Complex Serial Drama and Multiplatform Television

Trisha Dunleavy

November 22, 2017 by Routledge
Reference - 194 Pages
ISBN 9781138927759 - CAT# Y203102


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-Includes a drama bibliography and selected videography of key series for further research and discussion, along with a list of suggested clips for instructors to use in the classroom.

-Key series featured as case studies (Mad Men, Dexter, Game of Thrones) will be familiar and engaging to students.

-Provides a short, jargon-free, readable introduction appropriate for courses in the growing field of television studies.


This book examines the creative strategies, narrative characteristics, industrial practices and stylistic tendencies of complex serial drama. Exemplified by shows like HBO’s The Sopranos, AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Showtime’s Dexter, and Netflix’s Stranger Things, complex serials are distinguished by their conceptual originality, narrative complexity, transgressive lead characters and serial allure. As a drama form that continues to expand and diversify in today’s television, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale provide further examples. Dunleavy investigates the strategies that underpin the innovations, influence and success of complex serial drama, giving students and scholars a nuanced understanding of this contemporary TV form.


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