Logo Utrecht University

Utrecht Centre for Television in Transition


Jane Feuer lecture: “Musical Television. Glee, Smash and the Backstage Musical on TV”

When? Monday, May 6
4.00 – 6.00 p.m.
Sweelinckzaal (Drift 21 0.05), Utrecht University

Considering the long history of texts about  putting on shows, it is not surprising to find a backstage musical being made in 2012.  What is surprising is that a backstage musical about the production of a Broadway show should be made for network television at this late date. How can such a flexible yet end-driven form as the backstage musical adapt to the demands of serialized television narrative? The paper attempts to answer this question by examining two contemporary U.S. television programmes that combine the narrative pattern of the backstage musical with the serialized format of “quality” US television drama. Jane Feuer is referring to the long-running youth show Glee about the competitions of a high school show choir and the quality drama Smash about the production of a Broadway musical of the life of Marilyn Monroe. The paper will look closely at both of these shows.

Jane Feuer is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Since the Eighties she publishes on television and is co-editor of (and author of) one of the first academic books on television: MTM: Quality Television (British Film Institute, 1984). In her book Seeing Through the Eighties: Television and Reaganism (Duke Univ. Press, 1995) she analyzed different television drama series and placed them within the context of American politics. Since then she has written numerous articles on sitcoms, reality TV and TV quality drama. Furthermore, Feuer is  a founding board member of Console-ing Passions (Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media and Feminism) which recently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Presently, she is writing a book on U.S. quality television drama. She also writes about musicals. Her paper on Musical Television combines both of her major research interests.

Registration would be appreciated (K.F.vanEs@uu.nl)

Tuesday May 7 prof. Feuer will host a master class on ‘Quality, Reality, Interactivity: Strategies of Post-Network Television’, 9.30 – 12.00 a.m., Janskerkhof 0.06, Utrecht University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.