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Preface and Acknowledgments The Philosophy of TV Noir was designed to present original essays on the most important noir television series, from Dragnet and Naked City to The Sopranos and 24. Though sufficient as a stand-alone contribution to the study of philosophy, popular culture, and media studies, our book complements the two volumes on film noir in the University Press of Kentucky series on the Philosophy of Popular Culture, The Philosophy of Film Noir (2006) and The Philosophy ofNeo-Noir (2007), both edited by Mark T. Conard. The thematic arrangement of essays is designed to illuminate philosophical aspects of TV noir and to introduce readers to some of the problems and arguments of philosophy. Part 1 takes up issues of realism, relativism, and moral ambiguity in Dragnet, Naked City, Secret Agent, and The Fugitive. Part 2 discusses existentialism, nihilism, and the meaning of life as treated in Miami Vice, 24, Carnivale, and The Sopranos. Part 3 examines crime-scene investigation and the logic of detection in CS/and The X-Files. Part 4 considers autonomy, selfhood, and interpretation as they are explored in The X-Files and Millennium, The Prisoner, and Twin Peaks. Several criteria guided our preparation of this volume. First, we sought essays that dealt with distinctively noir television programs. (What constitutes noir, in both film and television, is discussed by Steven M. Sanders in the introductory essay.) Second, we wanted a collection of essays that reflected the broad scope of noir television, from the classic series of the late 1950s and 1960s to the newest noir. Third, we asked for essays that would treat the philosophical themes in noir programming in a way that did not presuppose a knowledge of the history, problems, and methods of philosophy. Indeed, our contributors include not only philosophers but also film historians and other scholars whose essays give the volume an interdisciplinary dimension. Adherence to the first criterion compelled us to exclude essays on programs that we judged to be only marginally noir or not noir at all. Adherence to the second criterion led us to include essays on nonstandard noir programming, including mixed genre programs and vu viii Preface and Acknowledgments noir science fiction. Adherence to the third criterion made demands that our contributors have met with skill and imagination. This may be the place to warn readers that both the introductory essay and the contributor essays that follow disclose plots, points of suspense, and endings. Those who are not yet caught up on one or more of these series may want to take this spoiler alert to heart. As with most books on film studies, citations include director and year the first time a film is mentioned. Film historians typically date films by year of release (as set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), though there is no consensus on this method, which explains why Ministry of Fear, for example, can be dated 1944 in David Thomson's indispensable New Biographical Dictionary of Film (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975; expanded and updated edition, 2004) and 1945 in the equally indispensable Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1979; revised and expanded edition, 1992). We made no attempt to require our contributors to adopt a uniform method for dating the films they refer to in their essays. The noir television programs that are the subjects of the essays in this volume are the products of creative collaboration. We are grateful to the writers, producers, directors, actors, and production crews who made the television fare we are calling TV noir possible in the first place. We would like to thank our contributors, who combined resourcefulness with intelligence and who have written so well to illuminate the aesthetic impulse and philosophical import of TV noir. Steve Wrinn, director at the University Press of Kentucky; Mark T. Conard, editor of the Philosophy of Popular Culture series; Anne Dean Watkins, assistant to the director of the press; and the rest of the press staff have given us valuable encouragement and support. Steven M. Sanders would like to thank Christeen Clemens for her essential research assistance. Aeon J. Skoble would like to thank Lisa Bahnemann for her help and support. ...


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