Another Possible Paper Topic

I was just thinking about past film and media culture classes, trying to remember certain ideas, shows, films, etc. that really interested me, and one thing that came to mind was the show Seinfeld.  I remember briefly studying and reading about the show in TV and American Culture, and how I thought it was a revelation when I realized that the whole reason the show works is because everything is based on coincidence.  This really intrigued me, and as I watched further episodes it became blatantly obvious yet fun to figure out and analyze how things will come together purely because of chance.

Therefore, I think there are two reasons why this would be a good possible paper topic– 1) because I know that I am interested in it and would like to study it further, and 2) because it’s narrative technique is so unusual that I think there would be a lot to learn from studying it in depth.

 I’m not entirely sure what approach I would take to studying the show, as I think there could be a lot of different angles taken.  But some ideas would be seeing how the fabula construction differs as the viewer knows that things won’t be tied together by cause and effect, rather by coincidence.  Or, I could test Bordwell’s theory of constantly making hypothesis and conclusions, because the viewer isn’t simply trying to understand and create fabula, they are more likely trying to figure out how the seperate anecdotes will come together in the end.

Altogether, I’m not exactly sure what approach I would take on the paper.  I would probably do a fair amount of research first and then see exactly how the show relates with the material learned from the class.  But I do think that Seinfeld is an interesting show that offers a different perspective on narration that could be very worthwhile to analyze.

1 thought on “Another Possible Paper Topic

  1. Jason Mittell

    This is a great idea – Seinfeld has a lot of narrative innovations that are worth exploring. See this article on the show’s narrative structure for some additional ideas. It might also be useful to focus on a particular arc or season-long plotline (like the creation of their TV pilot) to see how the macro structure works compared to the individual episode. Good luck!

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