Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives https://series.unibo.it/ <span class="journalIntro"><strong>SERIES – ISSN 2421-454X</strong> is an open access and peer reviewed journal specialized in TV seriality. This is a joint project by members of the Universitat Politècnica de València (Escola Politècnica Superior de Gandia/DCADHA) and the Università di Bologna.</span> Dipartimento delle Arti - Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna en-US Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives 2421-454X <p>Copyrights and publishing rights of all the texts on this journal belong to the respective authors without restrictions.</p><div><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/" rel="license"><img src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/3.0/88x31.png" alt="Creative Commons License" /></a></div><p>This journal is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License</a> (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode">full legal code</a>). <br />See also our <a href="/about/editorialPolicies#openAccessPolicy">Open Access Policy</a>.</p> The Fran Lebowitz Series in Scorsese’s “Pretend It’s a City” and “Public Speaking” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/14527 <p>Writer, humorist, and style icon Fran Lebowitz, author of <em>Social Studies</em> (1981) and <em>Metropolitan Life</em> (1978), then merged in <em>The Fran Lebowitz Reader</em> (1994 and 2021), has been the subject of Martin Scorsese’s <em>Pretend It’s a City</em> (2021) and <em>Public Speaking</em> (2010). Both introduce Lebowitz as a storyteller, social commentator, and public intellectual who narrates her life in the style of documentary performers (Waugh) without neglecting the techniques of the cinéma vérité.</p> <p>Scorsese’s two works on Fran Lebowitz do not conform to the usual biopic yet can be understood as a selective biography. In introducing Fran Lebowitz to a contemporary large audience, the combination of biographical perspective and quasi-<em>vérité</em> style addresses the opposition between private and public (Arendt and Habermas). Altogether, the two productions can be considered as a series with an opening (<em>Public Speaking</em>) and seven episodes (<em>Pretend It’s a City</em>) that create Martin Scorsese’s series on Fran Lebowitz. The biographical traits, paired with Lebowitz’s status as public speaker, create a double portrait, almost a doppelgänger, as a split between the Lebowitz’s performance and her representation.</p> Victoria Surliuga Copyright (c) 2022 Victoria Surliuga https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 8 1 33 44 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/14527 Uncovering the Narrative Structure of “Breaking Bad” Through a Multi-Dimensional Quantitative Analysis https://series.unibo.it/article/view/14503 <p>The quantitative analysis of TV series has so far focused on the interactions among characters, typically employing a network model. However, such analyses can exploit additional information extracted as manual annotation from the series. That additional information can help us obtain a more complete view of the series narrative structure, accounting for the sequence of scenes and shots. In this paper, we propose an analysis of the TV series "Breaking Bad" that relies on the measurement of locations and scenes as well as the speech and video presence of individual characters. We also exploit those data to measure the degree of concentration achieved by locations and individual characters. We observe a consistent pattern for most variables, which highlight the stylistic characteristics of the series.</p> Maurizio Naldi Paola Dalla Torre Copyright (c) 2022 Maurizio Naldi, Paola Dalla Torre https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 8 1 17 32 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/14503 The Paradox of Disgust Revisited. The Meta-Emotional Entertainment Experience of “Hannibal” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/14500 <p>This paper addresses the paradoxical nature of entertainment experiences like the pleasure derived from violent media content. Building on the psychological concept of multidimensional meta-emotions (comprising suspense, enjoyment, appreciation, and artistic value) an empirical survey with 876 fans of the quality TV series <em>Hannibal</em> (NBC 2013–2015) was conducted. The study addressed perception and experience of <em>Hannibal</em> as well as its engagement potential. Results showed that respondents assessed the show as quality TV that is highly aesthetically appealing, but comparatively low on violent content. Moreover, the study showed that <em>Hannibal</em> elicited a complex entertainment experience that was enhanced by a positive aesthetic judgement, while a stronger perception of the show’s violence diminished it. Finally, it showed that respondents hardly engaged with additional content. If viewers did engage, however, the entertainment experience was slightly enhanced. Overall, the study showed that besides hedonic enjoyment and suspense viewers also find meaningfulness and artistic value in <em>Hannibal</em>. The perceived violence, however, is tolerated rather than enjoyed or appreciated. If we concede effects of violent media content on individuals or the society as a whole, less (violence) might be more, not only to enhance viewing pleasure but also to lessen the potential for harmful effects.