Gothic on the Small Screen

Authored by: Brigid Cherry

The Gothic World

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415637442
eBook ISBN: 9780203490013
Adobe ISBN: 9781135053062

10.4324/9780203490013.ch41

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Abstract

As Helen Wheatley has observed, the Gothic mode on television is one that draws on narrative and aesthetics in order to provide the emotional effects of terror, eliciting in the viewer the thrills and pleasures of a certain “shiver-sensation.” Indeed, the Gothic bears a certain affinity with the medium of television itself, be that in terms of technology and televisuality, or through the definitive domesticity of its location: Wheatley calls it “the most domestic of genres on the most domestic of media” (Wheatley 2006: 25). However, an account of the ways in which the aesthetics of television provide a vehicle for visualizations of the Gothic is somewhat complicated by the fact that it is not always easy to define Gothic television as a discrete and concrete genre. As Eddie Robson has shown, the genre's flexibility is considerable, and series like The X-Files (Carter 1993–2002) demonstrate that the Gothic has historically been incorporated into a broad range of television texts and spread across a large number of genres (Robson 2007: 243).

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