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American Television. From The West Wing to Lost

How American Television Storytelling Got Complex
Jason Mittell

American television has seen the emergence of highly complex forms of serial narrative, such as Twin Peaks and The Sopranos.

Alongside the mass of crime dramas, domestic sitcoms, and reality competitions that populate the American television schedule, a new form of high profile television entertainment has emerged to both critical and popular acclaim. In the past two decades, American television has seen the emergence of highly complex and elaborate forms of serial narrative, such as Twin Peaks, Seinfeld, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. The result is a robust period of experimentation and risky programming rarely seen in a medium that is typically viewed as predictable and conventional. Jason Mittell will outline this development using examples from landmark series like The West Wing, Lost, and Six Feet Under, exploring how and why American serial television has arguably become today's playground of most complex and innovative storytelling.

Jason Mittell is Associate Professor of American Studies and Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA. He is one of the most significant scholars in the field of Television Studies today. Mittell is the author of the books Genre and Television (2004) and Television and American Culture (Oxford UP 2009) and is currently working on his third book entitled Complex Television, which will be ‘the book’ of the field.

This lecture is organized in co-operation with the department of Arts, Culture and Media of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen.

Interesting links
YouTube Prof. Jason Mittell: Television's New Golden Age
Wikipedia Jason Mittel
Middlebury College Jason Mittel
 

Organized in co-operation with the department of Arts, Culture and Media 

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