Complex TVMain MenuIntroductionVideos for IntroductionComplexity in ContextBeginningsVideos for Chapter 2AuthorshipCharactersComprehensionEvaluationSerial MelodramaOrienting ParatextsTransmedia StorytellingEndsVideo GalleryTable of ContentsJason Mittell06e96b1b57c0e09d70492af49d984ee2f68945deNew York University Press
REVENGE opens the series with a flash forward to set up narrative enigmas, a complex strategy that has become increasingly common in the past decade.
12015-03-12T07:44:44-07:00Jason Mittell06e96b1b57c0e09d70492af49d984ee2f68945de13503REVENGE, "Pilot" (ABC, 2011) is an example of how narratively complex TV has become so commonplace to be unremarkable, rather than just the domain of so-called prestige series.plain2015-03-13T12:50:38-07:00Critical Commons2011VideoRevenge season 1ABC2015-03-12T14:12:32ZCraig Dietrich2d66800a3e5a1eaee3a9ca2f91f391c8a6893490
12015-03-12T19:42:11-07:00Introduction2Videos for Introductionplain2015-03-12T19:56:45-07:00p. 10-11: Revenge
In 2011, one of the year’s most popular new network programs, Revenge, opened its pilot with a party scene that climaxes with a murder. It then flashed back five months to chart how the narrative arrived at this climactic point, a major event that would only be reached in the season’s 15th episode, with the rest of the pilot incorporating voice-over narration and multiple flashbacks to various time frames. What was most remarkable about this pilot was how unremarkable it was—critics and fans found this style of complex storytelling commonplace and undistinguished, generally classifying the series as a decent “prime time soap” or belittling it as a “guilty pleasure.” … Narrative complexity has suffused television to the degree that Revenge’s temporally fractured narrative technique can go unnoticed; the rest of this book aims to explain how and why.