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34 - Travailleurs, travailleuses !

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Jérôme Bourdon, Camille Noûs

Is the end of television coming to an end?

Le Temps des médias n° 34, Printemps 2020, p. 185-205.


This article analyses the discourses of the end of television in relation to its status as a “bad object”, a notion borrowed from psychoanalysis. It traces the early, transnational, massive negative treatments of television. It suggests four explanations for this: sociological (television as a popular medium), economical (disappointing investment), metapsychological (frustrating experience), technological (insincere dispositif). It suggests that discourses of the end are coming to an end, because television is becoming a kind of archive, increasingly considered nostalgically, while its ‘quality series’ are achieving canonical aesthetic status. Finally, it proposes to compare the “discourses of the ends” of media across histories, which can be illuminating about their changing status of collective “good” and “bad” objects.

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