Accepted Paper:

Mayhem, murder, mystery: un/certainty and the issues of knowing and understanding in tv crime series  

Author:

Ulrike Davis-Sulikowski (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

A crime is committed, everyday life is disrupted, reality shifts – the genre is a locus classicus of social, political critique and existential exploration. The criminal incident sets a chain of events into motion where the investigation is the revolving door into past and future of all those concerned and relief and horror alike accompany abrupt, forced changes of established patterns. Crime generates all kinds of questions and routines, beliefs, certainties, emotions, attitudes and actions are unravelled and subject to interrogation. The first certainty of crime as event is that the perception of individual and social reality changes and doubt and belief exchange place. Analysing TV crime series from the UK between the 1990ies to the present this contribution suggests that the popularity and success of serial crime is based on the genre-inherent doubles of certainty and uncertainty and the pleasure to participate in violent upheaval.

Paper long abstract:

A crime is committed, everyday life is disrupted, reality shifts - the genre is a locus classicus of social, political critique and existential exploration.

The criminal incident sets a chain of events into motion where the investigation is the revolving door into past and future of all those concerned and relief and horror alike accompany abrupt, forced changes of established patterns. Crime generates all kinds of questions and routines, beliefs, certainties, emotions, attitudes and actions are unravelled and subject to interrogation.

The first certainty of crime as event is that the perception of individual and social reality changes and doubt and belief exchange place.

Analysing TV crime series from the UK between the 1990ies to the present this contribution suggests that the popularity and success of serial crime is based on the genre-inherent doubles of certainty and uncertainty and the pleasure to participate in violent upheaval.

Panel W037
Serial disquiet: criminal entertainment in times of global and private uncertainties