Lavie, Noa. From HaBurganim to . Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).
Against the flood of a global and local television genre considered “inferior” – “reality” TV – there are growing public, official, and scholarly voices who distinguish between purely commercial television and quality, or even artistic, television. The quality discourse, which originated in the United States, revolves mainly around serialized drama shows, which as a television genre is even a competitor to the cinema in its artistic innovation.
Israeli television is heavily influenced by this global quality discourse. Moreover, during the 1990s Israeli television was revolutionized with the privatization of the television market in Israel and the establishment of commercial TV channels and cable and satellite channels. This revolution enabled, in parallel with the institutionalization of the global quality discourse, the production of original Israeli TV drama series immeasurably higher than during the sole reign of the IBA. Accordingly, this book explores how the serialized television drama became a “quality” television genre which is treated as a work of art in every respect.
This book does not deny the possibility that there is such thing as “high art,” or television productions that bears artistic marks; but Noa Lavie’s sociological spotlight seeks to illumine the struggles and the social and organizational causes that defined, beginning in the 1990s and down to the first decade of the 2000s, drama series such as “The Bourgeois” or “In Treatment”, along with other series, as high-quality and artistic television. This is achieved through an analysis of interviews with prominent creators of television drama in Israel, analysis of TV reviews published in major newspapers, and an account of the institutional-organizational field and the technological, regulatory, and other changes it underwent in the early 1990s.
Dr. Noa Lavi is the head of the political communication division and a lecturer in the School of Government and Society at Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College.