What are the key themes and issues that came up in the popular reception of the programme?

Assignment 1 – Reception Study (900 words)

Choose ONE contemporary television drama and critically analyze its media reception.

You must choose at least 3 reviews from a cross-section of sources (e.g. Irish newspapers such as the Irish Times or the Examiner, UK newspapers such as The GuardianThe Times and The Independent, and US newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Los Angeles Times). You may also briefly consider how the media response compares to the public response on social media platforms such as Twitter.

Choose a clear focus (you will not be able to cover all aspects of the show). For example:

  • How critics responded to race and racism in Orange is the New Black
  • The media response to suicide in 13 Reasons Why
  • The reception of drug-taking in Euphoria
  • Media responses to gay identity / same-sex relationships in Queer as Folk in 1999

Include your own critical voice in the piece. Please also consider the following questions:

  • Was it positively or negatively received (or both)?
  • Was it reviewed differently in major newspapers to how fans or viewers responded on social media?
  • What are the key themes and issues that came up in the popular reception of the programme?
  • Is there consensus or disagreement, e.g. about the show’s representational politics or cultural significance?

Your key mission is to put critics into dialogue with one another and to demonstrate your ability to synthesise responses. Please use concise and well-chosen quotations from the reviews. Like any piece of writing, it needs a clear intro, body and conclusion. Avoid description – briefly state what the show is about and the focus of your essay, and then go straight into critical analysis.