a genre show?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Three Rivers Resident
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a genre show?

Post by lizardcub » Aug 7th 2003, 11:28 am

Something I've been mulling over while writing my first fan fic: Is MSCL a straight drama, or a genre show? How much does it conform to or actively subvert elements of genres like the teen drama?

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Marshall Wannabe
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Post by Nostradamus » Aug 7th 2003, 11:59 pm

Good question. Perhaps the key is in how you define a "straight drama". There does seem to be a general consensus that TV programs, books, movies, and other fictional entertainment fall into certain categories like drama, action, mystery, etc. This goes back at least as far as ancient Greece, when plays were either comedies (funny with happy ending) or tragedies (serious with sad ending).

Even within the single category of drama there are, as you suggest, many different genres. My mass-communication text (Media & Culture Third Edition, Richard Campbell) includes police shows (NYPD Blue); medical dramas (ER); science fiction (Star Trek); soap operas (One Life to Live); legal dramas (The Practice); and political drama (The West Wing), among others. There is also the relatively recent (for television) phenomenon of hybrid dramadies such as The Wonder Years and Ally McBeal.

Given that diversity, it is difficult to concieve of a purely dramatic concept. So MSCL is both a straight drama and fills several genres, such as teen, coming-of-age, family, high school, romance, comedy, contemporary-issues, baby-boomer, sometimes-fantasy, and probably others...

...I think. :wink:
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
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