Substance / style

Moments in television

Edited by Sarah Cardwell, Jonathan Bignell and Lucy Fife Donaldson

Substance / style


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4878-0
  • Pages: 258
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: April 2022
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Genres / Drama, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, The arts / Television production: technical & background skills, Film and Media, Television Studies, Television, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Direction & Production, Television Scripts & Screenplays, The arts / Television
  • 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. Substance / styleoffers fresh perspectives on television's essential qualities and aesthetic significance. It reassesses the synergy between substance and style, highlighting the potential for meaning to arise through their integration. The book's chosen programmes are persuasively illuminated 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: substance/style - Lucy Fife Donaldson, Sarah Cardwell and Jonathan Bignell
1 Layers of style: design and embodiment in The Americans - Lucy Fife Donaldson
2 New uniforms! Costume and the 1950s/60s in Call the Midwife - Josette Wolthuis
3 When style is substance and beyond: Les Revenants as metaphysical drama - Alberto N. García
4 Representing mediated identity and consciousness in The Good Wife - Ariane Hudelet
5 Performing laughter in Friends- Gary Cassidy
6 'You're what's wrong with America, Simpson': style, appreciation and the temporally prolonged problem of The Simpsons- Michael Clark
7 Resurrection, revelation, reception: rescuing John From Cincinnati from the HBO narrative - Robert Watts
8 Police Squad! The Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker style versus the substance of early 1980s television - Emilio Audissino
9 Grand designs: television, style and substance in The Time Tunnel - Jonathan Bignell


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

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