Television Critiques

Main tasks:

1. Discern a specific television text for its engagement in racial discourse

2. Articulate and share both a historical framing and your current analysis/initial critique


Find a television program that has a major or supporting character who is RACIALIZED. A recurring role is a more stable example to analyze than a one-time appearance, but if you’ve identified such an episode that you want to comment upon, you may.

View/be familiar with at least TWO episodes of the series; having seen many episodes is advantageous.

Consider the broadcast context: i.e., network, place on the schedule or offered on-demand/streaming, how many years/seasons has the program run, can you identify the production or parent company, research as much about the cultural production/industrial process as possible.

Prepare a 3-4 page critique including:

  • A brief background for the character.
  • What role does the character have in relation to the larger cast, e.g., in terms of PR marketing, fan activity?
  • How does this character participate in the main storyline?
  • Articulate ways that the character replicates or generates out of a long-standing trope, or perhaps, defies expectations? Be specific.
  • Have in mind a specific scene that illustrates your point(s).
  • Discuss how you think genre (the generic context) which houses this racial discourse functions?
  • What is your assessment of this image/these images in the text, as well as in popular culture more broadly – vis-à-vis context?
  • In what specific ways do you understand this television program may (or may not) be moving racial representation and/or racial discourse forward, or “opening up representational practices”?
  • Clips and a power point/Google slides presentation are welcome!

Complete Answer:

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