Postmodernism in Arrested Development

In: Film and Music

Submitted By BECKYW
Words 3725
Pages 15
An exploration of postmodernism through textual analysis of Arrested Development.

This essay will consider the postmodernism within the television programme Arrested Development through postmodern theories, postmodernist techiniques and textual analysis. Through historical context, genre conventions, intertextuality and continuity; the essay will investigate the use of pastiche in modern satire. As popular situation comedies fulfil the generic conventions of using multiple cameras, linear narratives, stand alone catchphrases and aspirational ideologies, the essay will deliberate whether post modernism is legitimate in television comedy.
"As Hollywood agents worry about the demise of the town's lowing cash cow, the multi-camera, staged sitcom, here to save the day is Arrested Development, a farce of such blazing wit and originality, that it must surely usher in a new era in comedy."
—Alison Powell, The Guardian (UK), March 12, 2005
Television situation comedy has always appealed to mass market audiences. From ‘The Brady Bunch’(1969 – 1974), which centred on a blended family, perhaps the best-known domestic comedy in US television history to ‘Cheers’(1982 – 1993), the show set in a bar in Boston. Sitcoms usually consist of recurring characters in a common environment such as a home or workplace. Sitcoms provide the audience with iconic moments in television history. The longitivity of this genre of programming allows the audiences to build up relationships with the characters, therefore becoming an active audience by engaging with Blumer and Katz (1974) uses and gratifications theory, as the familiarity allows the audience diversion, social interaction and provides personal identity. The characters also evoke, in the audience, a sense of empathy unlike any other type of television comedy as the viewer experiences the highs and lows of the characters allowing an…...

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