The Antihero in Television: From Tony Soprano to Claire Underwood
In the last 20 years, few mainstream narrative forms have featured the antihero as much as television has. Some of most legendary and popular shows in recent history have all shared one thing in common: a “hero” who, in a more conventional setting, would be considered a villain. From mob bosses and drug dealers to conniving lawyers and corrupt politicians, the most successful, innovative, and provocative television shows all have had antiheroes at their core. This type of narrative allows show runners and writers to explore the fact that life is rarely a black-and-white struggle, but rather a world of gray. This class will examine the great works of dark antihero-driven television drama. In each class session, watch one episode of a television show, along with additional clips. Then, discuss how these shows and characters blazed a new trail for the golden age of television. Screenings may include The Sopranos, The Wire, Damages, Borgen, The Shield, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, and Orange Is the New Black.
You'll Walk Away with
- An understanding of why the antihero is a central figure on recent TV shows
- A great appreciation of television as an art form
- Film and television buffs
- Aspiring writers and film/television makers
- All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between