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Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure

Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure
Helen Wheatley

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Description

In terms of visual impact, television has often been regarded as inferior to cinema. It has been characterised as sound-led and consumed by a distracted audience. Today, it is tempting to see the rise of HD television as ushering in a new era of spectacular television. Yet since its earliest days, the medium has been epitomised by spectacle and offered its viewers diverse forms of visual pleasure. Looking at the early promotion of television and the launch of colour broadcasting, Spectacular Television traces a history of television as spectacular attraction, from its launch to the contemporary age of surround sound, digital effects and HD screens. In focusing on the spectacle of nature, landscape, and even our own bodies on television via explorations of popular television dramas, documentary series and factual entertainment, and ambitious natural history television, Helen Wheatley answers the questions: what is televisual pleasure, and how has television defined its own brand of spectacular aesthetics?

Author Info

Helen Wheatley is Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. She is the editor of Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography (I.B.Tauris, 2007), co-editor of Television for Women: New Directions (2016) and author of Gothic Television (2006). Her research focuses on television history and aesthetics.

Review

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 BAFTSS AWARD

‘At last a book that really understands the “vision” part of television, and television studies. Helen Wheatley here rediscovers responses to the wide range of visual delights – and shocks! – that the medium has offered since its inception, highlighting television’s “spectacularity” through careful analyses.’
Professor John Ellis, Royal Holloway, University of London 

‘Helen Wheatley’s innovative Spectacular Television exposes our contemporary oversight of the significance of television’s visual strategies. Through a series of compelling case studies, and a fascinating history of television as technology, she demonstrates how television – the apparent ‘poor relation’ of cinema in terms of spectacle – always enticed and continues to entrance audiences with images that variously provoke curiosity, wonder and disgust.’
Professor Karen Lury, University of Glasgow

‘This superb book is no small accomplishment. Spectacular Television provides a painstaking archaeology of televisual excess as both a formal and industrial practice and places television in dialogue with an array of illuminating approaches. In doing so, Wheatley develops a precedent-setting research model and absolute must-read for television studies students and scholars everywhere.’
Professor John T. Caldwell, UCLA, USA

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Series: International Library of the Moving Image

Paperback
ISBN: 9781780767376
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 20 bw integrated

Hardback
ISBN: 9781780767369
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 20 bw integrated

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