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“World Needs Bad Men”? TV-Noir and the Limits of Empathy (2015)

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Paper presented at the "Crime Days, Crime Pays" Conference. 1-2 October, 2015, Aalborg (Denmark)

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“World Needs Bad Men”? TV-Noir and the Limits of Empathy (2015)

  1. 1. Alberto N. García Conference “Crime Days, Crime Pays” Aalborg (Denmark), 1-2, October 2015 “World Needs Bad Men”? TV-Noir and the Limits of Empathy
  2. 2. True Detective (HBO, 2014)
  3. 3. 1. Genre: Noir, Neo-Noir and TV-Noir • An open concept: genre, style, movement, hybrids • Essential features • Criminal plot • Moral ambiguity • Urban realism/sense of place • Socio-political critique • Antiheroism/alienation • Expressionism • Weight of the past • Existentialism/Tragedy
  4. 4. 1. Genre: Noir, Neo-Noir and TV-Noir • An open concept: genre, style, movement, hybrids • Essential features • Neo-Noir: “self-consciousness” and “crime does pay” • TV-Noir and the lack of closure
  5. 5. 2. Emotion: character engagement • Identification, empathy, sympathy…
  6. 6. Hannibal (NBC, 2013-15)
  7. 7. 2. Emotion: character engagement • Identification, empathy, sympathy… • Levels of engagement (Smith): • Alignment • Allegiance
  8. 8. 3. Engagement in TV Narrative • Textual duration • Broadcasting rythm • A more complex, changing and challenging allegiance
  9. 9. 4. TV, Noir antihero and Empathy 1. Moral comparatism
  10. 10. The Shield (FX, 2002-08)
  11. 11. 4. TV, Noir characters and Empathy 1. Moral comparatism 2. Family
  12. 12. The Americans (FX, 2013)The Fall (BBC, 2013-) Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 2010-15)True Detective (HBO, 2015)
  13. 13. 4. TV, Noir characters and Empathy 1. Moral comparatism 2. Family 3. Acts of contrition
  14. 14. Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008-13)
  15. 15. 4. TV, Noir characters and Empathy 1. Moral comparatism 2. Family 3. Acts of contrition 4. Victimization
  16. 16. The Sopranos (HBO, 1999-2007)Dexter (Showtime, 2006-13) Southcliffe (Channel 4, 2013)True Detective II (HBO, 2015)
  17. 17. 5. The Limits of Empathy • Cyclical re-allegiance
  18. 18. Andy Sipowicz (NYPD Blue) Thomas Shelby (Peaky Blinders)Mike Ehrmantraut (Better Call Saul) John Luther (Luther)
  19. 19. 5. The Limits of Empathy • Cyclical re-allegiance • Switching allegiance
  20. 20. Lester Nygaard (Fargo) Bodie Broadus (The Wire)Shane Vendrell (The Shield) Ben Sherman (Southland)
  21. 21. 6. The Sense of an Ending • The emergency of “ars moriendi” • Moral clarity • New trend in TV-Noir: redemption, optimism, happy-ending.
  22. 22. 7. The rise of “Bright Noir” “You keep your chin up Gus Grimly. We're winning this thing! Don't you forget” (Molly Solverson)
  23. 23. Fargo (FX, 2014-)
  24. 24. “The dinner you wanted to treat me to. How about now?”. (Saga Norén) 7. The rise of “Bright Noir”
  25. 25. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgive one another as God in Christ forgave you”. (Rev. Paul Coates) 7. The rise of “Bright Noir”
  26. 26. “You don't have to go. I just take a left up here, hop on the freeway down to Mexico. In a couple of hours, we're sitting on the beach in Baja having margaritas”. (Hank Dolworth) 7. The rise of “Bright Noir”
  27. 27. “I said you’d be fine”. (Raylan Givens) 7. The rise of “Bright Noir”
  28. 28. “Once, there was only dark. If you ask me, light is winning”. (Rust Cohle) 7. The rise of “Bright Noir”
  29. 29. True Detective (HBO, 2014)
  30. 30. Alberto N. García Martínez School of Communication University of Navarra (Spain) albgarcia@unav.es Web - unav.academia.edu/AlbertoGarcía Blog - gentedigital.es/comunidad/series/ Twitter - @AlbertoNahum

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