Narrative

Jason Mittell's picture

Complex TV has arrived!

Jason Mittell's picture

True Disappointment

Like many HBO viewers, I was excited for last night’s finale of True Detective. I found much of the season compelling and captivating television, creating a stylized sense of place, a foreboding mystery, innovative narrative techniques, and two engaging characters played by masterful screen actors. I am enthusiastic about the hybrid form of the serial anthology, with short seasons each telling a stand-alone story under a shared creative banner. However, nine hours before the finale aired, I tweeted the following: ... read more »

Pedro Ponce's picture

The Flat, The Round, the Digital: Aspects of the New Fictional Character

            Character is arguably fundamental to how and why we read fictional narrative. We sympathize with certain fictional characters and vilify others. We learn more about ourselves to the extent that characters resemble us; we escape our emotional, physical, and historical limitations by living lives nothing like our own. We read for character at least as much as we read for plot. ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

Gravity and the Power of Narrative Limits

I saw Gravity this weekend, and like many viewers and critics, I loved it. And as a sign of that enjoyment, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. As I always do when I encounter a piece of culture that I love, I’ve been reading about it, looking for critics who can explore some of the ideas I’ve been obsessing about. The review that best captures my feeling about it is Matt Zoller Seitz’s piece, highlighting the juxtaposition of grandiose visual splendor and simple narrative intimacy. ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

How to Watch Television: Phineas and Ferb

HtWTVI am quite excited to announce the publication of my latest book, How to Watch Television. Of course, in this instance, “my” should really be “our,” as the book was edited by me and my friend Ethan Thompson, and features 40 essays by an all-star line-up of media scholars young and old, familiar faces and new names. ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

Breaking Toward the End

I’m sure most readers of this blog know full well that Breaking Bad returns for its final run of episodes this Sunday. My excitement and anticipation for the new season can hardly be contained – although technically the final eight episodes are the continuation of the fifth season (for contractual/economic reasons), given that it’s been almost a full year since the last new episode aired, this definitely feels like & is being hyped as the final season. ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

Complex TV: Ends

I am filled with joy, relief, and many other emotions in posting the link to the final chapter of Complex TV. Not accidentally, the chapter is called Ends, and it focuses on conclusions, as well as serving as one for the book. Here’s the abstract: ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

The Ends of Serial Criticism

As I mentioned in my previous post, my first stop on my return trip to Germany was to give the keynote address at the Popular Seriality Conference in my old hometown of Göttingen. ... read more »

Jason Mittell's picture

Complex TV: Serial Melodrama

Jason Mittell's picture

Haunted by Seriality: The Formal Uncanny of Mulholland Drive

In my 18 years in academia, I’ve never been to the MLA convention – until now. For those who don’t know, the Modern Language Association is the largest humanities organization, and their annual convention is an iconic event, known as a massive academic job meat market and an object of mockery in the press for dense theoretical jargon. ... read more »