Understanding and Deconstructing Television
bit.ly/b301f20

This is an addendum to the full syllabus.

The instructor stipulates that a student's receipt of this addendum shall act as a contract between the instructor and the student. Receipt of this addendum presupposes that a student has read and understands the policies contained here and in the full online syllabus: bit.ly/b301f20s

Please contact the instructor (jbutler@ua.edu) if you have any questions about these policies. Confused about how to address UA professors? Here's a flow chart.

Zoom policies and etiquette are listed over here. The link to our Zoom sessions can be found in Blackboard.

Date During-Class Discussions & Screenings Before-Class Readings, Screenings,
and Illustrations
8/20 Introduction to the Course
Schitt's Creek, "Honeymoon" ep (season 1, episode 10; 2015) Netflix logo click for illustrations
Make a syllabus meme with Frinkiac or another app.
Simpsons meme
 
  Simpsons meme
More Student Memes
Simpsons meme
8/25 TV Structure Screenpedia
The Andy Griffith Show (1966) click for illustrations TV.com logo
Narrative Structure (Classicism)
Screenpedia
Butler, chs. 1, 3 (pp. 24-34) click for illustrations click for illustrations
Recommended, not required:
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Netflix logo
8/27 Hurricane Day
Narrative Structure (Series & Serial)
Screenpedia
The Big Bang Theory (2008) click for illustrations TV.com link
Butler, chs. 2, 3 (pp. 34-51) click for illustrations click for illustrations
Recommended, not required:
Friends (1999) click for illustrations TV.com logo
9/1 Narrative Structure (Series & Serial), Continued Screenpedia  
9/3 Characters, Actors, Stars click for illustrations Screenpedia Butler, ch. 4 click for illustrations
9/8, 10 Beyond and Beside Narrative Screenpedia
Cops (1989-2020), CBS/NBC/Fox news click for illustrations
The Daily Show (1996-)
Storage Wars (2010-)
Who Wants to be a Millionaire (2005)
College Football (2019)
Butler, ch. 5 click for illustrations
Recommended, not required:
Salon on Reality TV (local copy)
Storage Wars, "Concerns About Authenticity"
9/15 The Commercial Screenpedia
Butler, ch. 6 click for illustrations click for illustrations click for illustrations click for illustrations

9/17

Critical Analysis #1 Due 11:59 p.m.
Via TurnItIn on Blackboard
Zoom Office Hours, But No Class Session
 
9/22 Mise-en-Scene Screenpedia
Stranger Things (2016) click for illustrations TV.com logo
Northern Exposure (1990-95) TV.com logo
Butler, chs. 7 and 8 click for illustrations click for illustrations
9/24 Cinematography/Videography Screenpedia click for illustrations click for illustrations
Young Sheldon (2017)
Stranger Things
Butler, ch. 9 click for illustrations
9/29 Editing: Single Camera Mode Screenpedia click for illustrations
Scrubs (2005)
The Sopranos (1999) TV.com logo
Chevrolet ad click for illustrations click for illustrations click for illustrations
Butler, ch. 10 (pp. 257-274) click for illustrations
10/1 Editing: Multiple Camera Mode Screenpedia
Seinfeld (1990-98) click for illustrations click for illustrations click for illustrations TV.com logo
All My Children (1970-2011)
As the World Turns (2008) click for illustrations
Days of Our Lives (2017) click for illustrations click for illustrations
The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-10)
Butler, ch. 10 (pp. 274-280) click for illustrations
10/6 Sound Screenpedia
Exercise: Dodge commercial click for illustrations
Butler, ch. 11 click for illustrations
10/8 Music Television Screenpedia
The Buggles, The Replacements, Alanis Morissette,
Peter Gabriel, Guns N' Roses, Lauryn Hill, Lamp of Memoryclick for illustrations

Recommended, not required: Allan click for illustrations

10/13 Animation click for illustrations Screenpedia
Steamboat Willie (1928), Gerald McBoing-Boing (1951),
Crusader Rabbit (1949-51,'57-69),
The Flintstones (1960-66), The Simpsons (1989-)
Recommended, not required: Butler/Goldmark, "Animated Television" click for illustrations
10/15 Television Studies: An Overview Screenpedia
Screening: Style and Stylistics
The Honeymooners (1955-56)
Scrubs (2001-10)
The Office (US 2005):
Two episodes--US pilot (2005) and "Casino Night" (5/11/2006)
Recommended, not required:
The Office, UK pilot
Office Ladies podcast, "Casino Night", w/Ken Kwapis (2020)
Butler, ch. 12; Butler, Appendix II
10/16
Friday
Critical Analysis #2, Supporting Materials Due 11:59 p.m.
Via TurnItIn on Blackboard
 
10/20 Critical Analysis #2 Due 11:59 p.m.
Via TurnItIn on Blackboard
Zoom Office Hours, But No Class Session
 
10/22 Style and Stylistics Screenpedia
The Mindy Project
(2013) click for illustrations
Butler, ch. 13, pp. 319-323
Butler, Television Style (password: telestylistics)
10/26
Monday, 4:00-5:00
Ken Kwapis online at Blount Convocation
(See Zoom link on Blackboard)
 
