Levine/Newman Questions

1. Levine (2008) argues that television “liveness” (its ability to transmit events as they occur) has been considered one of the most legitimate qualities of the medium since its original “Golden Age.” Likewise, in chapter 6, Levine and Newman demonstrate that the popular press discourse surrounding high-def television often focused on how the visual capabilities of these new TV’s would “offer direct access to a world of vivid and detailed images…” (6). These assessments, in other words, speak to a particular notion of the popular imagination that television offers viewers a “window” into the world; a notion that is assumed to be a positive, if not the ideal, function of TV. It has also been increasingly referenced with regards to 3D TV, which apparently now offers viewers a chance to “exist” within the diegetic worlds. When, if at all, does the window offer a view that is too real for viewers? Is there a foreseeable limit in viewers’ appreciation of television’s ability to project the real? Also, with the advent of 3D TV, has the window metaphor ceased to adequately describe peoples’ experiences with, and the function of, television, considering that 3D makes viewers believe they are “on the other side of the window” and witnessing events as they happen?
2. The observable trends throughout all of this week’s readings is that television has been legitimated in cultural discourse in several related but disparate ways. One such way is that television has often been compared to the arts, movies, and the theater-kinds of culture all viewed as of high quality and status. This is true at least of certain forms, functions, and features of television which have been explicitly associated with those types of “high culture” as to distinguish them from “regular TV.” At the same time as television’s status has been increased in discourse, however, I wonder whether the other types of culture, such as film, have had a decrease in their cultural status? That is, if television has garnered respect from its recent associations with film, has film lost some of its “credibility” in American culture? Has the rise in TV’s status negatively affected culture’s view of film? Or, perhaps, has the recent progression in the technological capabilities of television, as well as the progression in the way stories are told, garnered so much attraction and positive appraisals because movies now heavily (excessively?) rely on technological advancements in producing and editing films and routinely recycled the stories they tell and the manners in which they tell them?


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