Understanding and Deconstructing Television
Critical Analysis Two: Preparation

The two critical analyses for this course will focus on a TV program you choose. They will require you to apply the analytical principles presented in class and in Television.

In specific, Critical Analysis Two will cover chapters 7-11 in Television—including concepts such as mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound. (The final exam will draw from chapters in Television not covered in the two critical analyses.)


Use the program you analyzed in Critical Analysis One and select a single scene in it. If you wish, you may choose a different episode from that program or even change to a different program. However, it must be a single-camera show and you must email Dr. Butler (jbutler@ua.edu) about the change.

As before, you may not select a program discussed in detail in Television, in class or on the textbook's companion Website—including Schitt's Creek, The Andy Griffith Show, All My Children, Designing Women, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Roseanne, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place.

Prepare the following in word-processed format:

  1. An illustrated decoupage (a shot-by-shot description) of a single scene (6 points). List every shot in your scene and identify what type of framing was used (long shot, medium shot, etc.; see the abbreviations in the textbook). Describe any significant action in the shot, using the characters' (not the actors') names. Include only the most significant dialogue; do not include every line. The illustrations for the decoupage must be made out of frame grabs obtained from your video. In effect, you are creating a storyboard of your scene (as on pp. 264-267).

    You may wish to use this Word document as a template for your decoupage (right-click or control-click it to download).

    For example, the descriptions of a Northern Exposure scene would look like this:
    1. LS exterior of Maggie's house, night.
    2. MLS interior. Maggie makes dinner for Joel.
    3. MCU Maggie talks to Joel about the night before. "Last night you were so different..."
    4. MCU Joel responds.
    5. And so on . . .
  2. A single diagram of the camera positions used in this scene--as in the chapter 10 diagrams and the decoupage of the car commercial we did in class (4 points). Identify which shots are done from which camera positions. Photograph your diagram and upload it with the decoupage, or you may produce it with graphics software, too.

The material above must be turned in by 11:59 p.m., FRIDAY, October 16, 2014, via TurnItIn on Blackboard, and will be worth a total of 10 points.

Remember: Screenpedia.org contains the discussion questions we covered in class. Specific Screenpedia pages are linked to from the BUI 301 Outline of Topics: bit.ly/b301f20.

Copyright © 1994-2024 Jeremy G. Butler.
Email contact: jbutler@ua.edu
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Last revised: 06 October 2020 15:55:29

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