cover of book
 

Second Lives: Black-Market Melodramas and the Reinvention of Television
by Michael Szalay
University of Chicago Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-226-82048-4 | Paper: 978-0-226-82480-2 | eISBN: 978-0-226-82479-6
Library of Congress Classification PN1992.3.U5S93 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.450973

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A history of prestige television through the rise of the “black-market melodrama.”
 
In Second Lives, Michael Szalay defines a new television genre that has driven the breathtaking ascent of TV as a cultural force over the last two decades: the black-market melodrama. Exemplified by the likes of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, the genre moves between a family’s everyday life and its secret second life, which may involve illegal business, espionage, or even an alternate reality. Second lives allow characters (and audiences) to escape what feels like endless work into a revanchist vision of the white middle class family. But there is for this grimly resigned genre no meaningful way back to the Fordist family wage for which it longs. In fact, Szalay argues, black-market melodramas lament the very economic transformations that untethered TV viewing from the daily rhythms of the nine-to-five job and led, ultimately, to prestige TV.
Nearby on shelf for Literature (General) / Drama / Broadcasting: