Epic / everyday

Moments in television

Edited by Sarah Cardwell, Jonathan Bignell and Lucy Fife Donaldson

Epic / everyday
Hardcover +
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526170224
  • Publish Date: May 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526170217
  • Publish Date: May 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    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. Epic / everyday explores the presence within television of the epic and the everyday. It argues that attention to ideas of the epic and notions of the everyday can illuminate television programmes in new ways.

    The book explores an eclectic range of TV fictions, including Game of Thrones, Lost and Dr Who. 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.


    'In this addition to the "Moments in Television" series from Manchester University Press, the authors of this essay collection employ varying definitions of "epic" (e.g., the hero's journey, grandeur, a sweeping narrative) and "everyday" (e.g., omnipresence of television in everyday life, representations of everyday life) to compare and contrast how the concepts play out in a number of television texts. For example, the chapter on Lost contrasts mundane tasks like laundry with an overarching epic narrative that includes a monster, the afterlife, and time travel. In the chapter on Columbo, the central question of life and death serves as the epic canvas, but the detective uses the disruption of daily routine, like a misplaced bath towel, to uncover the murderer. Other texts explored in these essays include Game of Thrones, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Who, The Detectorists, and The Americans.'
    (Reprinted with permission from Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association.)


    Introduction: epic/everyday - Sarah Cardwell
    1 Configurations of man, monster and hero in The Incredible Hulk - James C. Taylor
    2 Game of Thrones' Epic 9s: a series of epic moments intertwined with the everyday - Louise Coopey
    3 'I felt the touch of the kings and the breath of the wind': making the everyday epic in Detectorists - Phil Wickham
    4 From the everyday to the epic and back: 'foreground' and 'background' in Community- Timotheus Vermeulen
    5 The epic in the everyday: television and Doctor Who, 'The Chase' - Jonathan Bignell
    6 Storms and teacups: Russell T. Davies, the epic and the everyday - James Walters
    7 Spies with ties: the marital logic of the Cold War in The Americans- Courtney Hopf and Liam Creighton
    8 Columbo: in touch with the ordinary -Alex Clayton and Sarah Moore
    9 Lost in the everyday - Zoë Shacklock


    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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