In one of the longer chapters in the anthology Jason Mittell examines the nature of anti-heroes in contemporary American television serials and questions the reasons behind audience engagement and allegiance to such morally-ambiguous characters, tracking the complex ways in which the protagonists of (2008-2013) are constructed.
Mittell has published some of the most valuable scholarly work on American television in recent years, and here too one can see the breadth of knowledge and insight he can bring to the analysis of narrative and emotional strategies employed by television producers.
Smith, is a welcome contribution to this important scholarly debate.
In this new era of ‘radically reconfigured mediascape’, the editors argue, ‘the field of media studies and the subfield of media narratology can only progress by fully embracing transmedial and transnational perspectives’ (p. The sensitivity toward the transmedial and the transnational is reflected in the variety of case studies offered within the anthology.
The next chapter penned by Claudio Pires Franco examines the little known , subsequently adapted to other media forms such as a BBC animated cartoon series and a browser-based game by the British studio Dubit.
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Franco also transcends a standardised account of textual analysis and engages with adaptation studies in suggesting ‘transmedial ’ to be a more productive model, as opposed to fidelity (p. Franco’s analysis is not only based on the textual differences and similarities between the book, the cartoon, and the game, but also depends on extratextual data gathered from the franchise’s production team and their documents.
However, Smith also suggests that ‘this cross-cultural remake should be understood as an indicator of certain symptomatic tendencies of the two industries’ narrational modes rather than in terms of essentialised cultural differences’ (p. Judging from Smith’s descriptions of vast alterations made by the producers of apart from fragments of story elements and situations that directly cite (or plagiarise) the source text.
In other words, Smith’s evidence directly supports the idea that producers ‘Indianised’ the source text by strictly adopting their traditional storytelling conventions and went as far as to eliminate the only remaining unique aspect of their source, which does not necessarily render the process ‘simple’ or ‘essentialising’ but at the very least demonstrates the unidirectional course of this ‘cross-cultural’ exchange.
‘Bollywood remakes should not be seen as resulting from a simple process of “Indianisation”’ (p.
118), writes Smith, and indeed he provides evidence from the ways in which the complex narrative structure in was adapted into local storytelling customs: by normalising the film’s linear structure (which obliterates the source text’s trademark reverse-chronology), adding song numbers, and increasing emotional intensity through the exaggeration of a background love story.