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Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145



Regular characters in episodic television series do not change, develop or transform. At least this is the way these characters are commonly understood. In television series, the plot focuses on episodic adventures, and the core cast of characters are seen as fairly rigid actants that facilitate those adventures. These apparently static characters of television series are generally understood in contrast to characters in television serials, who do transform over the course of episodes, seasons and years. This view can be found readily in popular discourse as well as writing manuals and scholarly treatises. But there is more to character change in television series. We can also see how characters in television series do change in different ways, displayed chiefly through character action and plot structure. Three kinds of character change on-screen are identified in this article: experiencing significant life events; expressing intense emotions, and displaying contrasting behaviours. Textual analysis of popular crime dramas and sitcoms demonstrates how characters in television series do change continually.


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