The genre is basically boiled down to a set of tropes, conventions and a typical premise. All of these features are then played straight; without shying away from any unpleasant consequences and/or causes of these features. Basically, the heart of the genre is laid bare, warts and all. It is not solely done to denote how unpleasant a genre or trope is, but to break away from the clichés and stock themes said genre or trope has acquired.
Whilst deconstructing a genre well will change a genre forever (and in extreme cases, discredit it entirely), please note that deconstruction of a genre is not a bad thing (Your Mileage May Vary on this of course, despite the given facts). Many famous works credited with revolutionizing their media and genres have been Genre Deconstructions. This is because deconstruction is one of the ways genres can change themselves; flaws are hunted down in the deconstruction and corrected in the following reconstruction. Deconstruction can also add depth and enhance realism, which in turn assists audiences in suspending their disbelief.
Merely making a genre Darker and Edgier is not the same as deconstructing it. To deconstruct a genre, the essential elements of the genre must be clearly demonstrated and taken to their most logical conclusions, and this causality must be plausible. If the Trope Maker or Trope Codifier deconstructs itself (or at least seems to), then you've got an Unbuilt Trope.
Note: This page is for deconstructions of whole genres. For deconstructions of individual tropes, see Deconstructed Trope, and for a general explanation of the method of Deconstruction, see Deconstruction. For works that (arguably) deconstruct multiple genres and essentially go mad deconstructing as many things as they can, see Deconstructor Fleet. Some works may pull off a Decon-Recon Switch.
Sub-pages abounding with examples:
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation