This assignment will examine the extent to which quality television drama is conceptually adventurous and narratively complex. By doing this, I shall use the television series, ’24’ as a case study. It will also demonstrate the relationship audience has with quality television and its complexities in its narratives. This assignment will endeavour to support all points and observations by appropriate scholarly research including work by John Peacock’s ‘Reading 24: TV against the clock’ and other various authors from the bibliography.
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The term ‘quality television’ is very critical if it is used in an important perspective or within theoretical matters of television categories. It took on an added detailed implication when it was raised by television academics in the institute when they tried to clarify the defining features of broadcasts that gain quality characteristics. There is the theory that quality television is public television which is television broadcasts where the country is completely uncomfortable while it articulates itself, its past and unclear prospect (Bronk, Simons and Elsaesser, 1994: p.66). There is also the theory that a genre in drama is the quality television standard. Quality television has production expenditures, entertainment significances, performance and scripting which appeals mass audiences (Bronk, Simons and Elsaesser, 1994: p.66). The broadcast resilience is a subsequent importance of stylishness which presents and signifies the quality classification that frequently characterizes the self-confident ability of those who produces certain broadcasts. Therefore, quality enhances a procedural requirement but furthermore establishes an institutional and independent requirement. If quality television can be defined by an educated medium, then television producers can comprehend what a good broadcast should be (Bronk, Simons and Elsaesser, 1994: p.66). Quality television materializes as a way of producing television programs. It originates from a reproduction on what has succeeded suitably from history and how it could be developed. Certain definition has suggestions and one of them is that quality television is pricey. Suitable money provision obtains modern equipment and pays for good performers, directors, writers and producers. It confirms high-quality production costs. This definition is institutional but it insinuates that quality television cannot be defined by a particular broadcast whether it is reliable by a specific genre. The broadcaster asserts that quality should have a general broadcasting procedure like an intense timetable (Bronk, Simons and Elsaesser, 1994: p.67). Quality television is created in a variety of various genres broadcasts which appeals to different kinds and sizes of audiences at different times of the day. Quality television is furthermore a television signal to high-tech advancement which allows an expensive artistic representation and improved sound model. The importance on high-tech advancements may highlight the quality television explanation by a specific broadcast production constitution and its delivery across reputable institutions that obtains both stability and creativity of producing television programmes but certain creativity may theoretically be attained through liberalization and a circumstance because a mass of channels is provided by a variety of independent producers to confirm a range of broadcasts while they focused themselves onto a mixture of audiences (Bronk, Simons and Elsaesser, 1994: p.67-p.68). By arguing and explaining people’s view of quality, it requires the exploration and argument of certain broadcasts or its tactics. If this is to be succeeded, involvement from television producers, audiences and reviewers would be essential. People will understand quality television needs an ongoing social discourse regarding the medium.
Examples of ‘Quality Television’ are series such as ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Law and Order’, ‘The Sopranos’, ‘Ally McBeal’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘ER’. These series are popular ‘American Quality Television’ among other series that comes into view of audiences. In order for these series to come into the audiences’ view, exhilarating and pristine creation will be essential to appeal the audience and market publicity if there are cable stations and networks (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.117). Local production will maintain to produce the predominant audiences globally. Nevertheless, the digital channels creation indicates that there will always be high-quality global broadcasting. Operating commercial channels finances confirms that broadcasting which appeals to high-class audience with sufficient expenditure influence will continuingly be the highly appealing choice for a consumer. That is why creative television series from the United States are developed. There are variations in program releases, new production approaches, financial redistribution centred around product impartiality and promotion diversity and the development to the fame of Home Box Office (HBO) which was centred around a totally distinct commercial representative than main broadcast networks such as ‘ABC’, ‘NBC’ and ‘CBS’ along with their associations and the nation’s respective stations which all marketed specific audiences to promoters (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.3), (Lavery, Howard and Levinson, 2011: p.8). The broadcasting on HBO is not only restricted to high-end cable consumers but it also influences non-cable audiences. In the modern period, targeting specific niche audiences expendably and differently from creating a mass audience, HBO wanted elevated production benefits with excessive funds to endure costly shooting techniques and post-production editing but it associates itself with the modernist instead of popular, cinematic custom, classifying itself as an artistic style because it is at the ‘high-end’ of parent company, Time-Warner’s range but it’s slogan is ‘It’s Not TV. It’s HBO’ describes its quality sign and it defines the network period after 1996 (Nelson, 2007: p.180), (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.3). This statement has included an analysis of the whole American commercial television structure. It has gained disparagements as it opposes the disrespectful movement of daily television. HBO was securely isolated from commercial television disruptions but nevertheless, HBO drama audiences are allowed to separate themselves from the television programming characteristic styles (Edgerton and Jones, 2008: p.25). All program networks are obliged by government ruling and associated agreements with partner stations and promoters to present a wide program facility that amasses the audience through a public and demographic variety classification (Edgerton and Jones, 2008: p.31). While HBO never used this model, other broadcasters have defended their company model that employs broadcasting to produce numerous customers to promoters as they see variations in media skills and culture. There are principles for quality television which alternates the stylistic self-reflexivity and liberal humanism to the ensemble cast, series fusion, complex character-based narratives and serialized construction (Peacock, 2007: p.15). It also involves debatable themes and is clear that quality television targets an organization with cinema as a better art quality characteristic to television as the quality genre developed. By the 1990s, quality television developed an important term settling with finances and aesthetics to become a genre within itself (Peacock, 2007: p.15). The cinematic filmic style may be the most important clear quality television feature. It has succeeded narrative complexity as the popular American television main characteristic by the late 1980s and early 1990s. Established quality television genre models have broadcasted their feature with evident recognizable cinematic filmic style which can be understood as a deliberate difference to the regular television broadcasting impassive style (Peacock, 2007: p.16).
What quality television might be meant by conceptually adventurous is that television broadcasting is generally intense with adventure representations and the themes where people can relate to adventure. Television is always regarded as a writer’s medium and it establishes antagonism between an aesthetically traditional television principle as determined by dialogue and character as well as a more adventurous significance in style and narrative mode in cinema. Adventurous cable broadcasting and new markets have stimulated progression (Douglas, 2005: p.26). It has furthermore revolutionized television programming and presented new openings for writers. There are also rising audience division on specific cable networks which allowed niche broadcasting that would never be part of the three networks which limited casting is making adventurous and high quality shows such as ‘Battlestar Galactica’ on ‘the Sci-Fi channel’, ‘The Shield’ on ‘FX’ and ‘Dexter’ on ‘Showtime’. They generally run for an hour each week and keep the audience in suspense and guessing as to what would happen on the next episode. This strong timing, real-time importance and ticking clock all aided to tie the week-long inequality between episode programming and conceal the narrative combined in a series way (Peacock, 2007: p.20). Modern broadcasts targets audiences’ interests outside the limited timing television hour structure. They aim to appeal audiences that give themselves completely on their preference viewing. Quality television drama series are presented once a creative idea infiltrates the thoughtful industry activity. It is believed that drama has to be conceptually adventurous because without it, it’ll lack the quality expectations audience will be hoping for.
There are other quality television characteristics which help the audience appreciation and action such as its scholarly consumption, fluent, specialized and perceptive speech, complex narrative construction and its rapid style (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.26), (Richardson, 2010: p.22). People are carried between scenes and instances. This means more innovative concept and industrial talent are advanced. It also confirms the requirement the audience focuses (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.27). This action complexity is regarded as another high quality television characteristic. It also puts the audience in the situation where they elevate when making a decisive conclusion. Every broadcast helps people explain and value it. Television series became more complex as it engages more actors and narratives which uses from one episode to few years to finish.
From the year 2000 and onwards, American television drama has been creative and it has also been highly remarkable at the ‘high-end’ of the series and its topic which lasts one hour long. This is assisted by the evident achievement of suggestive authorized cable models. American television drama episodes can cost over US$3 million respectively while these drama that lasts one hour long includes a variety of broadcasting styles and costs (Bonner, 2011: p.3), (Grant and Wood, 2004: p.127). American television drama is one example as to why it is conceptually adventurous and narratively complex because it is frequently invented by producers that has auteur recommendations who also employs 35mm film or its digital equivalent to attain a cinematic quality (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.43). But before the year 2000, ‘high-end’ American drama series costs was normally exploited by broadcast networks as the vital market share and profits diminished this drama genres’ excessive expenditure suggestions. This broadcast drama was innovatively controlled by the “safety first” traditional content that institutions are afraid to acknowledge the marketable possibility of actual innovative investigation (Hoffmann-Riem, 1996: p.103). Broadcast drama was additionally restricted by overwhelming instant achievement anticipations. One purpose is to accumulate sufficient episodes to increase association and new ‘back-end’ incomes if it produces the vital ratings by occasionally exaggerating efforts to extend its life and success. Network hesitancy remains putting many innovative restrictions on television drama production with certain reflections approaching deeply on program fees. For the last fifteen years, American prime-time dramas have deeply trusted complex tactics of episodic fiction to confirm the audiences’ constant venture in their narratives (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.133). This is because it functions in a television view that is distinguished by the rising struggle between various media structures.
For the last two decades, American television drama has been narratively complex which exploits the structured series probabilities. It highlights constant descriptive series upon limited episodic plots (Akass and McCabe, 2007: p.26). Consequently, these series incline to accumulate complex narrative of background contexts and character relationships which is why they ask their audiences to participate. One genre which is crucially narratively complex is conspiracy dramas. American television drama narrative tactics are more understandable if people theorize them as conspiracy narratives because serials that features narratives of protagonists trying to reveal and end the evil operations of antagonists. These series intend on producing a specific manner of television viewing where a functioned and alerted audience actions requires an inclination to involve the descriptive narrative theory and carefully listen to the elements by observing the conspiracy narrative rationalities. American television drama can be understood as a distribution to certain ‘narrational mode’ and be reflected as a clear subdivision of narratively complex programming (Vest, 2011: p.209). However, the narratively complex television series structure lets the narrative rationality of conspiracy to release its possible serial as it benefits flexible narrative paths basically because television series become lucrative the longer they stay on air. Series that utilizes certain conspiratorial narrative structure also get additional complex characteristic of conspiracy fictions. This presents a significant difficulty which may justify the diverse audience responses to the conspiratorial series’ concluding episodes particularly for lengthy series. It directs people to the fundamental theories of series narration as an industrial structure which was always acquiring durable profit issues than in classical stylistic, credibility and consistency models. Conspiratorial television series help certain actions and user activity in online forums that is devoted to specific series debate in the modern era confirms this assertion’s rationality by welcoming their audiences to investigate their narrative complexities. It is clear that not every serial that endorses the conspiracy narrative rationalities trust the comparable elaborate tactics to help the audience’s theory. Nevertheless, these series reveal the understanding that the narrative complexity suggestion is a main feature in the endeavour to initiate the audiences and cultivate their devotion to the series.
The television programme, ’24’ is one example of quality television and conspiracy narrative program. It is one of the infrequent series to experience vital and commercial achievement from its launch as it is fascinating, sophisticated, creative and appealing (Peacock, 2007: p.13). However, the series argues the current quality television classifications through its persistent and creative aesthetics utilization and basic skills. ’24’ has successfully qualified as quality television by merging these recognized conspiracies with modern conceptual involvements. The series also uses and underlines both cinematic and videographic methods in its quality. ’24’s interest to cinematic quality is directly evident in all practical scenes. The show is shot on 35mm film and framed for 16:9 widescreen productions, media and structure which is nevertheless more generally linked with cinema than with the 4:3 quality part of American television (Peacock, 2007: p.16). ’24’ has showed cinematic filmic characteristics which was frequently admired in long-established quality television. The series is also exclusive because the producers like the videographic quality. It has influenced audiences and critics with the video effect focus like digital clocks, on-screen text and the internet at the beginning. ’24’ may be the most videographic modern dramatic television broadcast because it not only uses videographic features as its mark quality and it still progresses to this point to contain its cinematic movements in a videographic context (Peacock, 2007: p.18). The series’ cinematic sequences are frequently dealt videographically whether it is split on screen or connected in real-time used filmic. The split-screens and ticking clocks on the series mainly understand the basic real-time vanity. The formulated numerous phone rings also appear to be more exciting. These are the main quality features that use videographic features as a characteristic show aesthetic in the clear narrative mass constitution. The extremely strategized and clear cinematic shooting quality is important to ’24’s filmic influence but it is the videographic aesthetic indications that underline the broadcast’s objectives. ’24’ actively markets videographic as a sign of its personal quality and complexities that benefits the cinematic. The serial videographic improvement transcends new quality television indications as these aesthetic metaphors can be understood more as an instinctive televised aesthetic style (Peacock, 2007: p.18). ’24’s narrative hour concurrence and televised broadcasting hour trusts an accurate series production as every final moments in an episode is understood to produce clearly to the starting moments of the next (Peacock, 2007: p.19). ’24’s high-quality stylistic construction clearly argues that the quality broadcast practicality highlights the seriality over the episodic. ’24’ also underlines this basic superiority constantly because the conflicted series narrative is widely motivated by its construction than within the complexity of its characters and story. The series title benefits the dramatic narrative construction which highlights the title (Peacock, 2007: p.19). The one day incidents are also told one hour at a time. This importance on time achieved mainly through aesthetic filmic and aural tactics as it is made to attain an enhanced concern and action-packed meaning. All narrative features of ’24’s individual seasons are always functioning with this ending comparing to the limited accessible diegetic offered to more quality dramas. For each season, ’24’ is always added by the friction between the sincere two or three influential storylines for the whole season that get settled and traded in each of several episodes. The hour-by-hour mysteries were also clocked so that many experiences concur and the season’s conclusion assured the ending (Peacock, 2007: p.20). This causes friction through the construction and the narrative also caused a friction through the conspiracy story. These are the conflicts that are operated and highlighted by the broadcast’s aesthetics where the split-screens suggest numerous storylines, narrative gaps and ticking clocks. The show’s frequent real-time evident assertions need an insistent meaning and an approaching ending. ’24’s basic quality innovations insisted the current quality characterizations and can be understood as an impulsive utilization and clearer analysis of twenty-first century’s television constructions (Peacock, 2007: p.21). The series appeals interest to the fanatical televised time limits and the obsession with these limits which are frequently focused.
’24’ can be categorized as conceptually adventurous because it uses the main action-adventure series quality features which combines common characteristics such as series consisting genres of action-adventure, spy, crime, detective and thriller (Peacock, 2007: p.164). All these genres identify an array of qualities which contain an inclination for substantial dramatic action and a narrative construction including eruption, pursuing and conflicts.
Numerous joint storylines of ’24’ evidently explain that modern television drama narratives trust complexities which includes some plots and characters to keep their audience’s appealing. The highly important series characteristic merges a clear construction with the real-time structure utilization (Evans, 2011: p.117). Program series operates in ’24’ as far as specific episodes distorting simultaneously. The narrative operates throughout a series of episodes until the season finale. This is linked with a complex narrative which can be discovered in the quality television discussion. ’24’s fourth season has convincing associations to complex narrative (Evans, 2011: p.119). Many narrative features linked in every episode is not determined. The primary ‘Danger’ narrative is highly outstanding. It centred on the season’s antagonist, Habib Marwan and featured the defence secretary, James Heller being abducted, the atomic power plants destruction, the Air Force One terrorism and the Chinese mission assault which initiates it’s government to pursue vengeance on Jack Bauer (Evans, 2011: p.119). Furthermore, it featured Jack’s relationship with James’s daughter, Audrey, Erin Driscoll’s daughter’s suicide and the alienated romantic relationship between Michelle Dessler and Tony Almeida in Season 2. ’24’s audience also enjoyed obtaining the advantage to participate with specific complex and frequent stimulating narratives (Evans, 2011: p.119). The series is characterized by audiences from insignificant television broadcasts by its complex narrative construction especially with the way the narrative alters melodramatically. ’24’s skill to modify emphasis and introduce new narrative storylines is important to the audience’s interest.
By now I believe I have examined the extent to which quality television drama ‘is conceptually adventurous and narratively complex by using the television series, ’24’ as an example. ’24’ have demonstrated the quality that fascinates the audience. It is clear that a lot of money was invested into the program to provide the best service to the audience. The adventurous style and complexities have certainly helped the weekly ratings because the innovation that was produced in the series has brought the audience into excitement which clearly defines what quality television is. I believe the term quality television is what the audience make of it as it is determined by what they think of a specific program. To achieve the audience’s expectations, it is important to provide the best facilities such as cinematic technologies and networks that can help promote the program.
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