost innocence justice freedom versus personal responsibility New York City Main Characters amp How they Relate Eliot Stabler A tough noble cop with a wife and four kids He tries to balance his family with the horrors he sees at work He39s a good experienced cop who knows when to be respectful and when to be assertive He39s maybe a little too close to his partner He maintains a sense of humor about the horri c things they see Main Characters amp How they Relate Olivia Benson Olivia is the product of her mother being raped She never knew her father whom she hates She has a temper about rapists This was presumably her motivation for joining the Special Victims Unit She39s sharp though and great with victims empathetic to a fault perhaps Also has a sense of humor about the atrocities she witnesses Main Characters amp How they Relate Munch Munch relocated from Baltimore where he was a detective for 20 years actually he39s a character from the NBC show HOMICIDE LIFE ON THE STREET written by creator of THE WIRE David Simon He thinks he39s the smartest man in the room and most of the time he39s right though he comes across as a smug jackass at times Has a great sense of humor Main Characters amp How they Relate Fin Tutola Fin is Munch39s streetwise partner Formerly a narcotics of cer Fin sometimes butts heads with those in the Special Victims Unit Dr George Huang Forensic psychiatrist and criminal pro ler ADA Casey Novak A young Assistant District Attorney who is sometime overwhelmed by the horrors of these cases Lieutenant Cragen The old school by the book boss who knows all kinds of old police tricks He39s seen and done it all He represents the authority gure over these detectives Storylines This particular episode only has one real storyline An episodic or serial drama will probably have more In that instance as with a sitcom it will bene t you to write out each of the storylines in a different font or style Ex A B C D Cold Open Terror erupts on a playground as shots ring out injuring and even kiing children Benson and Stabler arrive on the scene to nd one child is dead and two are injured Stabler speaks to an injured child Annabelle who did not see her attacker and wonders why anyone would shoot her
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