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Download Beautiful TV: The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal by Greg M. Smith PDF

By Greg M. Smith

In the course of its five-year run from 1997 to 2002, the preferred television exhibit "Ally McBeal" engaged audience in debates over what it potential to be a lady or a guy within the smooth office; how romance components into the healing knowing of relationships; what price eccentricity has and what sort of oddity society should still tolerate; and, what application fable has within the pragmatic international. as well as those social matters, besides the fact that, "Ally McBeal" stood out for being well-constructed, narratively advanced, and stylistically wealthy - briefly, attractive television. ranging from the basis that a lot of tv this day is 'drop-dead stunning' and that television will be studied for its formal features in addition to its social impression, Greg M. Smith analyzes "Ally McBeal" by way of its aesthetic rules and narrative construction.He explores how 'Ally's' cutting edge use of tune, lighting tricks, delusion sequences, voiceovers, and flashbacks constructions a particular fictional universe, whereas it additionally opens up new probabilities for televisual expression. Smith additionally discusses the complicated narrative thoughts that 'Ally's' writer David E. Kelley used to increase a long-running storyline and exhibits how those serial narrative practices will help us comprehend quite a lot of prime-time television serials. through taking heavily the paintings and argument of "Ally McBeal", "Beautiful television" conclusively demonstrates that aesthetic and narrative research is an vital key for unlocking the richness of latest tv.

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Additional resources for Beautiful TV: The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal

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Smith song without actually serenading his intended. Although such pickup lines are not always persuasive,7 they show that in moments when Ally characters try to sway others they resort to musical idioms. By using only the lyrics in his pickup attempt, Richard reminds us that pop music sets words in rhythm. Lyrics thus are not far from the rhythms of everyday speech, and Ally McBeal emphasizes the continuities between speaking and singing. When John lies about his history as a rock-and-roll singer to impress a woman, Richard suggests a mode of performance that he might be able to get away with: “If it’s rock and roll, what’s the problem?

The moment where people burst into song in a musical jeopardizes the world the film has established through dialogue, and so as the musical form evolved, it worked to minimize the difference between everyday action and showcased performance. A primary solution for this problem was the increasing importance of what Rick Altman calls the “show musical,” a film built around the performance of a musical-within-the-musical (a stage show, a cabaret). It is easier to believe that professional singers and dancers burst into music when they are offstage (Singin’ in the Rain, Band Wagon) than it is for ordinary folks.

As she stands in a crowd at a traffic light, her shoulder begins to bob. 69 Ally McBeal violates the division between diegetic and nondiegetic music by toying with the fantasy that through their own actions characters can control the nondiegetic music we the audience hear. The magic of the music in Ally McBeal lies in its refusal to separate the sound track of the series from the sound track of the characters’ lives. Music can be utilitarian in part because it can move from external stimulus to internal sound track and back.

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