Book Cover
Author Wheatley, Helen, 1974- author.

Title Spectacular television : exploring televisual pleasure / Helen Wheatley
Published London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2016
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xii, 276 pages) : illustrations
Series International library of the moving image ; 23
International library of the moving image ; 23
Contents Author bio; Endorsement; Title page; Copyright page; Table of contents; List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Author's note; Introduction: What is spectacular television? What is (tele)visual pleasure?; The spectacular in audio-visual culture: Debates and problems; Categorising spectacular television: Genre, movement or mode?; Part I Spectacular Histories, Spectacular Technologies; 1 Television comes to town: The spectacle of television at the mid-twentieth-century exhibition and beyond; The Festival of Britain; The spectacle of television production at the National Radio Show
4 Visual pleasure, natural history television and televisual beautyInserting natural history into the quality debate; Visual pleasure and public service broadcasting; Beautiful television; 5 Television's landscapes, (tele)visual pleasure and the imagined elsewhere; The landscape programme and the contemplative viewer; Holidays, the tourist gaze and the imagined elsewhere; Part III Spectacular Bodies and (Tele)visual Pleasure; 6 Fascinating bodies: Looking inside television's somatic spectacle; Gazing inside the body: Mysterious places and wild rides
At home on safariVisual pleasure, natural history television and televisual beauty; Television's landscapes, (tele)visual pleasure and the imagined elsewhere; Fascinating bodies; The erotics of television; Conclusion; Bibliography
Freak shows, fascinomas and the medical economy of spectacularising the televisual bodyThe dead and the dying: The limits of corporeal spectacle on television; 7 The erotics of television; The proliferation of television sex; The proxemics of television -- televisual desire up close; Mapping female desire and the erotic spectacle of television; Intentional vs accidental erotic spectacle -- flows of televisual desire; Conclusion: Sites of wonder, sights of wonder; Notes; Introduction; Television comes to town; Spectacular colour? Reconsidering the launch of colour television in Britain
The spectacle of domestic modernity at the Ideal Home ExhibitionThe legacy of television at the exhibition; 2 Spectacular colour? Reconsidering the launch of colour television in Britain; Chromophobia and the problem of colour; Setting up colour television and selling it; On the question of 'spectacular colour' vs 'realist colour'; Making meaning or 'looking pretty'; Part II Spectacular Landscapes and the Natural World: Exploring Beautiful Television; 3 At home on safari: Colonial spectacle, domestic space and 1950s television; Colonial Kenya; Armand and Michaela Denis: At home on safari
Summary In terms of visual impact, television has long been regarded as inferior to cinema. It has been characterised as sound-led, dull to look at and consumed by a distracted audience. Today, it is tempting to see the rise of HD and 3D as ushering in a new era of spectacular television. Yet since its earliest days, the medium has embraced spectacular content. Television has been positioned as a spectacular 'attraction' from the outset. In its early days, it was introduced to audiences in public; today, programmes are viewed on large HD screens at home accompanied by surround sound and special effects. In the 1950s and 1960s, the BBC beamed exotic colonial territories into British homes; more recently, documentaries such as The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet emphasise visual and aural pleasure as central to their mandate of public service. Countering the industry's intense focus on new technologies, Helen Wheatly charts the development of spectacular television across its history. Looking at lifestyle and makeover shows, costume dramas, televised sport, travel shows and ambitious natural history series, Helen Wheatley answers the questions: what is televisual pleasure, and how has television defined its own brand of spectacular aesthetics? At a time when the distinctions between television and cinema seem to be collapsing, this book fundamentally reconsiders what television is, putting questions of visual pleasure at the heart of its analysis
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 244-264) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Television broadcasting -- Aesthetics
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1350988146