The Contemporary Television Series/Cable Visions: Television beyond Broadcasting

By Creech, Kenneth | Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

The Contemporary Television Series/Cable Visions: Television beyond Broadcasting


Creech, Kenneth, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator


* Hammond, Michael and Lucy Mazdon (eds.) (2005). The Contemporary Television Series. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 260.

* Banet-Weiser, Sarah, Cynthia Chris, and Anthony Freitas (eds.) (2007). Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting. New York, NY: New York University Press, pp. 368.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is often credited with the saying that "one cannot put a foot in the same river twice." His admonition, of course, refers to the constant movement of the water, thereby effectively creating a different river every moment. The development of television is much like that river. It is ever-changing. Books on the nature of television, like those under review, allow us to see a snapshot of a single moment in the evolution of television. However, that snapshot is left quickly behind and can only tell us what television was and not exactly what it is. While both of these books make interesting reading and have an important place in the literature of television, their references to programs and technologies have become very dated in only a few short years after their publication.

In The Contemporary Television Series, the editors have compiled twelve essays that address, what they call, the television series/serial form. They define this form as programs that are given detailed coverage in both popular magazines and in the quality press. They are shows that will be issued on DVD and video, suggesting that they will be watched more than once. These programs will have a "life" beyond everyday broadcasting (p. 4). The series/serials described here are not so much "television" programs as they are "entertainment media." The viewer is no longer tied to a broadcast schedule, nor is she limited in the number of times she may watch a given program (limited by an outside programmer) or on what medium she views the work. In reality, the word "television" no longer functions as a descriptor of these mass media.

The essays are divided into three sections: "Histories," "The Series/ Serial Form," and "Receptions." Each section is preceded by an introductory essay written by one of the editors. These are followed by essays built around programs that meet the definition of the "series/serial form."

Unfortunately, the programs referenced are very dated, and unless the reader is very familiar with them, much of the message is lost. By way of example, the essays address programs such as "thirtysomething," "Ally McBeal," "The West Wing," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." "The Sopranos" is one of the newest programs subjected to analysis. While many of these programs may have been relatively familiar vehicles for analysis at the time of the book's publication, they have now receded into history for most younger readers. For example, just this year one of my colleagues experienced frustration in her introductory television studies class because she had great difficulty finding one television series, for an analysis project, that all thirty students had seen. This speaks volumes about the changing role of television as mass entertainment in our society.

In contrast, the introductory essays are especially helpful and hold up fairly well over time. Despite a few dated references to the "new TiVo" technology, each of the introductions could still preface an entirely updated set of essays that deal with newer programs that illustrate many of the same points. Certainly the ready availability of DVR technology to today's television viewers would impact any discussion of the viewer's control over the texts of programs (p. 79).

Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting is a collection of essays that discuss the development of multi-channel pay television services in the United States. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Contemporary Television Series/Cable Visions: Television beyond Broadcasting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.