Week Six Reflections

“…While we often search for reasons to invalidate the opinion of critics based on their personal taste, in truth that is unnecessary and often risks treading into dangerous territory; all we really need to do is look to their arguments, and we’ll often discover that a reviewer has written two paragraphs in a grab bag review that seems to betray a less than rigorous viewing of the episodes available…” – Myles McNutt

For any seasoned visitor to Westeros, Myles McNutt’s claim becomes blindingly apparent in Ginia Bellafante’s psuedo-review of HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones. It is clear that, at the time of the article’s publication, Bellafante is likely not to have watched past the pilot episode of the series adapted from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. I can only speculate here because Bellafante’s review focuses little on the actual plot of the show, but the absence of the show’s inspirational heroines in her case for a gendered television programme signifies Bellafante’s lack of research. Moreover, in citing the fantasy genre as lacking “real-world sociology”, Bellafante’s judgment of GoT is clouded in that she fails to observe the programme’s subdued fantasy elements compared to those of more typical fantasy texts. In effect, McNutt suggests that Bellefante’s review is not to be considered a result of her (dis)taste for the fantasy genre but is instead a product of her laziness and that perhaps our personal preconceptions of genre lead us awry from the reality of the text’s content.

“How dare anyone say that Game of Thrones is “boy fiction.” What a crude and useless phrase. I am proof that it is not the case, and I am not alone.” – Amy Ratcliffe

The sheer response of many “geek girls” to Bellafante’s review is alone enough to suggest a link between gender and genre is tenuous. In speaking out against claims of “boy fiction”, Amy Ratcliffe states:

“I will say that the fact that there is sex in the series does contribute to one of the reasons the series stands apart – it’s gritty.  It is not your average fantasy tale full of squeaky clean Legolas-like characters”

“A very small man can cast a very large shadow”. The power plays of key political figures from ‘Game of Thrones’ provide a section of entertainment of their own – and destablise notions of genre hegemony.

One major reason (but by no means the reason) for shared male and female viewership of Game of Thrones then is that the rules of the genre itself have become murky. Sword-and-sandal sagas have traditionally appealed to males with an affinity for David vs. Goliath scenarios and promises of intercontinental quests. Yet the ellipses of battles and heightened politics of GoT are what make less gendered the fantasy genre perceived to have been more frequently traversed by male audiences.

“The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise.” – Ginia Bellafante

Like most GoT fans responding to Bellafante’s review, I couldn’t quite comprehend the nature of the article for its blatant sexism. But additionally, I interpreted the above quote  as presenting an altogether different but equally confusing argument: that sexual content in television is geared not at garnering the attention of men but of women. Wired writer ‘Delphine’ reaches the same conclusion:

“For a long time, everyone supposed that sexy material was used to attract male audience and teenage boys with, let’s say, hormonal needs. Are women perpetual hormonal-needing-teenagers?”

Does Bellafante’s statement represent the thoughts of the female majority or is it instead telling of how one woman’s personal tastes of narrative themes form sweeping generalisations that falsely portray the perception of the average female? The backlash from the online community outrightly suggests the latter.

One of the biggest factors that attracted me to Game of Thrones was something that others could relate to regardless of gender. Bellafante asks “What is Game of Thrones doing on HBO?” and in her subsequent allusion to GoT executive producer David Benioff’s fall from 25th Hour glory, displays her disapproval of the fantasy genre and a flagrant superficiality in trying to answer her own question. Bellafante complains of the difficulty in “(k)eeping track of the principals” but anyone familiar with HBO masterpieces such as The Wire knows that multiple plot lines and characters are staple conventions of the network’s programmes.

But the promise of sprawling narratives were only one aspect of my attraction to Game of Thrones. The narrative itself of HBO programmes are less predictable (and thus, for me, more entertaining) than those that feature on other networks in that the safety of any character is never assured (Oz‘s Augustus Hill and The Wire‘s D’Angelo Barksdale are two of the most significant that come to mind). Rather than diverge any further down a path explaining my own televisual tastes, I will emphasise two points that this HBO hallmark presents. Firstly, discussion of Game of Thrones as gendered is not only redundant for the show’s adoration from “geek girls” but by other key production values appreciated equally by men and women such as, in my own personal case, network signatures.

