Our episode this week takes us to the south on the small screen. Kelly sits down with our very own Gina Caison and About South friends Lisa Hinrichsen and Stephanie Rountree to discuss their new book, Small-Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television. Attempting to define the “real” south only gets more complicated when the region is broadcasted, framed, and produced for an audience-- depending on how the audience accepts or rejects the images on screen.
The televised south in shows like True Blood or Treme both confirms and challenges ideas of the region, engaging with viewers in progressive and regressive, but ultimately meaningful, ways. In other words, connecting with the south virtually is for some the only connection possible. Connecting with our television sets-- which are less “sets” now and more likely laptop screens-- provides a sense of intimacy that other mediums simply can’t offer. We take these stories, people, and places into our homes and engage them, making the choice to defy the depictions of character and region and simply stop watching, or to stick around for the next episode.
As we continue to rely on television as our main source of narratives, it’s not only vital to examine the history and consequence of televised regions-- it’s entertaining.
Clips from this week's episode:
Many thanks for Lisa, Gina, and Stephanie for joining us. You can find Small-Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television here, from the LSU Press.