The series: “It is very important because it has become the first place for the transfer of cultural icons along with education,” believes Jean Viard


While we spend as much time in front of the TV as at work, what is our relationship to the small screen, and especially to soap operas? Some answers with sociologist Jan Viard.

TV series have been in the limelight since last night, and until next Friday, March 24 in Lille, is the festival obsession series. Are we still talking about TV series in the age of online platforms? What is certain is that our consumption has changed. decoding with Sociologist Jan ViardDirector of Research at CNRS, at CEVIPOF, Research Center for Political Science Po.

franceinfo: The French don’t have the same relationship with television they once did. Is there a particular reset that changed everything?

John Viard: Yes. The first thing that must be said is that, on average, the French spend 100,000 hours in their lives in front of the TV, work about 70,000 hours, and do 30,000 hours of schooling. Basically, they are in front of the TV as often as they are at work and at school. This is just to give an order of magnitude. And this hundred thousand hours, in fact, is exactly the period of life that we have acquired since the invention of television in every home. In fact, life increased by 100,000 hours, and the entire 100,000 hours were spent in front of the TV.

Then, what is true is that there was the first period when the TV was in the living room, in front of the couch, with the family, anyway, as a couple, we were only watching very little TV. And so it was the big shows, the three channels and the state channel, and then there’s an explosion of channels. And then there’s really the explosion of soap operas, and thus a whole new relationship to time lapses, which means we’re more often than not in bed, watching on a laptop.

So he accompanies us, and it takes a long time actually, and since we started, as in the past, I signed up for Tintin And at the end of each page of the week’s issue, there was one final drawing that definitely made you want to know what would happen next. Basically, this technique from the comics, we covered it in the series, and so we’re completely absorbed in the series which takes us an incredible number of hours. And it is very important because it actually becomes the first place for transmission of cultural icons along with education.

This is what connects us with the series, and at the same time there are many of them. There was a time when a discussion could be had the next day, at the coffee maker. Everyone has seen the same thing. This is no longer the case at all today. Does it connect us and at the same time, we each have our own different program?

Yes, it does not bind us in the same way, I agree. We were all in front of the show Screen Folders In the ’70s, all of that disappeared. But at the same time, we can’t stop talking about it, because it’s basically a jungle, where information is very complicated to capture. There are a lot of them, and we don’t necessarily know the actors, and we don’t necessarily have the keys. We have a series that we really liked. So it shares. If you liked a series a lot, we’ll tell you: this is what it looks like. And artificial intelligence is working on it.

But above all, we know each other, we talk to each other, we say to each other: did you like this series, was it good? Therefore, I do not consider it an isolationist phenomenon, but rather a space for dialogue. It’s a bit like when we were without books after the war, in families who read a lot. Basically, I think it more or less has the same kind of functionality, specifically what’s good and what’s not. Why would you like it? So, there is this dialogue dimension, which you should look at.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of spring cinema. Can cinema resist this abundant offer?

Listen, it’s hard, but at the same time, we’re in a society where the two terms are close, home. I’m alone in front of my thread, sharing it with a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. And at the same time, I want shared moments. And it can be a big event, and it can also go to the cinema, that is, the cinema performs another function. We go there because there are other people around.

The problem is, the moral of the series is that once you pay for the subscription, it’s not that expensive to watch much of it. Cinema is not the same. Will the cinema be economically accessible, as a party place to go out? Maybe they should make up we’re going to eat there. It’s like libraries, you have to put coffee in it, you have to develop it.

The ceremonial, the social, is basically the common space facing the private spaces. So there is a complete reversal also on cinemas. Theaters have done a lot of work on this. There are many theaters where you can eat before the show and during the intermission, and, perhaps, cinemas should also think about their festive dimensions.


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