Promotional material for ‘Game of Thrones’… or synecdochical parading of HBO?

Secondly, consider the promotional material at left. The poster appeals to both A Song of Ice and Fire fans and subscribers of HBO content. The quote “anyone can be killed” evokes the deaths of aforementioned HBO principals and thus GoT stakes its claim to being truly “HBO”. Formulas for certain genres as appealing to certain demographics are no longer holding fast, and Game of Thrones is at the forefront of the battle for indiscriminate entertainment for men and women alike.

Resources:
– Bellafante, G: ‘A Fantasy World of Strange Feuding Kingdoms’ in The New York Times, April 14, 2011. Viewed on August 31, 2012 at http://tv.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/arts/television/game-of-thrones-begins-sunday-on-hbo-review.html?_r=0

– Delphine: ‘A Live Woman Who’d Gladly Watch A Game of Thrones (Even Without the Sex Scenes)’ in Geekmom, April 15, 2011. Viewed on September 1, 2012 at http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2011/04/a-live-woman-whod-gladly-watch-a-game-of-thrones-even-without-the-sex-scenes/

– McNutt, M: ‘Questions of Taste: Dissecting the Dissection of Early Reviews of HBO’s Game of Thrones’ on Cultural Learnings, April 9, 2011. Viewed on September 1, 2012 at http://cultural-learnings.com/2011/04/09/questions-of-taste-dissecting-the-dissection-of-early-reviews-of-hbos-game-of-thrones/

– Ratcliffe, A: ‘Response to the NY Times Game of Thrones Review’ in Geeks with Curves, April 15, 2011. Viewed on September 1, 2012 at http://geekfemme.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/response-to-ny-times-game-of-thrones.html

 

 

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Week Five Reflections

Most of my current television viewing is concerned with American or British TV but I fondly recall a time when Cheez TV (or Toasted TV as it regrettably transformed into) broadcast some of my favourite anime shows such as Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z. Though this week’s blogging requirement of reflecting on “a program from a national culture other than your own” could technically have me writing about western programs Breaking Bad or Community, I feel that I should explore one particular anime that evokes talk of deeper transnational television themes concerning globalisation. Enter One Piece.

Talks of globalisation usually become confused with the concept of westernisation but the reality is that the former is a two-way street:

“Non-Western players also actively collaborate in the production and circulation of global media products… These developments testify to a decentering of capitalist modernity from the West and of the global cultural power structure from the US”

Anime is likely at the forefront of people’s minds when they consider television exports coming out of Japan. One Piece was exemplary in its capacity to probe violence and other mature themes and because I grew up with it, my perception of animation became heterogenous, occupied by both the western products almost completely detached from reality (eg. Spongebob Squarepants) and Japan’s anime. Settings and plot were removed from reality but the characters and dialogue seemed somewhat faithful to how everyday people were and are, or at least how they could realistically aspire to be. Japanese drama program Tokyo Love Story embodies this notion in its female protagonist:

“Rika is an unusually expressive and positive Japanese woman… Rika’s single-minded pursuit of love and her frank expression of feelings is the object of admiration and emulation.” – Koichi Iwabuchi (p. 23-24)

One Piece protagonist, Luffy, would routinely push the narrative in unexpected directions with bold or rash decisions and his speech reflected such spontaneity and while not as shocking as Rika’s “Kanchi, let’s have a sex”, Luffy’s expression captured the human desire to speak one’s mind freely.

Yep, that’s James from Team Rocket… with boobs. This episode was swiftly banned from reaching our shores.

While anime had a globalising effect on young children’s minds the world over, certain measures were put in place that stunted cultural similarity between Asia and the rest of the world. Censorship changed the way non-Asian audiences saw anime so that, perhaps inadvertently, viewers like myself became simultaneously familiar yet distanced from Japanese culture. One Piece’s omission of blood and Pokemonepisodes banned for their adult themes such as nudity and coarse language are two examples of how transnational alterations applied to Japanese television imprint a culturally isolating effect on non-western nations. So while the broadcast of anime on Australian television seemingly promotes a globalisation as hybridisation model, our nations distinctly occupy different temporalities: Japan’s a pre-modernity, the West’s refusal to completely absorb Japanese culture signposting its antithetical stance:

