- Television and Crime (Film S-435)
- Television Situation Comedy (Film S-439)
- Yale Writers' Conference Screenwriting June 12-22, 2012
TELEVISION & CRIME (FILM S-435)
YALE UNIVERSITY SUMMER FILM INSTITUTE 2012
June 4-July 6
Examines crime drama (Law & Order, CSI, The Wire), reality tv (Cops), crime news, crime networks (Court TV/truTV), and crime documentaries. We analyze how the news media, community, law enforcement, criminals, and progressive and conservative pundits shape our understanding of criminality, law enforcement, violence, due process and judicial responsibility as well as race, class, gender, and sexuality.
Guided investigation of the intertextual nature of American television and American crime culture with guest practitioners writer/producer Richard Price (The Wire) on June 10th and writer/producer Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Streets & HBO's Oz) on June 19th. Overview of the evolution of crime television from the perspective of the writer, producer, filmmaker, including perspective of the instructor who has written for crime dramas including Law & Order, crime news (Dateline NBC), and written about major crimes for New York Magazine and in her Edgar-nominated book, "Are You There Alone?:" The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates.
Exploration of current social and educational issues including the increased number of college students studying forensic science in response to series like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
- Understanding the past, current and potential future impact of video technology on the public, politics, law enforcement officials, the judiciary, criminals, progressive and conservative pundits, news media, entertainment, and industry.
- Ability to analyze the powerful influence this popular art form has had and continues to have on American and worldwide culture.
- Comprehension of how American criminal culture has changed portrayals of life on television; and how these portrayals, in turn, change television content.
TELEVISION SITUATION COMEDY (FILM S-439)
YALE UNIVERSITY SUMMER FILM INSTITUTE 2012
July 9-August 10
This course is an historical analysis of the Sitcom genre from its beginnings in the late 1940s to the present. We study the genre to see how Sitcoms influenced American life and how American life, in turn, influenced Sitcoms. We come to understand the evolution of the Sitcom as an enormously powerful and popular art form. In understanding the history and critical study of mass entertainment, and the transformation from radio to television, we begin to consider the future of the genre in the explosion of new technology.
Early on, Sitcoms focused on the working class, African Americans, women (working both inside and outside the home), and ethnicity. Post-World War II, Sitcoms portrayed an idealized family life with stereotypical family roles and maturation plots. Concurrent with the Viet Nam war, Producer Norman Lear's Sitcoms revolutionized the genre. The Sitcom turned from the "idealized family" to the "dysfunctional family." Television families used real words - formerly reserved for the privacy of the American home. Feminism moved onto the screen as did more realistic portrayals of minorities. As we progress, anti-family satires (including animated Sitcoms like the Simpsons) appear, as well as Sitcoms about single life - straight and gay. Finally, a new kind of "family" Sitcom emerges - a family of friends suspended between their suburban upbringings and their seemingly inevitable date with making biological families of their own: Seinfeld, Friends, Sex & the City, Entourage, to name some we will study along with the "Sitcom verite" of The Office and the Internet break through of Quarterlife.
- To understand the Sitcom genre.
- To understand the powerful influence this popular art form has had and continues to have on American and worldwide culture.
- To understand the technological revolution that took place from 1946 to the present.
- To understand the way American life changed portrayals of life on television.
- To understand the ways this mass medium influenced the perception of family life - of men, women, people of color, war, feminism, and both straight and gay single life.
- To discuss intelligently, and with historical perspective, the discipline of media and communications studies.
- With a firm grasp of history, to imagine the future of the genre and the future of its disciplined analysis.