List of nonlinear narrative television series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nonlinear narrative is a storytelling technique in which the events are depicted, for example, out of chronological order, or in other ways where the narrative does not follow the direct causality pattern of the events featured, such as parallel distinctive plot lines, dream immersions, flashbacks, flashforwards or narrating another story inside the main plot-line.

In television, there are several examples of works that use this kind of narrative, although not all of them use it in the same way. In spite of it being more commonly used on dramas, it can also found on comedies.

This technique is used for different purposes, such as serving as a narrative hook, to mimic human memory or to explore the past of the story without leaving its present completely aside. In addition, not all television series use this technique in the same extent; some of them use it only in certain episodes, e.g. Fringe, others only in certain seasons, e.g. Breaking Bad, while others do throughout their entire run, e.g. Lost.

1950s

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
1959―1963 The Untouchables Crime drama ABC

1990s

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
1990―1991 Twin Peaks Drama ABC [1]

2000s

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2000―2006 Malcolm in the Middle Comedy Fox Mainly through the use of flashbacks, especially episodes Flashback and Bowling
2000―2004 Coupling Comedy BBC Two
2002 Boomtown Action-drama NBC
2002 Firefly Science fiction Fox Only episode Out of Gas
2003―2006
2013―present
Arrested Development Comedy Fox (season 1-3)
Netflix (season 4-present)
Especially season 4 [2]
2004―2010 Lost Drama ABC [3][4]
2005―2014 How I Met Your Mother Comedy CBS [4]
2005―present It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Comedy FX, FXX Only in certain episodes, such as Who Pooped the Bed?, Frank's Brother and How Mac Got Fat
2006―2013 30 Rock Comedy NBC Mainly through the use of flashbacks and smash cuts.
2006―2010 Heroes Drama NBC
2007―2012 Damages Drama FX [4]
2008―2013 Breaking Bad Drama AMC Only Pilot, season 2 and season 5 [5]
2008―2013 Fringe Science fiction Fox Only certain episodes, such as Peter and Subject 13
2009―2010 FlashForward Drama ABC
2009―present The Vampire Diaries Fantasy drama The CW
2009―2015 Parks and Recreation Comedy NBC Only episodes Leslie and Ron and One Last Ride

2010s

2010

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2010―2014 Boardwalk Empire Period drama HBO Only episode Under God's Power She Flourishes and season 5
2010 The Event Science fiction NBC [4]
2010―present The Walking Dead Horror drama AMC [6]
2010―present Pretty Little Liars Teen drama ABC Family

2011

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2011―present American Horror Story Horror drama FX Flashbacks and dream immersions
2011―present Homeland Drama Showtime Only certain episodes, such as Crossfire and All About Allison.
2011―present New Girl Comedy Fox Mainly though the use of flashbacks
2011―present Shameless (U.S.) Comedy-drama Showtime Only episode A Night to Remem... Wait, What?
2011―present Person of Interest Science fiction CBS
2011―present Once Upon a Time Fantasy drama ABC [4]

2012

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2012 Alcatraz Science fiction Fox Only through the use of flashbacks and flash-forwards
2012―present Arrow Superhero The CW Mainly through the use of flashbacks [4]
2012―2014 Revolution Science fiction NBC
2012 The Returned Drama Canal+

2013

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2013―2014 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Fantasy drama ABC
2013 Deception Soap opera NBC
2013―2015 Hannibal Drama NBC Especially season 3 [7]
2013 Golden Boy Drama NBC
2013―present Orphan Black Science fiction BBC America Especially Season 4
2013―present Orange Is the New Black Comedy-drama Netflix Mainly through the use of flashbacks
2013―present The Originals Fantasy drama The CW
2013―present Ray Donovan Drama Showtime

2014

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2014―present The 100 Science fiction The CW Mainly through the use of flashbacks
2014―present BoJack Horseman Adult animation Netflix Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions
2014―present Black-ish Comedy ABC Mainly though the use of flashbacks
2014―present Gotham Crime-drama Fox Only certain episodes, such as Spirit of the Goat
2014―2016 Penny Dreadful Drama Showtiime Only episodes Closer Than Sisters, The Nightcomers and A Blade of Grass
2014―present The Affair Drama Showtime Using unreliable narrators, the same events are revisited twice, according to the perception of each character [8]
2014―present True Detective Drama HBO Especially season 1
2014―present How to Get Away with Murder Drama ABC In media res narrative
2014―present The Flash Superhero The CW Time travel, parallel timelines and flashbacks
2014 The Honourable Woman Political-spy thriller BBC Two
2014 Manhattan Love Story Romantic comedy ABC
2014―present The Missing Drama BBC One
2014―present The Strain Horror drama FX Mainly through the use of flashbacks
2014―present The Leftovers Drama HBO Through the use of dream immersions and flashbacks
2014―present Transparent Comedy-drama Amazon Only episode Best New Girl
2014―2015 A to Z Comedy NBC
2014―2015 Forever Drama ABC Mainly through the use of flashbacks

