The new England code : controlling female agency in contemporary American tv drama
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In an attempt to contextualize the DC observations, the overarching super-genre of melo-drama has been given particular attention. The relevance of melodrama is evident as the main ‘corpus’ of the survey, Cold Case, embodies a range of melodramatic traits. Furthermore, as will be seen in Chapters 1 and 3 particularly, melodramatic and Puritan value sets tend to overlap, especially in the attitude towards family. All chapters include analyses of individual Cold Case episodes, and each analysis comes with a description of scenes within the episode written in a slightly more subjective language. This has been done in order to provide the reader with an opportunity to assess the author’s subjective experience of each episode, which has bearing on the analysis. Chapter 1 introduces Cold Case, evaluating the show in terms of melodramatic content, comparing traits; drawing further comparisons between the show’s main character Lily Rush and the heroines of classical melodrama. Puritan attitudes towards sex and New England legislation are given a brief examination. In Chapter 2 the results of the survey are analyzed to determine whether the DC can be corroborated statistically, as well as presenting a few of the premises for the data collection. Chapter 3 examines the Victorian and Modern ‘fallen woman’ narratives, the former bearing close resemblance to the observations leading up to this thesis, entertaining a ‘death correspondence’ of its own. Chapter 3 also incorporates a discussion of values as they seem to be expressed through the DC, and a comparison between the early American ‘execution narrative’ and the way some DC occurrences in Cold Case are structured. Finally, Chapter 4 looks at the values expressed in the first American written code for upholding ‘decency’ in the movies, compounding it with examinations of how the DC relate to sex professionals and gay persons.
Masteroppgave i engelsk - Universitetet i Agder 2008