Global tv-genre og komplekse nærhedsoplevelser


  • Hanne Bruun



Hanne Bruun: A global TV-genre and the complexity of proximity Television is often considered an agent of cultural globalization, and the American television industry is often equated with globalization in part due to the ability of its genre’s to travel. Media reception studies show the viewers’ expectations of a genre are influenced by these television genres. But such studies also show that the cultural origin of television products plays an important role in viewers’ experiences. This article presents a study of young Danish women’s experience of viewing two daytime talk shows: the Ricki Lane Show and the Danish show Det Nye Synnøve (TV Danmark 1999). The article discusses two main findings. The first is that the daytime talk show is a transnational and, in some respects, a global television genre. It is part of a global television culture, which means that local or national productions must comply with viewers’ genre expectations in order to succeed. The Danish viewers of the American show found that it had important qualities. It broke the boundaries of sociability by offering an emotionally provocative yet attractive display of private emotions and behavior. At the same time it offered a melodramatic treatment of relevant basic human emotional and moral conflicts. In short the American show offers emotional proximity. The Danish show did not offer this kind of emotional proximity and the viewers rejected it. The second finding concerns the function of cultural origins, and that cultural origin seems crucial for the viewers of the American show. The American-ness of The Ricki Lake Show makes it ‘an emotion safe zone’, while the cultural basis of the Danish show represent a dilemma of social proximity for the viewers. The article discusses the sense of national mentality and national identity that the women display in their experience of the two TV programs. It concludes with a discussion of how a genre approach to studies of television as an agent of cultural globalization can be fruitful.