An on-campus course offered during the Winter or May term. May be offered for .5 course credits or as a co-curricular (0 credit). Counts toward satisfying the Extended Studies requirement.
Winter Term informationSeth Friedman
184A: Binge-Watching Contemporary Prestige TV
Course Time: TBA
'Binge-watching' and 'prestige television' describe recent moving-image media production and reception trends in opposing and interesting ways. On the one hand, the former term demonstrates how audiences are often chastised for purportedly harmful viewing practices. On the other hand, the latter term highlights how creatives are generally hailed for developing episodic programming deemed artistically superior to and more culturally enriching than standard television fare. This course will explore this tension by communally binge-watching a number of 21st century episodic series designed to be perceived as elite. We will examine how prestige television has become a colloquial genre that now pervades virtually all corners of the medium. Consequently, rather than center on homogeneous original programming from venues unequivocally associated with prestige, such as HBO and its primary rivals, we will concentrate on more diverse series from other channels. This emphasis and our unique viewing context will encourage us to interrogate the parameters of the genre and its cultural ramifications. The following shows will be the focus of the course: The Americans; Fringe; How I Met Your Mother; The Knick; Queen of the South; Roswell, New Mexico; Star Trek: Discovery; The Terror; Top of the Lake; The Twilight Zone (2019-20); and more.