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Fouad Halwani


Anti-heroes have become prevalent on the home screen of Quality TV since the late 90s. In order to understand why, I had to identify what an anti-hero really is. Carl Gustav Jung’s theory of the archetypes is one of the most comprehensive and referenced theories when it comes to character development and screenwriting, but the more complex contemporary narratives are becoming, the more the theory is proving to be outdated. However, a particularly perplexing Jungian archetypes stands out: the trickster-figure. The trickster comes in many different guises and names that makes it a highly postmodern concept. This dissertation aims at identifying the contemporary TV anti-hero as the mythical player of tricks. Through a survey of 21st century (post)structural theories, narrative conventions relating to story and character, as well as contemporary theories on television consumption and “binge” culture, this dissertation aims to show how the trickster-figure is as relevant today as it was in ancient times.