'It's Not TV, It's Online Drama: The Return of the Intimate Screen'

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This article will focus on the subject of ‘online drama’, i.e. drama made specifically to be viewed on the Internet. It aims to investigate and account for this new and unique form of serialized drama, explain and clarify its historical origins, locate its generic characteristics and account for and understand its role in the contemporary media landscape. In particular, it will argue that online drama reveals much about the future of broadcasting as a whole and points the direction towards many of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the very aesthetics of contemporary ‘television’. However, while some critics may argue that drama made for the Internet will simply offer another illustration of an increasingly digitized world, this investigation will focus on ways in which it may actually be seen to enhance the original power of early television – particularly its re-construction of ‘the intimate screen’. In direct contrast to contemporary television’s increasingly ‘cinematic’ sensibilities, this article will argue that it is online drama that can now most successfully recreate the psychological and emotional terrain of the small screen – reinventing the ‘electronic theatre’ for the new digital age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-606
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2011


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