The Italian Storytelling Approach to TV Seriality Compared to the US Method. A Case Study
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Each industry has its own way of crafting stories for TV. Different organizational models in the task of breaking down stories; the influence of titles which have been successful in a particular market; the unique viewing attitudes of a domestic audience… all these factors make screenwriters adopt a combination of writing techniques peculiar to each country. Even if the US writing school has imposed itself as a universal standard – the “orthodoxy” – deviations from its lessons – slight or significant, depending on the case – define the originality of an industry’s storytelling. In this perspective, I am going to consider the Italian school of screenwriting for TV, in order to highlight what is unique to it in comparison to the North American narrative method. For this purpose, I will focus on two cases of international remakes. I will compare Red Band Society (Fox, 2014), the unsuccessful US version of the Catalan series Polseres Vermelles, to Braccialetti Rossi (Rai 1, 2014-2017), the successful Italian version of the same medical teen-drama. My analysis will show that differences in the degree of thematization and in the level of drama characters have to face within each episode are key elements to define the Italian school of writing for TV.
keywordsAmerican TV series; medical drama; television remakes; thematization; narrative rhetoric.
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