TV Structure (Discussion)

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  1. Flow
    • Who originally articulated it? What does it mean when applied to "linear" TV? (See the programming grid on p. 12.)
    • How does "nonlinear" TV encourage flow?
  2. Polysemy and TV programs as "texts"
    • "poly-semy" = "many meanings"
    • Sort of rhymes with "polygamy"
    • What does "structured polysemy" mean?
  3. Discourse
    • How does theorist John Fiske use the term?
      • "a language or system of representation that has developed socially in order to make and circulate a coherent set of meanings about an important topic area. These meanings serve the interests of that section of society within which the discourse originates.

Application to Schitt's Creek and The Andy Griffith Show

  1. Schitt's Creek: fish-out-of-water trope. Similar shows?
    • How are rich people represented? What set of values (discourse) are attached to them? How are small-town people represented? What discourse is attached to them?
    • We can see polysemy in action in Schitt's Creek and The Andy Griffith Show.


  1. Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture (New York: Routledge, 2018).