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'For much of its history in the twentieth century, television was conceived mostly in national terms. American television, British television, Australian television and so on were thought of as distinct systems, even if they frequently displayed significant degrees of overlap. Such a notion has always been a convenient simplification. Television exists at a series of different spatial levels and the nationwide tier is only one of these. Recent interest in the notion of media capital draws attention to the role played by broadcasting hubs in larger television formations, not only in the industrial sense of resource accumulation and density but also in terms of colonizing larger media environments. This paper addresses this matter in terms of the role that a Sydney metropolitan television service has played in the life of the Australian nation. It surveys the material and ideological dimension of this service as a means of further problematizing the connection of television and nation' (Author's abstract)
'This article considers television made by two Australian brothers, Mike and Mal Leyland, specifically their long-running series from the 1970s, Ask the Leyland Brothers. The program used viewer participation to set an itinerary for the brothers, who travelled extensively by car to film responses to viewers' questions about Australia. Mike and Mal Leyland brought images of the Australian countryside to very large television audiences, providing entertainment and instructions about how to travel, appreciate and consume the country they and their audience lived in. While this example of 'instructional TV' was extremely popular in its 10-year run on television, and is fondly remembered by audiences, it is not prominent in the 'official' discourse of Australia's TV history; thus, it poses a particular set of questions about television and cultural memory.' (Author's abstrat)
'This article undertakes a revisionist reading of the mini-series Against the Wind (1979) in order to explore the absence of a narrative of Indigenous dispossession. In doing so it seeks to explore the type of history about land, belonging, and nation that was produced in this late 1970s historical Australian television drama. The analysis focuses on a reading of a particular set of publicity materials and the DVD of the series and considers carefully the role of the single Indigenous character in the series. The place of this character, Ngilgi, is examined in relation to the series' characterization of national trauma.' (Author's abstract)
'By putting the vocabulary of aspiration in the mouths of criminals, and by situating them in the suburbs, Underbelly suggests that ruthless, murderous competition may not be incompatible with the Australian Dream. Exposing a generation's denial of the criminal elements behind ecstasy's fetishized status, it problematizes celebratory accounts of club culture, and suggests dark externalities for the 'night-time economy' of our inner cities. As well as connecting country, suburb and city in repressed criminality, by virtue of its casting choices at the very least, the series blurs the lines between ordinariness, celebrity and infamy. It is in these unresolved tensions that Underbelly constitutes a televisual history of Australia's present that countervails the official pieties of the ordinary that characterized the Howard years.'(Author's abstract)