Complex TV: Authorship
by Jason Mittell — Middlebury College
May 04, 2012 – 02:44
I’m happy to announce that the next chapter of Complex TV has been posted. It’s focused on Authorship in contemporary serial television, and I think it’s all never-before-published material. I’ve been giving a talk based on this chapter for this spring, and have been really happy with the conversation it provokes – and I do intend the chapter’s conclusion as a provocation in a number of ways. I look forward to reading people’s comments and feedback on the MediaCommons site. Here’s the abstract for the chapter:
Contemporary television has fostered a unique form of creative authorship, establishing the role of “showrunner” within its production contexts. This chapter discusses the technologically-enabled paratexts of podcasts, making-of documentaries, DVD commentaries, Twitter feeds and blogs that have enabled television creators to speak directly to viewers, and how such paratexts have helped constitute a new model of the star showrunner like Buffy’s Joss Whedon, Community’s Dan Harmon, and Lost’s team of Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. In exploring the textual and paratextual presence of showrunners, I consider how viewers rely upon an inferred author function to make sense of contemporary television serials.