Law and Order Special Victims Unit (SVU) is more popular than any other American police procedural television series, but how does its unique focus on sex crimes reflect contemporary popular culture and feminist critique, whilst also recasting the classic crime narrative? All-American TV Crime Drama is the first dedicated study of SVU and its treatment of sexual violence, gender and criminality. The book uses detailed textual and visual analyses of episodes to illuminate the assumptions underpinning the programme. Although SVU engages with issues pertaining to feminism and gender it still relies upon traditional and misogynistic tropes such as false rape charges and the monstrous mother to undermine positive views of the feminine. The show, and its backdrop, New York City thus become a stage on which national concerns about women, gender roles, the family and race are carried out. Moorti and Cuklanz unpack how the show has become a crucible for examining current attitudes towards these issues and include an analysis of its reception by its many fans in over 30 countries.
The police drama has been one of the longest running and most popular genres in American television. In TV Cops, Jonathan Nichols-Pethick argues that, perhaps more than any other genre, the police series in all its manifestations—from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice to The Wire—embodies the full range of the cultural dynamics of television. Exploring the textual, industrial, and social contexts of police shows on American television, this book demonstrates how polices drama play a vital role in the way we understand and engage issues of social order that most of us otherwise experience only in such abstractions as laws and crime statistics. And given the current diffusion and popularity of the form, we might ask a number of questions that deserve serious critical attention: Under what circumstances have stories about the police proliferated in popular culture? What function do these stories serve for both the television industry and its audiences? Why have these stories become so commercially viable for the television industry in particular? How do stories about the police help us understand current social and political debates about crime, about the communities we live in, and about our identities as citizens?
Anchored in fact and sprinkled with anecdotes, this volume chronicles the early years in the development of television drama, prior to the emergence of television networks. Between the years 1928 -- the year of the first television drama -- and 1947 -- the year of the first dramatic anthology series--hundreds of television dramas were produced. Hawes focuses on the administrative, artistic, and technological concerns that arose at the National Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcasting System and other experimental television stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. He also discusses the contribution of television critics, the significance of radio and motion picture industries, and the role of advertising in television drama. ISBN 0-8173-0276-XL $29.95.