My Master’s Thesis: “Transmission: Premium Television Representations of Characters Outside of the Gender Binary”

by danketchum



            Five fictional characters have emerged on the U.S. premium-pay-cable channels that blur the traditional male-or-female gender divide. The basics of queer theory (sex, gender, orientation, and transgender) and critical/cultural studies (encoding, decoding, and reading a text) are explained as a basis for the analysis of the characters, which seeks to answer the research question: does the premium-pay-cable television format offer truly empathetic non-binary transgender characters that challenge the dominant American ideologies about gender identity and expression? If so, how? If not, why not?

Shane McCutcheon from Showtime’s lesbian melodrama The L Word (2004-2010), Lafayette Reynolds from HBO’s supernatural drama-comedy True Blood (2008-2014), Roscoe Kaan from Showtime’s corporate drama-comedy House of Lies (2012-), Brienne of Tarth from HBO’s political-fantasy-epic Game of Thrones (2010-) and Job from Cinemax’s pulpy action-thriller Banshee (2013-) are rigorously scrutinized, revealing their surprisingly complex, confident, and transgressive queer power.

Please click the PDF below to view the thesis:

Ketchum – Transmission Thesis 8-11 FINAL