University of California Narrative Television Structures Essay


PEER REVIEW (2-3 sentences minimum; be descriptive and specific with your feedback–general statements are not productive for peer reviewing)A. What is the main argument (thesis statement) of this paper? Is it clear from the introduction paragraph what this essay will cover? What do you think about their thesis? Is it compelling and why or why not?B. Which parts of the draft are the most clear to you? What are most vague? C. Does the paper answer all parts of the required prompt? Which part(s) can be more elaborated? THE BASICS – check or mark what is present in the current draft. ❏ Includes short synopsis or descriptions introducing the two shows to the reader.❏ Discusses television shows as (2) constructs and makes an argument using (1) critical frame.❏ Refers to specific moments in episodes to illustrate the main point (textual analysis).❏ Utilizes 6 sources (4 academic sources).E. Comment on writing style or organization: What is done well and what are your suggestions for improvement?Additional comments, concerns, praises?

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Zeke Sanchez
Discussion Section A7
Professor Haggins
February 22nd, 2021
Comparative Critical Analysis Rough Draft
Since the creation of television and its integration into the households of millions of
americans within the past couple of decades, entertaining shows and programs have been the
building block that has kept the medium alive and running for so many years. The idea of what
“entertaining television” is very broad in what it can include, as shows such as The Price is Right
and TMZ can be argued to be entertaining in their own right, despite being drastically different in
terms of their structure, the most fondly remembered and widely remembered shows are ones
that have emphasis on plot and story telling. Storytelling As the medium has evolved, there have
been various different ways studios and creators have manipulated narrative structure in order to
gain the attention of viewers and maintain their audience’s interest over a prolonged period of
time. There is no definitive structure to telling a story in television, however as time has
progressed, we have seen that what appeals to early viewers of television and what is appealing
in the modern day greatly differs from one another. Early television shows focused on being
accessible to any viewer, even if they had not previously watched a single episode of the show in
question. This is exemplified through shows like The Twilight Zone, which focused on being an
anthology series, with each episode being its own self-contained story. In contrast to this,
WandaVision has been one continuous story over the span of 7 episodes at the time of writing
this, with only two more episodes until its story is completely finished. Each episode directly
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leads into the next one, making it hard for new viewers to understand the plot of the show
without watching all of the prior episodes. Aside from the difference in narrative structure,
WandaVision has been released on a streaming service rather than a traditional television
channel, which in turn has also played a role in how its story has been laid out over the past
couple of weeks. When contrasting the narrative structures of these two shows, we see how
audience’s interests have shifted television shows towards focusing on a continuous narrative
structures, and how streaming services have made for shows that drip feed their audience so that
their attention is retained over the course of several weeks.
For my second paragraph, I will look at how The Twilight Zone is an anthology show,
and examine a specific episode to prove my point. The episode I want to look at is “The Eye of
the Beholder, from season two of the show. I want to talk about how the story of this episode is
resolved within its runtime, and show how vastly different each episode of the show can be. I
want to compare it to the first episode, which focuses on isolation for the plot of the episode,
though this episode won’t be as thorough with its synopsis, as it is only being mentioned for how
varied the show can be. Ultimately, this paragraph will show how accessible older shows were
with their narrative structure. Because of this accessibility, earlier shows were able to maintain
the interest of audiences with the promise of a new story every week, and if they were not able to
catch a person’s attention with a single episode, there was always the prospect of having a better
episode next week.
For my third paragraph I am going to focus on how the narrative structure of
WandaVision as a whole, since the premise of the show plays into how each episode has its own
distinct era of television it is referencing. I will then mention how though this is a part of a
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previously established series of movies, the show itself can be viewed and understood by
someone who has not seen all of the previous movies. I will go over episode five in specific in a
similar manner to how I did a synopsis of “The eye of the Beholder” in the previous paragraph,
primarily because of how this episode ends. I see this as a good example as to why this kind of
storytelling where each episode directly ties into the next has become the go to when it comes to
creating a modern day television show, as opposed to anthology shows of the past. The end of
the episode is how I transition into my next paragraph since the speculation that was caused by
the ending of that episode plays a role in my next paragraph.
This paragraph is where I talk about how streaming services have played a huge role in
shifting narrative structure in TV shows in this direction. This is where I would mention other
popular shows that have had great success with this formula, such as Stranger Things on netflix,
The Boys on Amazon Prime Video, and The Mandolorian. I would also mention how shows such
as South Park which used to have the former narrative structure has adapted the overarching
narrative per season approach as these other shows to keep up with the trend. The point of
referencing these shows is not to go super in depth into them, but rather to make the point that
some of the most popular shows over the past couple of years have had this same structure, and
streaming services have made that possible. I would also mention how release schedules from
individual streaming services have played a role in determining a show’s narrative structure. I
would mention how all of these shows are written in similar ways with “cliffhanger” or attention
grabbing endings, however there is a clear difference between shows that have this format on
Netflix which have a season released at a time, and something like WandaVision where episodes
are released weekly. Either here or in the previous paragraph (I am not sure where I want to
implement this yet), I want to mention how WandaVision released its first two episodes during its
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first week, rather than just one in order to get the audience hooked on the narrative, while slowly
revealing some of the plot threads and mysteries to come. This ties back into my point about
episode five and how the ending of that episode leads to speculation among fans for a whole week
until the next episode, thus keeping the audience’s attention for the full 8 week run of the show as
opposed to people binging through a whole season of a show within a few days of its release.
For my last paragraph I want to re-emphasize the whole point of the paper. I am making it
clear that my point is that the narrative structure of television shows has evolved from the days of
being accessible at any point in a season as television has grown in popularity. As more people
have gotten accustomed to watching television, that narrative structure has instead been replaced
by a more serialized structure. Because of the influence of streaming services and their ability to
let viewers watch shows at their own pace, many modern shows’ favor this narrative structure.
With this in mind, shows now face the issue of deciding whether they are written in a manner to
be binged watched, or if they are written to keep audiences speculating what is going to happen
with next week’s episode through weekly releases on streaming services.
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Works Cited

Purchase answer to see full

Transition Words

short synopsis

narrative style

Live streaming

Clear topic sentences

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