</p> Daniela M. Schlütz Copyright (c) 2022 Daniela M. Schlütz https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 8 1 55 66 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/14500 From a Literary Genre to a Television Genre. The Circulation of “Finnish weird” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/14464 <p>This article examines Finnish weird, a television genre that was established to promote Finnish television series abroad. Originally a literary genre blurring the boundaries of sci-fi, fantasy and realism, the concept of Finnish weird was adopted by the television industry in 2018, when a number of series were branded as “Finnish weird” at an international industry event. In both production and reception Finnish weird was mainly characterised by a comparison to Nordic noir. However, the genre failed to replicate the success of Swedish and Danish crime drama and soon vanished from the industrial discourses. This article analyses the genre as cultural practices by examining the circulation of Finnish weird. Through investigating the origin of the concept, the practice of branding diverse television series as Finnish weird and the generic discourses defining Finnish weird in relation to Nordic noir, the text shows how the literary genre was appropriated and redefined for television.</p> Heidi Keinonen Copyright (c) 2022 Heidi Keinonen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 8 1 45 54 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/14464 Introduction: Latin American Television Fiction in Times of Change (2015-2021) https://series.unibo.it/article/view/14094 Charo Lacalle Javier Mateos-Pérez Juan Piñón Copyright (c) 2021 Charo Lacalle, Javier Mateos-Pérez, Juan Piñón https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 05 08 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/14094 “I’m Not Always the Most Reliable Narrator”. On Character Voice-Over as a Rhetorical Resource in HBO’s “Euphoria” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13657 <p>Voice-over narration features in various ways in contemporary TV series. One recent series that employs voice-over extensively is HBO’s <em>Euphoria</em>. In the series, the protagonist, Rue, narrates repeatedly in each episode of the first season and critics have labelled her voice-over with terms such as “unreliable” or “omniscient”. The aim of this article is to analyze the uses of character voice-over in <em>Euphoria</em> and to argue that such analysis require examining the theoretical terminology often applied to film and TV voice-overs. The article argues that character voice-over should not be defined based on a structuralist narratological conception of the narrator. Rather, voice-over should be approached within a framework of narrative rhetoric and viewed as a medium-specific rhetorical resource. The proposed view, as opposed to one classifying different types of voice-over narrators, is better able to explain how voice-over works in serial storytelling and how this resource is employed in <em>Euphoria</em> to create different effects and affect the audience in different ways.</p> Roger Edholm Copyright (c) 2022 Roger Edholm https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 8 1 05 16 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13657 On the production of audiovisual fiction after the arrival of OTT platforms in Colombia https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13318 <p>The Colombian audiovisual environment has experienced considerable changes at the same time as the establishment of OTT platforms in Colombia. Many of those changes can be traced back to the cultural policies that promoted audiovisual fiction production for regional broadcasters and those that seek to lure international film productions under the <em>Location Colombia law.</em> The results of these governmental efforts can be spotted at the India Catalina Awards for the Colombian Audiovisual Industry. In that event, series with few episodes produced by public channels, as well as those by Netflix, with less melodramatic elements, have garnered awards in the main categories thanks to their quality standards. All of these processes have included a change in aesthetics and narratives in fiction content, leading to a reduction in the contemporary production of standard telenovelas.</p> Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed Carlos Gutiérrez-González Alessandra Puccini-Montoya Copyright (c) 2021 Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed, Carlos Gutiérrez-González, Alessandra Puccini-Montoya https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 73 86 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13318 New dynamics of production in the Argentine serialized narrative: the noir detective story and the temporal dimension in “El jardín de bronce” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13315 <p>This article proposes to address the new production dynamics of Argentinean serialized narrative in the framework of the alliances between national media production companies and international networks and, within them, to point out a marked trend of serialized fiction towards film noir. To this end, it will examine the landing of HBO Latin America in Argentina and its partnership with Pol-ka Producciones in the generation of original content, taking as a case study the fiction series <em>El jardín de bronce</em> (2017), directed by filmmakers Hernán Goldfrid and Pablo Fendrik. It will analyze the narrative structure of its two seasons and the audiovisual grammar procedures used, in which elements associated with the noir genre prevail. It will also investigate the temporal dimension and the construction of the point of view, as these are the discursive operations that best adapt to the commercial needs of the television product and the most effective for the expansion of the fictional universe, the incorporation of new subplots and the development of the characters.