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Television: Genre-Specific Resources
A guide to researching topics related to television.
Animated shows are created through artwork like drawings, claymation, or CGI. They are generally for children, but there are several shows that use animation to present satirical, sexual, violent, crude, or other adult themes. Examples include:
This comprehensive reference to TV cartoon shows covers 75 years. Published in two volumes, this book is alphabetically arranged by title, and discusses each cartoon show, providing production credits and offering commentary on elements such as development, characters, style, and the show's overall significance.
Documentaries show real-life events, often in shocking or controversial ways. Docudramas are similar but retell the events using actors and may add embellishments. Examples include:
Addressing the wide range of programmes and formats from news, to documentary, to popular factual genres, Annette Hill's new book examines the ways viewers navigate their way through a busy, noisy and constantly changing factual television environment.
This book rethinks the notion of documentary, in terms of theory, practice and object/s of study. Drawing together 26 original essays from scholars and practitioners, it critically assesses ideas and constructions of documentary and proposes new tools and arguments with which to examine this complex terrain.
Reality shows allegedly portray people in unscripted situations, but they are usually based on an unorthodox or unusual premise and seek to create drama. Some involve competitions where people can win prizes for certain skills or for outlasting other contestants. Examples include:
This book provides an up-to-date account of how reality TV has developed, why it has become the most popular genre on television today, and how the explosion in reality TV signals new developments in American media culture.
This essay collection focuses on the gendered dimensions of reality television in the United States and Great Britain. Through close readings of a wide range of reality programming, the contributors think through questions of femininity and masculinity, as they relate to the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality.
Comedies are generally presented in half hour format and feature the wit, situations, and hijinks of a recurring set of characters. Examples include:
This book is the first sustained critical analysis of Cult British TV comedy from 1990 to the present day. The book examines 'post-alternative' comedy as both 'cult' and 'quality' TV, aimed mostly at niche audiences and often possessing a subcultural aura. It includes case studies of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and the sitcom writer Graham Linehan, as well as sketch shows and the emergence of 'dark' and 'cringe' comedy.
In this book we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne; from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm; and from The Larry Sanders Show to 30 Rock.
Educational programs are often designed to teach children early literacy, math, and social skills, but there are several popular adult education shows about science, technology, history, and other subjects. Examples include:
This volume documents the impact of educational television in a variety of subject areas and proposes mechanisms to explain its effects. Much of the discussion concerns the effects of unaided viewing by children, rather than viewing in the context of adult-led follow-up activities. The volume draws together empirical data on the impact of educational television programs--both academic and prosocial--on children's knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior.
The Variety Show is made up of several different types of acts, including but not limited to musical performances, sketch comedy, and acrobatic stunts. This type of show has faded from prominence since the 1980s, but some do still exist. Examples include:
SNL is the variety show that launched the careers of a mass of comedians including Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Adam Sandler, among others. SNL has produced unforgettable sketches and provocative political satire, adapting to changing times while staying true to its original vision of performing timely topical humor.
Dramas feature serious, powerful, emotional, or shocking developments between characters. They can be told in story arcs or in stand-alone episodes. Examples include:
In its exploration of some of the most influential, popular, or critically acclaimed television dramas since the year 2000, this book documents how modern television dramas reflect our society through their complex narratives about prevailing economic, political, security, and social issues.
ER, Law and Order and The Sopranos are just a few of the dramas that launched a new era of television at the turn of the millennium. This text gives scholars and fans alike a firsthand account of the lives, philosophy and contribution of some of the best writers and producers of the 1980s and 1990s.
This book provides a historical analysis of the TV crime series as a genre by paying close attention not only to the nature of TV dramas themselves, but also to the context of production and reception. Ebook.
In a game show, contestants compete for cash or prizes, usually by exhibiting some physical skill or mental capacity. Contestants are generally different each week. Examples include:
Thomas DeLong offers an in-depth history of quiz and game formats. He describes how mass communications transformed the old parlour guessing games into enormously popular features on radio and television and examines their impact on American society and the consumer marketplace. DeLong also explores their decline in the wake of the quiz scandal inquiry of the late 1950s and their subsequent revival as new shows with modest stakes on daytime TV that began to build up a loyal following.
The thrilling story of the computer that can play Jeopardy! Alex Trebek: Meet Watson. For centuries, people have dreamed of creating a machine that thinks like a human. Scientists have made progress: computers can now beat chess grandmasters and help prevent terrorist attacks. Yet we still await a machine that exhibits the rich complexity of understands us and gives us what we need. That vision has driven a team of engineers at IBM. Over three years, they created Watson and prepared it for a showdown on Jeopardy!, where it would take on two of the game's all-time champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, in a nationally televised event. Final Jeopardy is the entertaining, illuminating story of that computer and that epic match.