“… rapid modernization and globalization… have intensified the country’s cultural encounters with the West, and these, in turn, have generated a nostalgic desire in Japan… for pre-modernity” – Iwabuchi (p. 31)

We can be in some way thankful for the perforated cultural barrier between the West and Japan. It was about this time last year that my Breaking Bad marathons became interspersed with a string of Pokemon episodes (my girlfriend and I blazed through roughly 40 episodes in a fortnight). Such viewer membership of non-western television products is probably only possible through a paradoxical relationship. In watching One Piece or Pokemon, there is familiarity in the sense that I grew up with the globally renowned animes but also difference in that characters, storylines and overall themes run so perpendicular to my western television viewing that entertainment is had in watching anime to either get away from western storytelling that manifests itself in just about every American television program or simply to enjoy a unique televisual product.

Resources:
Iwabuchi, K Discrepant Intimacy: Popular Culture Flows in East Asia in Erni, J & Chua, S (eds.) Asian Media Studies: Politics of Subjectives, (p. 19-36). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2005.

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Week Four Reflections

Chosen Webisode: Dexter Early Cuts: Alex Timmons

Content vs. Promotion
Max Dawson writes that we must evaluate the perception that digital shorts reflect “the television industry’s desire to give web viewers what they want” against its prominence as “television promotion”. Where does Dexter Early Cuts stand along such a continuum?

From a content perspective, Dexter Early Cuts explores a hyperdiegesis operating in the Dexter canon. The first series of Early Cuts focuses on three of Dexter’s victims mentioned in the sixth episode of Dexter‘s first season: ‘Return to Sender’. The pilot episode of Early Cuts, ‘Alex Timmons’, ultimately reveals Dexter’s motive for keeping forensic slides of his victims’ blood, thereby nominating a key moment in the Dexter chronology. The viewer’s attention is focused on a plot point “worthy of analysis”, allowing for “close readings” between this webseries and its author text: Dexter. That the webseries is written by Dexter writer, Tim Schlattmann, and features the voice of Michael C. Hall shows a commitment to offering inspiring content that appeals to the consumer as opposed to Dawson’s “graveyard of failed mobisodes, incomprehensible clips, and incomprehensible recaps” on YouTube.

The form of Early Cuts would likely divide critics in the debate surrounding content and promotion. On the one hand, the animated form of Early Cuts suggests Showtime’s preference for a low budget webseries over one that uses filmed footage of the actors featured in Dexter. Promoting the next series of Dexter seems a priority, with the end of each webisode featuring an advertisement for the airing time of the upcoming season of Dexter. The producers seem conscious of the flaws in the style of their form in their decision to adopt a heavily noir animation style in the second series, evoking tales of similarly despairing individuals Batman and Max Payne. Showtime’s move to provoke some sort of visual intertextuality in the second season of Early Cuts seems a concession that the webseries’ connection to Dexter was fundamentally weaker in its first season due to its style of animation that did little to comment on the Dexter world.

‘Alex Timmons’ certainly relies on having watched some of the Dexter series. We are not introduced to Dexter’s world in the same way the pilot of the Showtime television series sets out to – Showtime presume audience knowledge of Dexter’s past. The pilot webisode’s opening segment is reminiscent of a plethora of Dexter episodes that follow the pilot, with some over-arching moral or plot device being alluded to in the first sentence (“When I hunted as a kid, Harry never let me bring home my game”). This topic becomes central to the episode and, like any Dexter episode, the issue surrounding the theme is resolved the webisode’s conclusion. The significance of the Dexter hyperdiegesis being investigated (the forensic blood slides) is only fully realised by a viewer who has previously seen the dozens of slides contained in the box behind the air conditioning unit in the televised series.

My personal thoughts on the first episode of Early Cuts? The webisode sits nicely between entertainment for the viewer and promotion for one of Showtime’s biggest hits. The writing is of a very similar quality that can be expected of Dexter and the webisode exhibits other elements that can be identified in its parent (eg. Dexter’s false identity when conversing with a serial killer, the moral exchange in the killer’s final moments). The animated style of the webseries masks the low budget approach Showtime have taken with few exceptions (namely some particularly bad animation of a mother and child running through war torn streets at around the 2:15 mark). Revising the form of a television show for online adaptation seems a tough process, none more so than for Channel 10’s The Nurses which proved the laughing stock of last week’s lecture for all the wrong reasons. For me, Early Cuts rates highly in handling the transition from massive production venture to online side-project primarily through the meaningful reassessment of its presentation: the comic strip feel of the webisode allowing for stylised violence achieved in some of the most accomplished comic literary works such as Watchmen. I only wish that the Early Cuts producers had happened upon the style of its second season sooner.

