1st Edition

Cognition, Emotion, and Aesthetics in Contemporary Serial Television

Edited By Ted Nannicelli, Héctor J. Pérez Copyright 2022
    332 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book posits an interconnection between the ways in which contemporary television serials cue cognitive operations, solicit emotional responses, and elicit aesthetic appreciation.

    The chapters explore a number of questions including: How do the particularities of form and style in contemporary serial television engage us cognitively, emotionally, and aesthetically? How do they foster cognitive and emotional effects such as feeling suspense, anticipation, surprise, satisfaction, and disappointment? Why and how do we value some serials while disliking others? What is it about the particularities of serial television form and style, in conjunction with our common cognitive, emotional, and aesthetic capacities, that accounts for serial television’s cognitive, socio-political, and aesthetic value and its current ubiquity in popular culture?

    This book will appeal to postgraduates and scholars working in television studies as well as film studies, cognitive media theory, media psychology, and the philosophy of art.

    1. Introduction: Cognition, Emotion, and Aesthetics in Contemporary Serial Television
    Ted Nannicelli and Héctor J. Pérez

    Part 1. The Nature of Contemporary Televisual Seriality

    2. Television’s Temporality: Seriality and Temporal Prolongation
    Alberto Nahum García and Ted Nannicelli

    3. Multi-plot Structure in Television Serials
    Héctor J. Pérez and María Jesús Ortiz

    4. “Oh My God, They Didn’t Kill Kenny”: Seriality and Viewer Engagement in Contemporary Animated Television
    Oliver Kroener

    5. Seriality and Expressiveness in Mad Men
    Elliott Logan

    Part 2. Audiences

    6. From Shots to Storyworlds: The Cognitive Processes Supporting the Comprehension of Serialized Television
    Jeffrey E. Saerys-Foy and Joseph Magliano

    7. Beliefs, Desires, and Emotions: A Theory of Emotions and Some Implications for the Understanding of Viewer Reactions to TV Serials
    Rainer Reisenzein

    Part 3. Poetics

    8. Reaching through Time: On Seriality, Temporality, and Twofoldness
    Murray Smith

    9. Five Theses on the Difficulty of Ending Quality TV Series
    Margrethe Bruun Vaage

    10. Pop Music in Television Serials: Priming, Authorial Commentary, and Musical Memory
    Birger Langkjaer

    11. Twin Peaks and the Performative Poetics of Complex Television
    Aaron Taylor

    12. Parallelism and Complex Storytelling in Film and TV
    Malcolm Turvey

    Part 4. Value: Aesthetic and Beyond

    13. Audiovisual Atmospheres, Moods, and Metaphoric Spaces: Aesthetically Rich Spaces in Complex TV Series
    Kathrin Fahlenbrach

    14. Repetition, Familiarity, and Aesthetic Pleasure: Formulaic Generic Television Series 
    Iris Vidmar Jovanovic

    15. Ethics and Bad Protagonists in Serial Television Drama
    Carl Plantinga

    16. A Sense of Moment: Appreciating Television Serials from Aesthetic and Cognitive Perspectives
    Sarah Cardwell


    Ted Nannicelli is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at The University of Queensland. He is editor of Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind, co-editor of Cognitive Media Theory (2014), and author of Appreciating the Art of Television: A Philosophical Perspective.

    Héctor J. Pérez is Associate Professor of Audiovisual Narrative at the Universitat Politècnica de València. He has published widely in scientific journals such as Projections, Culture & Psychology, Aisthesis, and L’Atalante. He is editor of SERIES, International Journal of TV Serial Narratives.