With, On and Around American TV Series. D. Babel
Why do some TV series become so popular? Is it in the way Game of Thrones is scripted? Sheldon Cooper characterized? Friends Shot? A series marketed? Do you think it is all in the pilot? Does the plot play a major part in How I Met your Mother?
Whether you are a series enthusiast or just curious, this class will provide you with the opportunity to both ask yourself relevant questions about seemingly innocuous yet omnipresent - everyday - cultural elements, and expand your vocabulary in the most pleasant way. It will explore the humorous aspects of sitcoms, but also the ideology/-ies at work, the evolution of a show season after season, whether representations are impacted by or impact society, through the study of the opposition for instance between popularity and progressivity, fiction and reality or cultural representations and caricatures.
“How desperate can housewives be? How are elite scientists portrayed in The Big Bang Theory? Republicans in American Dad? LGBT people in Friends? How many women in Two and a Half Men? Has the majority become a minority in Modern Family? Is there a relation between graphic violence and the depiction of the character with a form of Dwarfism (Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Hayden Dinklage) in Game of Thrones?” are examples of questions students can ask themselves and that will lead to oral presentations, debates & discussions in class where communications skills will be sharpened thanks to regular participation.
The approach will be multidisciplinary (esthetic, political, cultural, economic) and discussion-oriented. The class will focus mainly on sitcoms, but not exclusively. At home, students will watch TV series episodes, prepare individual and group oral presentations and complete writing tasks; they will equally be encouraged to read about particular elements of context (whether political, cultural etc.) so as to put shows into perspective. And of course, what better way than TV series to become more and more familiar with everyday English and improve your fluency?
VIP, Anger Management, Happy Endings, Cougar Town, Community, but also Dexter, Glee, Revenge, Once upon a Time, The Simpsons, Futurama, 30 Rock … are further examples of shows students could want to explore and present.