Resources:
Dawson, M: Television’s Aesthetic of Efficiency: Convergence Television and the Digital Short. http://bgock.com/maxdawson/research_files/Ch_10_Dawson_Revised_DUKE.pdf. Pp 1-12. Viewed August 14, 2012

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Week Three Reflections

Broadcast and the Everyday
The other day, I found half a dozen or so friends of mine gathered around a laptop, watching and discussing an event being replayed online just hours after it had been watched live by many around the world. I’m talking about the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Not only did such a sight evoke questions of new age media use investigated last week, it also raised notions of the day-to-day presence of certain television broadcasts. Watching the broadcast of the Opening Ceremony (live or delayed within the period of global Olympic Games hype) affords the viewer access to a worldwide festival and, by extension, “cultural citizenship” (Morley, p. 109). To watch the Opening Ceremony is to be a member of the public sphere; a global citizen who can contribute to local, national or worldwide debate. Since its inception, broadcast television has increasingly acted as a mechanism that pulls down the geographical barriers that prevent a globally shared experience of calendical events. The broadcasts of both the Beijing and London Opening Ceremonies recognise this effect of television yet have approached them in different ways.

Beijing and the Mediated Spectacle
2008 men each pound a different screen. Many of the screens are struck simultaneously and become briefly illuminated when hit, creating visual tapestries. This is truly a visceral experience for those in the stadium watching the ceremony, but why should the rest of us miss out?
Enter broadcast television. Citizens from all over the world can now watch and engage in the events unfolding at the Beijing Opening Ceremony. Such unrestricted access to the ceremony gives weight to the idealistic vision of Jurgen Habermas’ open bourgeois public sphere, disrupting the notion of a private sphere and consequently allowing for an almost-universally shared space where “unconstrained debate” occurs (Finlayson, 2005).

London and the New Age Nation
Watching the ‘Internet revolution’ sequence during the lecture, I couldn’t help but feel the London Opening Ceremony was catered for me – the television viewer. Film director Danny Boyle was at the helm of the ceremony production and while the Beijing ceremony was also directed by a fellow filmmaker in Zhang Yimou, the overall presentation of the ceremonies were vastly different.

One of several moments during the broadcast of the London Opening Ceremony where Danny Boyle concedes that the digital age is an ever-present lens through which we view the world’s biggest events.

Graphic superimpositions of text messages and mobile applications, cutaways to pre-recorded material and particular shot constructions of live footage were integral to Boyle’s coverage of the London ceremony. The privilege of attending a live event is in some way stripped from the ceremony-goer, who must turn their attention to stadium screens to experience the Olympic journey as intended by Boyle.

Yimou acknowledged both the appeal of the live spectacle for the ceremony-goer and broadcast television’s capacity to mediate such a spectacle so that those unable to attend the ceremony can experience a sense of what it would have been like inside the Beijing National Stadium. It is this latter aspect that Boyle extends on: the hypermediacy of his ceremony reflexive of a global “imagined community” (Anderson) who have embraced new age media.

Resources:
Turner, G: ‘Television and the Nation’ in Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television Studies In the Post-Broadcast Era. Ed. Turner, G and Tay, J. 2009: Routledge. Pp 54-56
Finlayson, G: ‘The public sphere as idea and ideology’ in Habermas: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2005.

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Week Two Reflections

Television and Post-Broadcast Era:
Jinna Tay and Graeme Turner’s argument in the chapter chosen from Not the Apacolypse: Television Futures in the Digital Age presents the didactic perceptions of a post-broadcast era:
1) Digital Optimism: sees “unprecedented degree of consumer access and content customization is set to dramatically change the nature of television content, as well as the manner in which it is consumed or produced”. Proposed changes include “increased popular participation at the production end, and some form of democratization at the consumption end” with the goal of “a viable market for those who have invested in these new developments”.
2) Broadcast Pessimism: sees “the declining share of… the US market now watching broadcast television as an incontrovertible sign of the imminent collapse of the broadcast platform altogether”. Broadcast pessimists make a case for the end of television.