2015

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2015―present Aquarius Period drama NBC Through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions
2015―present Wayward Pines Drama Fox Mainly through the use of flashbacks [9]
2015 Connected Documentary AOL On
2015―present 12 Monkeys Science fiction Syfy Time travel
2015―present American Crime Drama ABC
2015―present Bloodline Drama Netflix Flashforwards used as a narrative hook
2015―present Better Call Saul Drama AMC Only episode Marco
2015―present Daredevil Superhero Netflix Mainly through the use of flashbacks [10]
2015―present Marvel's Jessica Jones Superhero Netflix Through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions
2015―present Master of None Comedy Netflix Through the use of flashbacks
2015―present Grace and Frankie Comedy Netflix Only episodes The Fall and The Elevator
2015―present Fresh Off the Boat Comedy ABC Only through the use of flashbacks
2015―present Fear the Walking Dead horror-drama AMC Only episode Blood in the Streets
2015―present Humans Science fiction Channel 4 and AMC Only through the use of flashbacks
2015―present Mr. Robot Drama USA Network Through the use of dream immersions [11]
2015―present Narcos Drama Netflix
2015―present Sense8 Science fiction Netflix Only certain episodes, such as I Can't Leave Her [12]
2015 The Whispers Science fiction ABC
2015―present Quantico Drama ABC In media res [13]
2015 You, Me and the Apocalypse Comedy-drama Sky 1 and NBC

2016

Year Title Genre Distributor Notes Ref
2016 11.22.63 Science fiction Hulu Time travel
2016 The Night Manager Espionage drama BBC One, AMC
2016―present American Crime Story Crime drama FX
2016―present Legends of Tomorrow Superhero The CW Time travel
2016 Vinyl Drama HBO Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions
2016 Damien Drama A&E
2016 The Real O'Neals Comedy ABC
2016 The Family Drama ABC
2016―present Billions Drama Showtime Only episode Quality of Life
2016―present The Path Drama Hulu Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions
2016 Containment Drama The CW
2016―present Lady Dynamite Dark comedy Netflix This series features three narrative times, two different storylines in the past and one in the present [14]
2016―present Outcast Drama Cinemax Mainly through the use of flashbacks [15]
2016―present Preacher Drama AMC Mainly through the use of flashbacks [16]
2016―present Stranger Things Drama Netflix Mainly through the use of flashbacks
2016―present Westworld Drama HBO This series features three narrative times, two different storylines in the past and one in the present

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ "Twin Peaks fans party on as show plots return to weird heart of America". The Guardian. Retrieved on September 30, 2015
  2. ^ Stanhope, Kate. "Arrested Development Creator on New Episodes, Surprises: "We Want to Reward the Fans"" TV Guide. Retrieved on October 5, 2015.
  3. ^ "Out of Order: A discussion of nonlinear narrative structure". Retrieved on August 20, 2015
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Anachronic Order on TV". TV Tropes. Retrieved of August 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Poniewozik, James. "Review of Breaking Bad Season 5 premiere, "Live Free or Die" Time. Retrieved on October 5, 2015. "
  6. ^ Prudom, Laura (October 12, 2015). "'The Walking Dead' Season Premiere Recap: The Long and Winding Road". Variety. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  7. ^ "'Hannibal' Review "Digestivo"". Entertainment Monthly. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ Goodman, Tim. "'The Affair' Season 2: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on October 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Dowling, Amber. "Wayward Pines: “The Truth” Review. IGN. Retrieved on October 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Steinbeiser, Andrew. "Review: Daredevil Will Heighten Your Senses (Spoiler Free)" Comicbook.com. Retrieved on October 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "'Mr. Robot' Recap: Success Through Playing Audiences Against Their Own Expectation". Forbes. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ Farley, Michael. "What's going on?: The Wachowskis' globe-trotting, empathetic 'Sense8'". City Paper. Retrieved on October 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Review: ‘Quantico’ Flips Between Jousting F.B.I. Recruits and a Terrorist Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved on September 30, 2015
  14. ^ "Review: ‘Lady Dynamite’ Finds Surreal Humor in Mental Illness". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ "'Outcast' Review: Robert Kirkman’s Cinemax Possession Series Is a Frustrating Tease". The Wrap. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  16. ^ "'Preacher': What That That Massive Comic Book Cameo Means Moving Forward". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
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