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Immersive Entryways into Televisual Worlds: Affective and Aesthetic Functions of Title Sequences in Quality Series

Kathrin Fahlenbrach and Barbara Flueckiger

Keywords: AFFECTIVE PRIMING; EMOTIONAL GRATIFICATION; IMMERSIVE TRAILER SEQUENCES

Abstract

Although some research has been done about narrative functions of title sequences in television series, this article focuses on their affective implications for viewers. Concentrating on immersive styles in trailer sequences of quality series, the article discusses diverse strategies of their affective priming, asking: How do immersive openers prime the viewers' affective appraisal of the show to follow? And how do they prepare them for the leading “feeling tone” (Plantinga 2009: 166) and mood of a series' world? Using the popular openers of the series Dexter, Six Feet Under, and True Blood, the article analyzes in three in-depth analyses successful immersive strategies for affective priming. They argue that these immersive title sequences use embodied metaphors, and symbols of collective imagery to create ambivalent affective cues that even tend to create mixed feelings in the viewers.

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