Binge Watch Israel: How to “Read” a TV Series

Although many of us watch TV, analyzing a television series is as complex a process as analyzing a written text. TV has its own language, a series of building blocks, and the visual equivalent to words. These components are connected together for an audience to “read”. Everything that we see or hear on screen is intentional. Just how can we read a TV series?


The creators of a TV series use several techniques in order to represent reality on television. Each building block aids in the storytelling:

Narrative: The way in which the story is put together, and how the sequences move the story along.

Technical: How the images are put together, including lighting, camera angles, shot composition, and editing.

Representation:  The thinking behind the images, creating more meaning through settings (location, color), characters, costumes, props, and more.

Audio: The way in which dialogue, music, and sound effects add to the images.

TV series creators oversee the contents of every shot, and have control over the mise-en-scène (French for “the things in the picture”). In combining all these elements, a story is created.

Asking questions helps clarify and comprehend the series. Get our Analysis Worksheet.


Write a review of the show and share with others!

Write a question to the television show creators left unanswered by the series.


תחנות יסוד קשורות בתחום החינוך לישראל

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