The change in the dominant narrative of American series is not only due to the cognitive turn, but also to the need to deal with a major trauma, 9/11, with the knowledge that films that have tried to represent it directly and explicitly have done poorly. Smart series are a way for American culture to adapt to the post 9/11 environment, to deal with the general feeling of guilt at not having anticipated the catastrophe and to prepare for the new context of intelligent networks in globalization. They come at a time when consensus building in the USA seems more important than dissensus. By renewing the serial narrative, and displacing it from outer worlds to inner brains, they signify that the enemy is within and Americans have to become aware of it and they have to recognize the signs.
Posted tagged ‘narrative’
The dominant narrative of American series has changed over time. It has moved from identity politics via a single hero or a couple of heroes (from 1960ies to mid-1980ies) to morality politics revisited via ensemble heroes (from mid-1980ies to mid-2000). The more recent output seems to have moved to security politics, with a cognitive turn. This is apparent in post 9/11 series that tend to focus on neuro-sciences and para-mental processes, in relation with missing or lost people: Numb3rs (CBS, 2003–), House (Fox, 2004–), Medium (NBC, 2005–), Ghost Whisperer (CBS, 2005–), Heroes (NBC, 2006–), Psych (USA network, 2006–), Fringe (Fox, 2008–) , The Mentalist (CBS, 2008–), Mental (Fox, 2009–), Lie to me (Fox, 2009–).