Class Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Independent Scholar

First Advisor

Janet McCracken

Second Advisor

Davis Schneiderman

Third Advisor

Alexander Dale Mawyer


Derived from the work of Bernice M. Murphy, "Suburban Gothic" is a subgenre in popular culture providing continuous commentary on American society. Though she writes extensively about depictions of Suburban Gothic throughout the last several decades, Murphy’s research has shown little interest in television. The advent of complex narrative in serial television, particularly over the last twenty-five years, is crucial to homing in on the format. Viewing the Suburban Gothic as a "genre television,” we can see it evolving into a higher art form. Using essays in aesthetics and film theory to enhance the understanding of Suburban Gothic, three shows are using a combination of these theories. Twin Peaks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and American Horror Story mark the genre's evolution from dialectical to playful, ultimately revealing to audiences that they have become frenzied over the impending collapse of society.