Complexity / simplicity

Moments in television

Edited by Sarah Cardwell, Jonathan Bignell and Lucy Fife Donaldson

Complexity / simplicity


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4875-9
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: May 2022
  • BIC Category: Television, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General, The arts / Television production: technical & background skills, Television Scripts & Screenplays, The arts / Television, Film and Media, Television Studies
  • Series: The Television Series


An exciting new strand in The Television Series, the 'Moments in Television' collections celebrate the power and artistry of television, whilst interrogating key critical concepts in television scholarship.

Each 'Moments' book is organised around a provocative binary theme. Complexity / simplicity addresses the idea of complex TV, examining its potential, limitations and impact upon creative and interpretative practices. It also reassesses simplicity as an alternative criterion for evaluation. Complexity and simplicity persuasively illuminate the book's chosen programmes in new ways.

The book explores an eclectic range of TV fictions, dramatic and comedic. Contributors from diverse perspectives come together to expand and enrich the kind of close analysis most commonly found in television aesthetics. Sustained, detailed programme analyses are sensitively framed within historical, technological, institutional, cultural, creative and art-historical contexts.


Introduction: complexity/simplicity - Sarah Cardwell, Jonathan Bignell and Lucy Fife Donaldson
1 'WTF June?': The Handmaid's Tale and the significance of unexpected choice - Trisha Dunleavy
2 Being Frank? Breaking the 'fourth wall' in Netflix's House of Cards - Christa van Raalte and Maike Helmers
3 'You've got to expect this kind of thing in the priesthood': simplicity and complexity in Father Ted - Karen Quigley
4 Depth in two dimensions: complex/simple moments in Rick and Morty - James Walters
5 Simplicity and complexity in the costuming of Killing Eve - Josette Wolthuis
6 Complexity and clear-sightedness in The Wire - James Zborowski
7 Such schadenfreude: unpacking the political satire in Veep - Michael P. Young
8 Queer adventures in time and space: complicating simplicity in Doctor Who - Benedict Morrison
9 Vanity Fair and the contradictions of colour - Jonathan Bignell
10 The value of simplicity: The Long Wait - Sarah Cardwell


Sarah Cardwell is Honorary Fellow in the School of Arts at the University of Kent
Jonathan Bignell is Professor of Television and Film at the University of Reading
Lucy Fife Donaldson is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews

Complexity / simplicity

Edited by Sarah Cardwell, Jonathan Bignell, Lucy Fife Donaldson

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout