Capital and the Fantastic Detective Television Serial [article]

Jacob Yopak, University Of Calgary, Matthew Croombs
2020
In this thesis I compare discussions concerning the representability of modern capitalism with a group of television programs that I term the fantastic detective serial. The theoretical problems hinges on a shift in capital's perceived representability. I survey texts in modern Marxist media studies that are studying the transition from physical capital to immaterial global capitalism and how that affects the subject. The primary tension that I explore in the literature is the claim that
more » ... technologies or financial abstractions bewilder the subject compared to an understanding that capital is, and always was, spectral. The fantastic detective serial dramatizes this tension. The four television shows that make up this group; Fargo, True Detective, Twin Peaks, and The Leftovers all contain the collision between artisanal local production with global financial capitalism. In addition, the shows all have a detective character that must negotiate an encounter with the fantastic as defined by Tzvetan Todorov. The main point of contact between the shows and the theory is how the show's usage of the fantastic develops a new way for the subject to reckon with the unknown structure of capital. I claim that by containing the encounter with the supernatural to the detective's mission it prevents it from becoming another instance of the capitalist sublime.
doi:10.11575/prism/38228 fatcat:goxoiahvjzdythfhduzudsqbqa