From the extraordinary to the everyday: Discourses on American quality serial television in Sweden’s leading newspapers and the breakthrough of streaming TV

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Sammanfattning

This essay explores discourses on American quality serial television in Sweden’s leading newspapers, and how a gradual discursive repositioning of quality TV – from the extraordinary to the everyday – is linked to Swedish television’s transition into a screen culture increasingly dominated by commercial streaming services. The analysis of the newspaper material shows that the campaign to legitimate quality serial television as respectable art subsided after 2012, to give way to a wider set of conceptualizations of the program form and its role in Swedish television culture. Although the newspaper press includes a range of perspectives, from celebratory approaches to on-demand culture to concerns over audience atomization and diminishing artistic distinction, it is also possible to discern a more general reversal of terms – from originality to sameness, from scarcity to plentitude, and from distinction to mediocrity – that discursively relocates American quality serial TV from the sphere of extraordinary art to the sphere of everyday commercial mass culture. This discursive shift reflects a redefined field for cultural criticism, but also reads as an index of a transformation of television culture in Sweden in the wake of the breakthrough of commercial streaming around 2012.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftNew Review of Film and Television Studies
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 maj 12

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Filmvetenskap

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