10/27 Screening: Genre Study
Martin Kane, Private Eye, first 10 minutes only (1949-54) click for illustrations
Dragnet, entire episode (1951-59, 1967-70, 1989-91, 2003-04) click for illustrations click for illustrations
The Naked City (1948), at least first 30 minutes click for illustrations click for illustrations
 
10/29
5:00-6:00
No Zoom Class Session
Ken Kwapis online at Ernest & Hadley, 5:00 p.m.
Free, but you must register in advance here.
Book cover - But What I Really Want to do is Direct
11/3 GO VOTE TODAY!
Screening: Semiotics
No in-class screening. Watch on your own:
Stranger Things, season 1, episode 2, "The Weirdo on Maple Street" (2016) [[Wikipedia: plot description]]
Fangface
(1980) click for illustrations
 
11/5 Genre Study Screenpedia Butler, ch. 13, pp. 317-328 click for illustrations
Mittell, "Policing Genres"
11/10 Semiotics Screenpedia
The Wonder Years (1991) TV.com logo
Butler, ch. 13, pp. 328-336 click for illustrations
Seiter, "Semiotics, Structuralism..."
11/11 Last day to drop a course with a grade of "W".
Note: changed from original date of 10/28.
 
11/12 Screening: Ideological Criticism and Cultural Studies
(Claire Danes Double Bill!)
My So-Called Life (1994) Logo
Master of None (2015) Netflix logo click for illustrations
Butler, ch. 14, pp. 339-352
11/17 Ideological Criticism, Cultural Studies Screenpedia
Screening: Production Studies
Modern Family (2010) TV.com logo
I Love Lucy
(1952) TV.com logo
Recommended, not required: The Wonder Years (1988) TV.com logo
Mehta, "Master of None: Negotiated Decoding"
11/19 Production Studies Screenpedia
Screening:Discourse & Identity
Designing Women (1991) TV.com logo
Banks, "I Love Lucy: The Writer-Producer"
Sandler, "Modern Family: Product Placement"

Recommended, not required:
Marcus, "The Wonder Years: Televised Nostalgia"
11/24-26 THANKSGIVING WEEK! No Zoom sessions.  
12/1 Discourse & Identity I & II: Gender and Queer Theory Screenpedia
Screening:Discourse & Identity
The Real World (1992)
Justify My Love (1990)
Butler, ch. 14, pp. 352-361 click for illustrations

Recommended, not required: Butler, "Redesigning Discourse: Feminism, the Sitcom and Designing Women."
12/3 Discourse & Identity III: Race and Ethnicity Screenpedia
Screening:Discourse & Identity
Girlfriends (2000) TV.com logo click for illustrations
Smith-Shomade, "Laughing Out Loud"
  Course Summary  
12/10 Final Exam Day, Thursday, 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.  

Reading List

Textbook:

Television coverJeremy G. Butler, Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture, 5th ed. (New York: Routledge, 2018). Online resources.

Additional Readings (Alphabetical Order):

PDFs of the readings are posted on Blackboard Learn.

  • Miranda J. Banks, "I Love Lucy: The Writer-Producer," in Ethan Thompson & Jason Mittell, eds., How to Watch Television first edition (NY: NYU Press, 2013), 244-252
  • Blaine Allan, "Music Television," from the third, out-of-print edition of Television
  • Jeremy G. Butler, "Televisuality and the Resurrection of the Sitcom in the 2000s," in Television Style (NY: Routledge, 2010), 173-222.
  • Jeremy G. Butler and Daniel Goldmark, "Animated Television: The Narrative Cartoon," from the third, out-of-print edition of Television
  • Daniel Marcus, "The Wonder Years: Televised Nostalgia," in Ethan Thompson & Jason Mittell, eds., How to Watch Television first edition (NY: NYU Press, 2013), 223-231.
  • Ritesh Mehta, "Master of None: Negotiated Decoding," in Ethan Thompson & Jason Mittell, eds., How to Watch Television, second edition (NY: NYU Press, 2020), 144-152.
  • Jason Mittell, "Policing Genres," in Genre and Television: From Cop Show to Cartoons in American Culture (NY: Routledge, 2004).
  • Kevin Sandler, "Modern Family: Product Placement", in Ethan Thompson & Jason Mittell, eds., How to Watch Television first edition (NY: NYU Press, 2013), 253-261.
  • Ellen Seiter, "Semiotics, Structuralism and Television," in Robert C. Allen, Channels of Discourse, Reassembled, second edition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992).
  • Beretta E. Smith-Shomade, "Laughing Out Loud: Negras Negotiating Situation Comedy," in Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002), 24-68.
  • Selections from Ethan Thompson & Jason Mittell, How to Watch Television (NY: NYU Press, 2013).

Copyright © 1994-2022 Jeremy G. Butler.
Email contact: jbutler@ua.edu
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Last revised: 01 December 2020 16:28:10

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