chapter  5
35 Pages

Episodes

Exploring Characters
ByJill Terry Rudy, Pauline Greenhill

Distinctive characters like the innocent persecuted heroine, the fairy godmother, or the talking wolf, suggest fairy tale to most audiences. In FTTV episodes, characters may take on more than their expected roles, and their contexts may replicate and twist fairy-tale plots and values in unexpected ways. Media creators play with viewers’ anticipations of fairy-tale characters to give their work more compelling, thought-provoking, and humorous qualities. Episodes for adult audiences often incorporate metafiction—discussions about the meaning and significance of a magic story or of magic stories in general—often asserting that fairy tales are real. Characters’ thus expressed knowledge, understanding, and linkage to fairy tales invariably says something about both protagonists and narratives. Children’s FTTV, however, usually follows conventional ideas of fairy-tale characters.]