</p> Carolina Soria Copyright (c) 2021 Carolina Soria https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 49 60 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13315 When fiction anticipates reality. Television fiction in Chile (2012-2018) https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13316 <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On October 18, 2019, the Chilean social outbreak was unleashed, which exposed the crisis of the neoliberal model established by the dictatorship. During 30 years of democratic transition, he managed the socioeconomic model, however, during this time profound social conflicts, new political forces, and economic inequalities were made invisible by the power elites were nesting. Serial television fiction - broadcast during the second decade of 2000 - proposed realistic narratives about the recent political history of Chile, opening spaces for discussion on the conflictive areas of the neoliberal model and showing new political actors through fiction. To learn about the characters and conflicts against neoliberalism that characterize the Chilean fiction series of the last decade, we analyze four Chilean audiovisual fictions that received state subsidies and that are inspired by real events that occurred during the post-dictatorship period: </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">El Reemplazante </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">(2012), </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Juana Brava, políticamente incorrecta </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">(2015), </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zamudio: perdidos en la noche</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (2015) y </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">La cacería: las niñas de Alto Hospicio </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">(2018). In these productions, the traces of social unrest that had been accumulating for years during the democratization process and that erupted in a serious social crisis in October are discovered.</span></p> Cristián Cabello Copyright (c) 2021 Cristián Cabello https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 61 72 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13316 Fandom and media competence: analysis of aesthetic reading in “Young Hearts” fanfic https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13314 <p>When creating fanfics, fans develop strategies for writing and communication related to multimodal and multimedia content, as well as new textual forms of network conversation (Jenkins 2012, Scolari 2018). The textual and intertextual reading by the avid audience establishes a clear dialogue with Eco’s (2002) concept of semiotic/aesthetic reader, in which stories explore various interpretative layers and go beyond the paratext. Based on this theoretical approach, this paper intends to analyze the dimensions of media competence, proposed by Ferrés and Piscitelli (2015), that are in operation in the creation of Oitavo B, a piece of fanfiction published on the platform Spirit Fanfic e Histórias. The story reframes the narrative arc of characters Lica and Samantha, from Young Hearts. Using their critical comprehension, fans creatively expand and give new meaning to the plot through multimodal and intertextual elements. Their reflections go beyond the canonical limits of the fictional universe and establish distinct correlations in dialogue with other audiovisual productions, literary works, social issues, true events, among others. It is concluded that the fanfic in question not only reinforces and expands the young adult telenovela, but also establishes new interpretative layers.</p> Daiana Sigiliano Gabriela Borges Copyright (c) 2021 Daiana Sigiliano, Gabriela Borges https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 87 98 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13314 Analysis of the postfeminist multimodal discourse in the series “Madre solo hay dos”: local-transnational-transcultural communication imbrication https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13313 <p>This article provides a preview of the research started two years ago on transcultural communication in television series, within the framework of transnationalization. The results of the exploration of the analysis of multimodal discourse to the Mexican series <em>Madre solo hay dos</em>, available on the Netflix platform since January 2021are now presented. The article consists of four parts. The first contextualizes the Netflix-transnationalization relationship and tries to justify the selection of the series; the second outlines the post-feminist media culture as a starting point for the construction of the model. The third part presents the analysis model based on the contributions of social semiotics and multimodal discourse analysis to show the results in the next part. The conclusions revolve around the possibility of continuing the analysis of Ibero-American series starring women to contribute to the incorporation of the results into feminist media culture and transcultural communication in the context of transnationalization.