The end of television debate is globally relevant. Tay and Turner claim that India, for instance, “is only now entering its ‘age of television’, and its markets are dominated by broadcasting”. One could take the perspective that America is an anomaly for having switched from analogue to digital.

Tay and Turner claim that being overwhelmed by “the pace of technological change”, we depend on the information from media industries who, being the voice-of-God, produce “industry ‘spin'” which provides a commercial service rather than one of informational value to the audience. A fascination with technological change means we are, more often than not, complicit with the ‘spin’ and are deceived by critical statistics “which do not exist or have yet to take place”. Historic examples indicate that we need not “abandon our scepticism about the validity and motivations of industry-sourced figures”.

The argument made here by Tay and Turner really encapsulates what was written on one of the first slides from last week’s lecture which, incidentally, came from the mouths of Tay and Turner themselves:

Rumours of the death of television may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the head-in-the-sand option has long passed.

When I first read this quote, I thought Tay and Turner were emphasising the need to scrutinise what defines television and how its traditions may be under threat. This could be the intended meaning of the quote but having read this article I see now that the authors might be referring to the implications of a post-broadcast era, where media industries develop an authoritative position over consumers who are uncritically yearning for knowledge. The “head-in-the-sand option” is to turn a blind eye to the idea that, amidst the information being supplied by media industries, we are being deceived by false figures and statistics.

News as a Genre:
To define one’s conventions is to define its genre. Television news programs have a series of similarities with one another that I think are organic to their genre.

That the news can usually be broadcast at any hour and has its lengthier programs scheduled during prime time slots suggests that it is catered to appeal to many demographics. Bigger news broadcasts presented at family-friendly hours present material suitable to be watched by all ages. With the exception of current affairs programs such as 60 Minutes, most television news shows scarcely display adult themes.

A television station’s identity (particularly its political stance) is formed through the news it broadcasts. In choosing to feature sensationalist articles or coverage of more culturally important events, a TV station is respectively appealing to a larger demographic or to an audience with a specific interest in national and international current affairs. Put simply, I generally think of tabloid newspapers as free-to-air channels 7, 9 and 10 while the ABC reminds me of a broadsheet newspaper like The Age.

News depicts itself as a gratifying device for its audience. Through discussion generated during the lecture, the idea of the news anchor as authoritarian was touched on. The reports are channelled through the anchor – he/she appears to control where we “cross live” to, is addressed verbally by field reporters and becomes the key figure we communicate with (the field reporters seem to look at the anchor and the anchor at us). Charlie Brooker grasps this dynamic between anchor and viewer during this parody.

The Death of Television?
Former President of the Independent Film Channel (IFC), Evan Shapiro, identified the “INTERWEBS” as the biggest perceived threat to the concept of ‘television’. Before reading Shapiro’s article, I thought it worthwhile to reach a (set of) conclusion(s) about the definition of ‘television’. Brian recognised during the week one lecture that television can be identified as “a social experience associated with producing, viewing, listening, talking about, reading about, being captured by, appearing on, and being influenced and affected by television”. The implications of this is that even the viewers who engage with television programs in ways that TV producers do not intend (I’m talking specifically of piracy) feed the longevity of television through the social culture that arises from having an interaction with a show.

Sure enough, when I then found Shapiro’s article, I discovered that the former IFC President reached the same conclusion regarding the malleable state of the definition of television. As Shapiro so concisely puts it: “No matter when or where or how someone watches television, it is still TV”.

So in its loosest definition, the concept of television’s lifeline is secure. But what of how most people would come to understand television – in its broadcast form? For Brian, the “coverage of ritualistic, nation-building ‘live’ events” and “social rituals that broadcast television affords” remain the reasons why broadcast television remains vital to audiences and will thus continue to survive. A topical example of this is the Olympics, where broadcast television is ritualistically viewed on broadcast television worldwide and is preferably watched live by many.

