Colloquia: Dan Paul

Date(s) - 09/29/2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

3108 JKB


Dan Paul, Assistant Professor of French and Italian will present for the Humanities Center’s weekly colloquium on Thursday, September 29. The presentation will be held at 3:00 PM in room 4010 JFSB.

Title: “Race, Genre, and Politics: Renewing Italian Netflix TV Serials”

In the days following its debut on 21 April 2021, the Netflix original series Zero (Menotti) claimed the number one position overall on the streaming platform in Italy, where it remained for three days. Despite this initial popular reception, Zero failed to be renewed for a second season, a decision made all the more surprising considering the first season’s cliffhanger ending. Almost exactly a year prior, in April 2020, the hit series Summertime (Mirko Cetrangolo and Anita Rivaroli, 2020-2022) landed on Netflix with relatively little fanfare and failed to break the overall top 10. And yet Summertime was renewed for a total of three seasons. Through a comparative analysis of these two series, I investigate the structural, thematic, and content-related factors that may have contributed to Zero’s too-early cancellation. Ultimately, I argue that Summertime’s tendency toward, and reinforcement of, normativity facilitated its renewal while Zero’s impetus for subversiveness of the status quo lead to its demise.

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