</p> Claudia Benassini Copyright (c) 2021 Claudia Benassini https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 23 38 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13313 Storytelling deviations and attention disputes in Brazilian Netflix originals https://series.unibo.it/article/view/13247 <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In this article, we seek to highlight and discuss some changes observed in Brazilian Netflix series since 2016 that play an important role in the complexity of the productions. Those changes are expansions in the classical narrative and plot model, with consequent changes in the strategies of information distribution, the effect on how viewer attention is gained and the thematic development of the productions. Regarding the methodology, we adopted a poetic reading based on David Bordwell’s considerations on the classical storytelling model. And we explore the following aspects in the Netflix original series </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Boca a Boca</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (2020): the expansion of anticipation of the inciting incident in the narrative structure; the change of the main line of action based on the Multiplot design in the plot structure; and we also analyze the staging solutions that stand out. We concluded that the expansions contributed to a greater demand for viewer attention, in addition to encouraging a diversity of points of view and greater complexity of the theme. The series seems to advance in a more technical way in its articulation of the reference world and the dramatic dimensions, making dramatic motifs preponderate over dramatic themes.</span></p> Simone Rocha Livia Arantes Marcos Silva Copyright (c) 2021 Simone Rocha, Livia Arantes, Marcos Silva https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 39 48 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/13247 Nostalgia by an Unfinished Idea of Chile. The Case Study of “Ramona” https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12912 <p>Relying on a qualitative methodology combining narrative and visual analysis, this article discusses the Chilean television series <em>Ramona</em> (Wood Producciones, 2017-2018). Collecting data through a reception diary, a close viewing of the twelve episodes of the show, and highlighting key features of its conditions of production, we argue that <em>Ramona</em> contributes to better understand Wood’s work and characterize its authorship (regarding issues, aesthetics, and narrative). Wood’s authorship has been studied by analyzing his films but not his television’s productions. The analysis also demonstrates that <em>Ramona</em> inserts History (and it is embedded on it) through its visual grammar and by using references operating as nostalgic clues. Within such paths of reading, <em>Ramona</em> contributes to Chilean memory and identity and to better comprehend nostalgia’s role in contemporary television fiction. Finally, despite its very local remarks, <em>Ramona</em> also evokes larger processes common to Latin American’s contemporary history, such as rural-to-urban migration, the lack of housing, the urban poverty, the emergence of masses (<em>sujeto popular</em>), and grassroots political movements.</p> Lorena Antezana Consuelo Ábalos Claudia Lagos Lira Eduardo Santa Cruz Achurra Copyright (c) 2021 Lorena Antezana, Consuelo Ábalos, Claudia Lagos Lira, Eduardo Santa Cruz Achurra https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-12-27 2021-12-27 8 1 09 22 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12912 The Day May Come When You Won’t Be Quality TV—The Walking Dead and Viewer Engagement https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12488 <p><em>The Walking Dead</em> (AMC, 2010-) suffered its steepest episode-to-episode decline in viewership following its season seven premiere in October 2016. This article argues that <em>The Walking Dead’s</em> decline in viewership is partially due to the show’s failure to adhere to viewer expectations of quality TV. Referring to previous studies on quality TV (Cardwell 2007, Mittell 2006), this article defines some of the key textual signifiers of this meta-genre (aesthetics, narration, complex characters) and discusses them in relation to viewer engagement. After establishing that viewers turn to quality TV for a “cognitively and affectively challenging entertainment experience” (Schlütz 2016a), the article investigates to what extent <em>The Walking Dead</em> meets viewer expectations of quality TV. Through examining the online discourse on <em>The Walking Dead </em>in relation to a close-textual analysis of the programme, this article finds that later episodes of <em>The Walking Dead</em> have caused frustration among many viewers since they do provide them with the types of cognitive and affective engagement they expect from quality TV.