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December 2004, Week 1


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Susan McLeland <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Nov 2004 17:45:17 -0600
text/plain (62 lines)
Perhaps the reason you're having trouble finding these characters is that
you're only looking at leads and continuing characters.  I can think of
dozens of examples where romantic artist-types have been brought in for
guest shots on popular series--particularly comedy series, where their
moodiness and highfalutin rhetoric is inevitably punctured by the "regular
folks" of the recurring cast.  In particular, remember the experimental
filmmaker who was a friend of Rob Petrie's on The Dick Van Dyke Show?  The
faux-Gaugin painter who the castaways found in residence on Gilligan's
Island?  Any number of pretentious art-world denizens who met their
comeuppance on The Beverly Hillbillies?

You might be more likely to find such romantic/byronic/artistic characters
on teen serials (wasn't David on 90210 a musician?) or other soap-y fare
(and I use the term lovingly, not disparagingly) since these characters can
come in, entangle a more stable lead in a destructive affair, and then exit
without significantly changing the structure of an ongoing ensemble.

Susan McLeland

On 11/29/04 2:29 PM, "Jeremy Butler" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm currently working on a revision of the textbook, Television: Critical
> Methods and Applications.  Specifically, I'm revising/enlarging the chapter
> on critical methods.  Although I think the auteur theory has very limited
> application to television, I have a small section discussing it.
> This has led me to thinking about the Romantic, Byronic conception of the
> artist--meaning both painters and poets, novelists, musicians, et al.--as a
> tormented and usually demented individual.  While it's easy to come up with
> dozens of examples of FILMS about such poor souls (e.g., POLLACK, BASQUIAT,
> etc. etc. etc.), I'm struggling to think of a single television series.
> I suppose there's THE MONKEES and FAME.  And LOVE, SIDNEY did cast Tony
> Randall as an artist.  But surely there are better examples than that.
> Or does episodic television not favor the Romantic artist as a stereotype
> the way that the cinema does?
> I have been thinking mostly of U.S. television since that is where the
> textbook is principally distributed, but I'd be curious to hear about any
> instances of television series (and not just one-time documentary-style
> biographies) centered on an artist, author, or musician.
> Thanks.
> Jeremy Butler
> [log in to unmask]
> ========================================================
> Resources for film/TV educators and students:
> Television: Critical Methods and Applications:
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama:

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite