FROM THE BOX IN THE CORNER TO THE BOX SET ON THE SHELF: 'TVIII' and the cultural/textual valorisations of DVD

Matthew Hills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper considers the role of DVD releases in relation to TVIII. As well as moving towards multi‐platform and hence transmedial versions of ‘television’, TVIII can also be linked to the provision of selected TV shows as material consumer artefacts—DVD box sets—which frequently emphasise values of ‘completeness’ and ‘collectability’ (Kompare, Rerun Nation, Routledge, New York and London, 2005). I analyse how DVD releases bid for television's cultural value, especially by re‐contextualising TV series as symbolically bounded art objects rather than as interruptible components within TV's ceaseless ‘flow’. I discuss this as the ‘text‐function’ of DVD, suggesting that whilst much ‘ordinary TV’ (Bonner, Ordinary Television: Analyzing Popular TV, Sage, London, 2003) is marginalised by not being made available on DVD, cult and quality TV tend to be over‐represented categories within DVD release patterns. As such, DVDs partly work to reinforce TV canons (Bignell, New Review of Film and Television Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 15–32, 2005), as well as promoting ‘close reading’ of ‘isolated texts’. Furthermore, DVD commentaries typically, though not always, work to reinforce discourses of TV auteurism—again operating as cultural and textual elevations of ‘mere television’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Volume5
Issue number1
Early online date23 Mar 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2007

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