Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Stefania Antonioni | Università di Urbino Carlo Bo | Italy 


September 15th 2022 | 12.00 – 13.30
Panel #2 | “Escape into the Past and the Future
Room G.126 | Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milan, Largo Gemelli 1

Sisters in arms against the pandemic. Female figures in the TV series The Rain and Anna

The narrative of the viral spread of the contagion, which has always characterized fictional production, has over time become linked to the dystopian genre, giving rise to a multiplicity of novels, films and more recently TV series. These are dramatically timely and thought-provoking products when framed in the contemporary scenario marked by the spread and subsequent containment of the Covid-19 epidemic.
An interesting point to consider is that dystopias constitute one of the ways in which a society represents its fears and anxieties, incorporating a warning function, which makes them particularly interesting objects of study. While dystopian narratives have more recently landed on television screens, it is particularly interesting to focus on the analysis of some examples of this genre as they provide a clearer picture of the dangers and anxieties expressed by certain social groups and what antidotes are suggested.
For this reason, the paper intends to analyze two television series that, despite all the narrative differences characterizing them, highlight several points of similarity. These are The Rain (2018-2020) a Danish TV series produced by Netflix, and Anna (2021) an Italian miniseries produced by Sky. Both unfold against the backdrop of a dystopian apocalyptic future caused by the spread of an epidemic; in both, the characters are young (in Anna, they are children and pre-teens) and the real protagonists are girls. In both, moreover, one of the topics is the relationship with their respective younger siblings, who have been entrusted to them and whom they constantly try to save. The textual analysis of the two series will focus in particular on the emerging themes in terms of fears and social warnings that form the background to the two narratives, but above all on the role played by the female protagonists (FrancoAngeli 2016). 

Stefania Antonioni is Associate Professor of Television Studies at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo.
Her research interests include Television serial narratives, Audience reception online and offline, Promotional Strategies and Paratexts. She authored the book Imagining. Serialità, narrazioni cinematografiche e fotografia nella pubblicità contemporanea (FrancoAngeli, 2016) and several articles, among which "SKAM Italia did it again”. The multiple lives of a format adaptation from production to audience experience (with L. Barra and C. Checcaglini, Critical Studies in Television, 2021); From Parenthood to Tutto può succedere. Ready-made elements and cultural translation (with C. Checcaglini, VIEW 2021).