Wilcox and Lavery (2002) identify 9 defining characteristics of ‘quality TV’ – can you apply any of these to other television series that you have viewed recently? Are there any other characteristics that you could add to their list?

A tv series is given the tag “cult” by media and network execs when a show is seen to be either ‘edgy’ or ‘offbeat; when they appeal to nostalgia or is considered emblematic of a particular subculture. According to these criteria, almost any television series can be described as cult. Whether a show is a ‘quality’ show is a different question as to whether a person ‘likes’ a show

The nine qualities that make up “quality” tv are as follows:

1) Is the show historical, displaying or becoming part of the national culture?

2) Is the show well written, well acted, and so on?

3) Does the show display high production standards?

4) Is the show popular and/or durable?

5) Does the show appeal to a diverse range of audiences?

6) Does the show educate the audience in some way?

7) Does the show feature a technological edge?

8) Does the show represent minorities, human rights, and other social elements?

9) Does the show serve a specific market niche?

as a television show grows it’s fanbase grows with it. through the use of social media and fans artistic personal approaches to the show; the initial idea of the show itself changes to accomidate this. Joss Whedon began his idea of Buffy the vampire slayer as a reverse horror basically turning gender sterotypes in horror on its head so that instead of the damsel in distress, Buffy is in the “traditioanlly Male” role of the strong hero of the story. though apparently the name “buffy” actually means a lightweight girl; keeping her somewhat in a stereotypical role as a woman. Buffy is a stereotype in other ways however. though she fights against typical gender roles; when she fights she is wearing clothing made to show her figure and she has blond hair.


Cult Television.  Sara Gwenllian-Jones. 2004  Book Published by: University of Minnesota Press


Click to access Wilcox%20and%20Lavery%202002.pdf

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Ashleigh Carter

I am Currently studying towards Bachelor of Arts. I Major in Creative Writing and Japanese Studies

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