• “Super Style: Notes for a Stylistic Analysis”

    Sérgio Dias Branco (see profile)
    Cultural Studies, Film Studies
    Television, Language and languages--Style
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
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    Taking “Heroes” (2006-10), the popular drama series about a group of ordinary human beings with superhuman abilities, as a case study allows us to expand on these ideas. This chapter aims at contributing to a stylistic analysis of the series without attempting to examine every major stylistic feature of the series in detail. Instead, the scope of this essay is limited to the scrutiny of the links between the imagery of the show and that of films and comic books. Scrutinizing these links is also a way to exemplify the kind of work on television fiction that can issue from the analysis of the style of particular series. Such an approach is not so much interested in the communicational facet of television as in the representational, expressive, formal, and experiential aspects of televisual art works. At the same time, this chapter, which will concentrate on salient visual elements of the show, demonstrates the faults of an essentialist view of television aesthetics, contributing instead to a historically contingent understanding of the nature of television. That is to say, television is seen as a form which is not ontologically different from cinema, but which has a particular history of technical and aesthetic development—a history that is not determined by an essence, but that is rather the product of multiple factors (like technological advancements such as non-linear, digital editing systems) and numerous influences (from cinema and comics, for example). The visual style of Heroes is exemplary from this point of view because it can be considered as “impure”, amassing elements from various art forms and rejecting a purist approach to television as a creative practice. It is this “impurity” that makes the series an illustrative example of how television fiction series, as televisual works, integrate diverse references.
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    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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