What Can TV Teach L&D?

Taking popular TV drama and looking at it with an analytical eye

Choose a series to watch

What Can TV Teach L&D? - Star Wars
Specials
I’m giving a talk about drama in learning at this year’s Learning Technologies event on May the 4th. so of course I had to reference Star Wars!

April 26, 2022

Series 1
In which I reflect upon the anthropology of storytelling: how it functions to hold together large groups,how we see this demonstrated in Gogglebox and how we can apply this in the world of learning and development.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
In which I look at Channel 4’s flagship “issue drama” and its lessons for L&D. Stories are moral, but you don’t always have to draw them to a conclusion. You message is strongest when you make your audience work to make meaning.Plus, how to dramatize exposition.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
In which I look at Netflix’sridiculous and playful, melodrama about love, marriage and money and reveal how we can use its allure in the world of L&D.

April 21, 2022

Spiral
Series 1
In which I shine the light on a French police drama and its treatment of passion versus duty. This is a model we can steal from in L&D because we often use drama to discuss how to deal with rules when they conflict with your emotions. Head versus heart.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
GambitIn which I revealhow this exemplary show articulates point-of-view. There’s a misguided tendency in L&D to equate literal point-of-view with the creation of empathy. Point-of-view in drama doesn’t work like that and here’s why.

April 21, 2022

Series 2
Much of the BBC’s flagship cop show Line of Duty takes place around a table in meetings. This is often the setting for L&D dramas, so how can sprinkle some of their stardust over our productions?

April 21, 2022

Series 2
Exposition is necessary in drama, but it’s a necessary evil. In the exchanges between 007and Q the Bond movies show how we can “make exposition into ammunition”with character.

April 21, 2022

Series 2
Game of Thrones is impossible to follow –unless you are plugged into to all it’s other media outlets. As such GOT is an excellent model for an L&D campaign,with a high-budget drama at its centre and cheapermedia being employed to discuss it.

April 21, 2022

Series 2
The Good Fight is probably the single best workplace drama around just now. I look at a single episode that takes a surprising look at racism in the workplace. It confronts us with difficult issues in a way that’s both entertaining and funny. And it makes us think.

April 21, 2022

Series 2
This movie left me wanting to find out more. You can teach some broad principles and even a few facts and figures with drama, and it can be verysticky learning, but if you try to use drama to teach semantic detail, you’ll undermine its core strength as a learning tool.

April 21, 2022

Series 2
In L&D there is a widespread misconception that if you make a character bland, uncharacterised,or even not there, (by dint of putting the camera in the position of the protagonist), this willmaximise empathy. That isjust wrong. In this analysis I show how the Breaking Bad pilot episode creates a drug-dealing killer who isa sympathetic human being.

April 21, 2022

Specials
A Christmas Carol is structured as a commentary on a core set of events. I’m often asked how to incorporate comedy into drama for learning –and here’s a good examplewe can learn from.

April 21, 2022

Series 3
In this episode I draw two lessons from Jaws that we can apply to drama in learning: 1. How story builds context toallow a viewer to create their own meaning2. How to create character conflict without painting either character as “bad”.

April 21, 2022

Series 3
Rear Window is a classic movie and a technical tour de force. But it’s not the kind of technique that draws attention to itself. In this episode I look at Hitchcock’s use of the Kuleshov effect and explain the stealthy power of fundamental film technique that anyone thinking of making a video drama should be aware of.

April 21, 2022

Series 3
The Shawshank Redemption is a redemption plot. This is a genre of film that looks back over life events in flashback with a voice-over and, of course, ends with a redemption. This is similar to story structures often used in L&D –when something goes wrong,and a characterreflects on it in flashback. I bring out the tropes so we can credibly work in this genre.

April 21, 2022

Series 3
Think of the paradigm for a table. Okay, you might want to make a table with three legs and a hole in the middle, but, especially when you’re working in a team, it helps to know what the archetypal table looks like as a starting point. In this episode I teach the classic story paradigm using Finding Nemo as the exemplar.

April 21, 2022

Series 1

Series 1
In which I reflect upon the anthropology of storytelling: how it functions to hold together large groups,how we see this demonstrated in Gogglebox and how we can apply this in the world of learning and development.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
In which I look at Channel 4’s flagship “issue drama” and its lessons for L&D. Stories are moral, but you don’t always have to draw them to a conclusion. You message is strongest when you make your audience work to make meaning.Plus, how to dramatize exposition.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
In which I look at Netflix’sridiculous and playful, melodrama about love, marriage and money and reveal how we can use its allure in the world of L&D.

April 21, 2022

Spiral
Series 1
In which I shine the light on a French police drama and its treatment of passion versus duty. This is a model we can steal from in L&D because we often use drama to discuss how to deal with rules when they conflict with your emotions. Head versus heart.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
GambitIn which I revealhow this exemplary show articulates point-of-view. There’s a misguided tendency in L&D to equate literal point-of-view with the creation of empathy. Point-of-view in drama doesn’t work like that and here’s why.

April 21, 2022