Television

After reading about the difficult parameters that are involved with creating a narrative, I find the work that is done with television to be particularly impressive. Granted literary work has to be extremely descriptive or talk in depth about a particular aspect of the narrative to highlight its significance, and film has to visually stimulate its audence because what isn’t shown or talked about is not important, but I feel like television has to combine both the former and the later elements into its mode of production while still conforming to strict time and life demands. For instance, in the Mittell reading he discusses how Jennifer Garner had to take time off from Alias to have a baby, and John Spencer suddenly died while a cast member of the West Wing. Writers have to restructure these shows so the arcs and narrative match the overall genre expectations. Good shows use both focalization and cognitive schemata to make the audience believe the new material and enjoy their narrative, whether it is episodic or serial. This becomes even more impressive when you read about how the writers of Lost (pg. 167) use cognitive schemata (the eye) and focalization to provide both a flashback to the story and transition into an important place of the diegetic present; the man is in a secret hatch. Also, television is trying to entertain their audience on a weekly basis for either 22 or 45 minutes, depending on the length of the show and commercials. While literary work and films don’t neccessarily have as strict of a time limit (film is about 2 hours), rather, the work is finished at the artist’s desire.   

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