Sunday, March 26, 2017

Core Post: Genre

Genre as a cultural category as discussed by Mittell seemed to shock me out of my passiveness. TV is a very different form from film, but I assumed genre would cross over easily between the two mediums given that they have a similar purpose, to entertain. However, there is a discomfort in analyzing the genre of television shows, especially shows with multiple seasons. The narrative alone might determine that the genre within different seasons, and even different episodes of the same show, might vary greatly.
 What interested me most about Mittell’s writing was the fact that genres as cultural categories perform as forms of power relations. This can obviously be connected back to our week discussing soap operas made for the housewife, but I would like to consider this in the context of Professor McPherson’s piece on the show 24. Genre analysis tends to lend itself towards differentiation between genders and many other categories of identity. If we consider Mittell’s cultural categories and the specificity of television, we could perhaps gain a more nuanced understanding of the show 24 and its success (I can’t speak to the quality of the show since I’ve never seen it). Although 24 is a “re-masculinization” of the serialized melodrama, I have heard it praised among many diverse viewers. What does genre mean for audiences? Does it impact the way an audience interacts with a television show the way it does for a film and its genre?

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