Resources:
Tay, J; Turner, G, 2010. “Digital optimism, broadcast pessimism and the end of television” Not the Apocalypse: Television Futures in the Digital Age. International Journal of Digital Television Volume 1 Number 1, University of Queensland, Australia

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Week One Reflections

Lecture Key Concepts:
Our first lecture on Television Cultures was fairly introductory and outlined what kind of capabilities we can assume to possess by the end of this semester. Some key things that were said:
– We will be approaching our analysis of television shows much like films were analysed in Introduction to Cinema Studies. This is good news as I’ve already got a lot of lingo under my belt from said course.
– We broke down the definitions of ‘television’ and ‘culture’ and, as can be expected, there is no single definition for either.
– Brian offered a variety of suggestions for blog posts. Some of these included:
: straight-up analysis of scenes from TV shows.
: personal reflection on theories and opinions discussed in lectures, tutes and blogs.

Screening/s from the Lecture:
Hollywood: The Rise Of TV:
I was honestly enthralled by the documentary shown in the first lecture. It was interesting to get an insight into the television medium directly via the commentary of producers, writers, directors and other media professionals.
This is not to say I agreed with all points made in the film. Early on, NYPD Blue co-creator Steve Bochco suggested that television allows for a “tapestry of story and character… inconceivable in any other medium”. Are novels not a medium? My attention instantly turned to my current TV obsession and fantasy epic  inspired by the George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire novels: Game of Thrones. Having both watched the first two seasons of Game of Thrones and read halfway through the first of Martin’s novels, I can say that the former is a superbly abridged version of the latter. If anything, then, novels allow for Bochco’s TV “tapestries” to be expanded upon given the production constraints a TV series possesses that a novel does not.

Readings Assigned:
The past is another country – Graeme Blundell:
“… the idea of film – small sheets of plastic that recorded images when exposed to light – became obsolete… Somewhere towards the end of the decade we passed that defining moment when the public was unable to tell the difference between a movie or TV show originating on digital video or 35mm film.”
The death of the book in relation to Internet’s emergence seems applicable here. With the Internet came e-books, blogs and more readily accessible and practical means of obtaining knowledge. In the shadow of the Internet’s emergence, some media commentators believe that books are appealing less and less to audiences world wide. Similarly, the affordances of shooting digitally are eclipsing those of shooting on 35mm film and, consequently, we could see the disappearance of 35mm film more rapidly than the book. This is alarming for people that hold to traditions of cinema – those who fear we will come to forget our film ancestors such as the Lumiere brothers. As long as we’ve got the likes of Quentin Tarantino around though, it looks like we’ll be constantly reminded of our filmic origins.

“I also liked Big Brother for the way the show blurred the conventional boundaries between fact and fiction, drama and documentary.”
In a way, the “conventional boundaries between fact and fiction” were experimented with in a far more sophisticated manner at the start of the millenium. Davids Simon and Mills’ 2000 HBO miniseries The Corner, a precursor to The Wire, used seemingly authentic interview material during the prologues to each episode. These interviews were in fact scripted and the interviewees were actors who had roles beyond the prologues.

Why Do I Love Television So Very Much? – Alan McKee:
I find that, in general, McKee undermines what he is saying through his hypocrisy: he attacks the attitude of superiority associated with art in a tone so overt that I feel he is advocating a similar mentality be attached to television. That being said, McKee does touch on some points I agree with but unfortunately doesn’t go into too much depth anywhere.

Television truly is “cross-demographic” for its episodic nature. Each episode sees an opportunity for a niche audience to be appealed to, particularly in the sitcom.

Why Study Television?
According to Drake Bennett’s article, studying television can support a great range of subjects studied at university. Film studies, media studies and “social science disciplines” have become involved with studies of The Wire for its multi-faceted realism. From a television studies perspective, it seems important to study this form of media for its impact on culture inside and outside of academia.

Resources:
Blundell, G: ‘The Past Is Another Country’ in The Australian, January 19, 2011. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/the-past-is-another-country/story-e6frg8qo-1225991177193. Viewed July 21, 2012
McKee, S: ‘Why Do I Love Television So Very Much? ’ in Flow Journal, March 9, 2007. http://flowtv.org/2007/03/why-do-i-love-television-so-very-much/. Viewed July 21, 2012
Bennett, D: ‘This Will Be on the Midterm. You Feel Me?’ in Slate, March 24, 2010. http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2010/03/this_will_be_on_the_midterm_you_feel_me.html. Viewed July 21, 2012.

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