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Content loaded within last 14 days Small-screen psychics: Television performance as dubious achievement

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The recent growth of interest in television performance has resulted in an array of books and articles which, in turn, have provided this area of study with renewed depth and breadth. Many of these contributions share an interest in questions of achievement, utilizing this term as a means of emphasizing the value in analysing performers’ contributions to the style and meaning of television texts. This article evaluates that critical tendency and uses it as a platform to consider instances in which achievement in television performance may also represent a deceptive or ethically dubious endeavour. The discussion builds to an analysis of television ‘mediums’ ‐ individuals who pretend they are receiving messages from the dead ‐ as a means of articulating the ways in which performance can showcase an impressive range of skills and, at the same time, contain fundamental deceptions or obfuscations. As a result, notions of performance achievement may involve complex and even conflicting evaluations.
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Keywords: aesthetics; criticism; ethics; genre; performance; the paranormal

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000419367486University of Birmingham

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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