This innovative and timely collection offers a wide-reaching critical evaluation of performance in television, mapping out key conventions, practices and concerns while introducing performance theory and criticism to the established field of television studies. Chapters from leading scholars move through a range of examples from different styles and genres, from Game of Thrones to America's Next Top Model. Individual performances are analysed in close detail as the authors debate central questions of meaning, value and achievement.
Opening out new pathways for inquiry and investigation, this book is an important touchstone for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Television, Media and Theatre Studies with an interest in the work of actors and non-actors on screen.
Lucy Fife Donaldson is Senior Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews, UK, and her research focuses on the materiality of style and the body in popular film and television. She is the author of Texture in Film (Palgrave Macmillan: 2014), and a member of the Editorial Board of Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism.
James Walters is Reader in Film and Television Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. His books include Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema (2008), Fantasy Film (2011), Film Moments (2010) and the BFI Television ClassicThe Thick of It (2016).
Critical Introduction, Lucy Fife Donaldson & James Walters.- Section One: Performance and television form.- 1. In small packages: Particularities of performance in dramatic episodic series, Sarah Cardwell.- 2. The performing lives of things: Animals, puppets, models and effects, Jonathan Bignell.- 3.The enduring act: Performance and achievement in long television, James Walters.- 4. Faces of allegiance in Homeland: Performance and the provisional in serial television drama, Elliott Logan.- Section Two: Television performance and collaboration.- 5. Approaching performance in contemporary Coronation Street (1960-), James Zborowski.- 6. Don't Curb Your Enthusiasm: visible bonhomie and the ontology of improvisational comedy,Tom Brown.- 7. Tears, Tantrums and Television Performance, Amy Holdsworth and Karen Lury.- 8. Comedy, performance and the panel show, Alex Clayton.- Section Three: The television performer.- 9. An actor diversifies: A diachronic examination of the work and career of Tony Curran, Gary Cassidy and Simone Knox.- 10. The same, but different: adjustment and accumulation in television performance, Lucy Fife Donaldson.- 11. Analyzing Aniston: Tonal complexity and the non-comedic approaches to sitcom performance, Lydia Buckingham.- 12. Soft upper lip - Coach's facial expressions in Friday Night Lights,Timotheus Vermeulen.