The image of the condition of the contemporary man and society in the new generation of television series Cover Image

Obraz kondycji współczesnego człowieka i społeczeństwa w nowej generacji seriali telewizyjnych
The image of the condition of the contemporary man and society in the new generation of television series

Author(s): Krzysztof Arcimowicz
Subject(s): Present Times (2010 - today), Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku
Keywords: new generation of television series; discursive strategies; values; human; society;

Summary/Abstract: This article offers an analysis of the following TV series: Six Feet Under, House M.D., Dexter, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Fargo, Better Call Saul. These 21st century productions are known as “new generation TV series”, “neo TV series” or “post soaps”. This genre, even though it has originated from older television forms, in most cases has now very little in common with them. For my research I used the discourse-historical approach in the critical discourse analysis. The main aim of the analysis was to describe discourse strategies which are most commonly used to present the condition of a contemporary man and society. The analysis led to several conclusions. Discourse strategies which are most vivid in post soaps concern ethical relativism. Their creators engage in a play with the audience – by showing the dilemmas of their (anti-)heroes they force the viewers to reflect on their moral choices. Post soaps show men with their vices and stress how fragile is their mental structure. Unlike traditional TV series which were axiologically “safe”, post soaps could be described as “wishy-washy” or “unsafe” in this respect. The picture of human condition drawn in post soaps is full of pessimism and even though it is only partially true, it resembles postmodern reality much more than the one presented in traditional television series. As far as producers and broadcasters are concerned, still the most important criteria that allow to evaluate the success of a production are audience ratings and economic balance. New generation television series, however, prove that this genre does not have to be cliched, unambitious, full of banal didacticism or to avoid sensitive social issues to earn the recognition in the eyes of both ordinary viewers and experts.

  • Issue Year: 2/2016
  • Issue No: XXVIII
  • Page Range: 159-184
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Polish