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October 2009, Week 1


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Gregory Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 2 Oct 2009 12:12:14 -0400
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If you haven't heard, the complete 5 season run of _Ally McBeal_ will go on sale next week (Oct. 6) in the US.  A region 1 DVD release of this important series has been long delayed because of difficulties in clearing the music rights for the multiple songs included in each episode, but Fox has confirmed that the original music from the series will be included in this disc release.

While I've got your attention, pardon the commercial plug for my book _Beautiful TV:  The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal_ (University of Texas Press).  _Beautiful TV_ uses AMB as a case study to show how a television series can be studied from an aesthetic/narrational perspective.  The book examines the show's distinctive use of special effects, voiceover, music, and fantasy sequences, and it demonstrates how to analyze a long-running television show as serial narration.  I argue for the importance of analyzing an entire serial television text as a beautiful object without necessarily needing to justify the reading in its broader cultural significance.  If you're looking for an example of an aesthetic/narrative analysis of TV written in approachable prose, here it is.  Now that the series is available in the States, this makes _Beautiful TV_ much more useful in the US classroom.

If you're interested in the larger argument (about the importance of aesthetics in TV studies, let me refer you to the book's introduction, which also answers the question many of you may have:  "Why Ally?"  It's available at my website:


Greg Smith

Greg M. Smith
Moving Image Studies Program
Film/Video/Digital Imaging Program
Department of Communication
Georgia State University

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