Le méchant après le 11 septembre : terroristes sous surveillance dans 24 et Homeland

Sébastien Lefait

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Abstract :
In this paper, I first observe that the nature of screen villains has changed in the wake of 9/11, as terrorists have replaced more easily identifiable bad guys. I then argue that narratives organized around surveillance seek to preserve the efficiency of screen villains by taking their new essence into account. My main hypothesis is that the objectivity level of surveillance plays a significant part in this process. In a new type of productions, surveillance acts as an interface between the diegetic and the extradiegetic, so that belief in its ability to spot villains before they act is simultaneously heightened or decreased as both a trigger of suspense and, in real life, as a source of anguish or comfort. To explore this hypothesis, I successively analyze the treatment of terrorist villains in two TV series, selected for the way they link a specific historic-cultural context to a specific type of surveillance narrative : 24 (Fox, 2001-2010) and Homeland (Showtime, 2011-present). Following from those case studies, I draw conclusions regarding how the apparatus of TV series may affect our world vision by directing our gaze on apparently self-obvious villains, or, on the contrary, diverting it from the usual suspects to make us identify new forms of villainy.
Published : 2018-07-23


Sébastien Lefait, « Le méchant après le 11 septembre : terroristes sous surveillance dans 24 et Homeland », Cycnos, 2018-07-23. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/180