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British Youth TelevisionCynicism and Enchantment$
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Karen Lury

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159704.001.0001

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‘You Can take it from me that what I Say is Absolutely Gospel’: Game Shows and Generation X

‘You Can take it from me that what I Say is Absolutely Gospel’: Game Shows and Generation X

(p.87) 4 ‘You Can take it from me that what I Say is Absolutely Gospel’: Game Shows and Generation X
British Youth Television

Karen Lury

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines two examples of pervasive television genre (game shows) and uses them to demonstrate how this genre was adapted for Generation X. It discusses two distinctive programmes, the Crystal Maze and Gamemaster, vivid examples that show certain characteristics, such as exaggeration, camp, irreverence, reflexivity, and a ‘trash’ or post-modern aesthetics, which are symptomatic of the version of youth television. It notes that in each show is the appropriate exhibition of such knowledge which allows contestants, who are both spectators and participants, to progress in order to win, whether it be prizes or esteem. It discusses that these programmes reproduce a distinctive and cohesive aesthetic, characterized by a visual style and a moral ambivalence that could be claimed as recognizably post-modern. These programmes represent a way of combining impulses through an understanding of a performance style, or habitual mode which incorporates both cynicism and enchantment.

Keywords:   game shows, Generation X, post-modern aesthetics, youth television, Crystal Maze, Gamemaster

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