</p> Oliver Kroener Copyright (c) 2021 Oliver Kroener https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-07-29 2021-07-29 8 1 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12488 The Kim Wall Murder Serialized: Ethics & Aesthetics in High-Profile True Crime https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12483 <div><span lang="EN-GB">This article investigates the dramaturgical, aesthetical and ethical implications of making television on the back of a high-profile, internationally appealing and very recent murder case: the Kim Wall murder. During a trip in his self-made submarine, Peter Madsen, a known amateur space rocket and submarine builder, abused and murdered Kim Wall, a young Swedish journalist, who was supposed to do an interview with him. Less than three years later, a range of true crime productions had been made about the case, and this article analyses three of them. Preliminary findings suggest that meta-communication is highly important in high-profile true crime productions such as these, and that creators have to walk a thin line. </span></div> Lynge Stegger Gemzøe Copyright (c) 2021 Lynge Stegger Gemzøe https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-07-29 2021-07-29 8 1 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12483 The Mecha that therefore we are (not): an eco-phenomenological reading of Neon Genesis Evangelion https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12465 <p>In the late 1960s, the Japanese animation inaugurated a prolific science fiction strand which addressed the topic of mediated experience. In a context of transnational reception and consumption of anime, the “robotic” subgenre (particularly the one that will be called “mecha” in the 1980s, i.e., narratives of giant robots piloted by a human within) occupies a strategic place. By highlighting the peculiar synergy between themes, forms of storytelling and “out-of-joint” consumption, the Japanese robotic animation series thematized and popularized content and perspectives on mediated experience that I define as “eco-phenomenological”: “phenomenological” because (i) it reevaluates the quality of the subjective experience in its historical and biocultural context; “ecological” because (ii) it look at the environment as an intelligent system; and (iii) it proposed a multidisciplinary approach between the human sciences and the life sciences.</p> <p>The article proposes an analysis of the forms of narration and reception of the anime series <em>Neon Genesis Evangelion</em> (1995-1996), in its ability to have intercepted, synthesized and internationally popularized in an innovative and almost unparalleled way, the complexity of the eco-phenomenological perspective. Views and epistemological approaches at the center of the contemporary scientific and cultural debate will be reconstructed, discussed and analyzed through the concepts of body, mind, environment and presence which are promoted in the <em>Evangelion</em> series.</p> Giuseppe Gatti Copyright (c) 2021 Giuseppe Gatti https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-07-29 2021-07-29 8 1 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12465 La fiction Doc in onda sul canale francese TF1. Analisi di un evento mediatico https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12392 <p>Between January 6th and February 24th, 2021, TF1, France’s first private channel and Europe’s first channel in terms of ratings, broadcasts the Italian television series Doc every Wednesday evening in prime time, with two episodes per week. A very rare event in France, a popular RAI drama, which is also a non-American medical drama with a subtle italian flavour, finds its audience and manages to keep them interested throughout the eight weeks of broadcasting: through different methodological issues suggested by the vast field of cultural/television/media studies, with the analysis of the contents and conditions of diffusion, reception and transnational circulation of Doc, the article proposes an reading of a media event in the French audiovisual panorama to try to understand if the programming of the Italian TV series on TF1 allows us to believe in positive perspectives for future transalpine productions on French screens, outside the platforms – traditional or new – of SVOD or niche channels.<img /></p> Fabien Landron Copyright (c) 2021 Fabien Landron https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-07-29 2021-07-29 8 1 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12392 Creativity and power: A systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis of the co-constructed multimodal creativity-power relation in House M.D. https://series.unibo.it/article/view/12425 <p>Multimodal creativity in popular culture is an area with great potentials for linguistics research, yet the number of analytical frameworks and demonstrations available is very limited. This article adapted a systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis approach to the investigation of the co-constructed multimodal creativity-and-power relation in the American TV medical ‘dramedy’ <em>House M.D.</em> Using a combination of Halliday and Matthiessen’s (2014) systemic functional theory, Bednarek’s (2010) multimodal analysis and Law’s (2020a; 2020b; 2020d) analytical framework for creativity in multimodal texts (AFCMT), the dialogues and videos from two selected scenes were analysed with respect to the interpersonal meanings (i.e., tenor values and speech function), mise-en-scène, nonverbal behaviour and performance at moments of co-constructed verbal repetition/pattern-forming creativity production. This study has found that power equality is construed verbally through the use of pattern-forming creativity and that interpersonal meanings (denoted by tenor values consisting of power, contact and affective involvement) are construed nonverbally through spatial movement and various combinations of facial expression, head movement and body movement. It has also shown that hand/arm gestures and some mise-en-scène elements (e.g., set design, lighting, space, costume, or auditory soundtrack) are unlikely to be correlated to the production of pattern-forming creativity in <em>House M.D</em>.</p> Locky Law Copyright (c) 2021 Locky Law https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 2021-07-29 2021-07-29 8 1 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/12425