Publication details [#9566]

Sadler, William J. and Ekaterina V. Haskins. 2005. Metonymy and the metropolis: Television show settings and the image of New York City. Journal of Communication Inquiry 29 (3) : 195–216. 22 pp.
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This article argues that contemporary portrayals of cityscapes on television create a "postcard effect," a way of seeing that affords the viewer the pleasure of a tourist gaze. This disposition both reflects and legitimizes a fragmented experience of visiting a location without immersing oneself in the intricacies of its politics and geography. Building on critical urban studies, film theory, semiotics, and critical ethnography, this article analyzes depictions of New York City in five television shows (Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, Felicity, and The Sopranos) to demonstrate how metonymic representations of the city produce a narrative of a tourist destination on display. (William J. Sadler and Ekaterina V. Haskins)