Serial communities: The dynamics between individual and collective identity in Orange Is the New Black | Intellect Skip to content
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Histories and New Directions: Soap Opera/Serial Narrative Research
  • ISSN: 2046-9861
  • E-ISSN: 2046-987X

Abstract

The influence of soap operas on other forms of television narrative has long been remarked upon by television scholars, especially with regards to the increasing tendency towards serialized plotlines that contemporary dramas have exhibited over the last three decades. Nonetheless, the full impact of the soap opera form on the structural principles of ongoing television narratives is yet to be explored. A crucial part of this lineage is the privileged role granted to communities in soaps, a narrative strategy that has been embraced by an array of other types of serialized programming, including ‘premium’ dramas. Drawing on Christine Geraghty’s writing on soap operas’ construction of community, this article will examine how this storytelling strategy is reworked by contemporary ‘premium’ programmes. Using (2013–19) as a case study, I will explore how the patterns of interplay between the individual and the group can shape both the form and diegesis of a programme. I will analyse how gradually shifts from being structured around a single protagonist to being structured around the community as a whole, demonstrating that the tension between individual and collective identities can be a productive force that proliferates and expands the narrative of a programme.

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/content/journals/10.1386/jptv_00076_1
2022-06-01
2024-04-14
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