Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Television Responds to Tragedy: "Ceuf" part 2

Earlier, I posted about how I was intrigued by Hannibal's creative/marketing decision about their episode "Ceuf" in light of the Boston marathon bombing (you can read about it here). In the weeks that have followed, I've only become more, not less, interested in exploring this topic. So here are some further thoughts:
  • The uncut, unaired, untinkered with episode became available on iTunes 30 April. Which brings me back to my original analysis of airing "Ceuf"' as s webisode- it was marketing, not any real feeling that led to this decision. I doubt that the episode, or people's impressions of it, would have changed so much in 15 days.
  • Which leads me to another question (always in the back of my mind) did Bryan Fuller make this decision, or NBC? In  world of corporation as author, this also seems an interesting question
  • What is the impact of viewing both the "cannibalized" webisode and the unedited episode? What statements/analysis can we make about the differences? Especially if those differences are NOT solely based on "objectionable" material that was pulled because of the Boston marathon?
I've been trying to find research that I could use to deconstruct this episode/action/choice and a couple of things:
  • While there are some articles about 9/11 in the media, or how media responded, there is little I've found about analyzing these marketing/storytelling decisions influence HOW the story is viewed
  • I've also found little about how television responds to events like this
  • There's also little about how television shows' reactions to these events affect storytelling
  • The closest sources I've come to have been psychology texts that deal with how people deal with trauma. There were actually some interesting things here that could transfer to television audiences/ media work- such as people tend to form communities after tragedies, experience violence differently. I wonder how social media relates to audiences forming communities?
  • How can social behaviors after experiencing a trauma be mimicked by/used for storytelling?

The trap here is that there's a lot to explore: community vs. audience, how technology influences storytelling, corporation as author or corporate policy dictating storytelling, trauma studies.

My interest/focus narrows down to this:
What does a television show's reaction to a tragedy tell us about the show, and ourselves?
  • What "story" is told, both by the webisode "Ceuf" and the original episode?
  • What can we discern about the differences and the significances of these differences?
  • What authorial voice decided on the direction of this story? Corporation in the form of NB or creative team headed by Bryan Fuller? If the answer is NBC, what is the implication of corporation as author?
  • What was gained by the show's response(s)/reaction to the Boston Marathon?
  • What trends could we predict in storytelling and/or shows responding to these types of traumas/tragedies?

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