• Genres are the categories that different productions are
divided into. Within the media, there are lots of different
characteristics – known as conventions – that divide each
production into a different category, or ‘genre’.
• An example of a genre is “Drama”
• The definitions of a lot of genres are so broad that to properly
define some productions, a category of ‘sub-genres’ have
been made to further categorise tem.
• An example of a sub-genre is “Crime Drama”.
Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
Todorov theorised that almost every story follows a basic
1. Peace and Balance (Equilibrium)
2. A major disruptive event occurs (Disequilibrium)
3. Recognition of the problem and how to fix it
4. The problem is fixed, and everything returns back to
normal, though there may be a few differences (Equilibrium)
Propp believed that in most stories, the characters and their roles are
quite similar and unchanged, with a set of characters performing the
• The protagonist of the story, this person is the one who manages to restore
balance, and potentially save the heroine.
• Usually very important to the hero, the heroine is endangered in the story by
the villain. At the end, they are saved, and become closer to the hero as a
• The antagonist of the story, this person is opposed to the hero, and is usually
defeated at the end, their plans foiled.
• Wiseman / Helper
• This person usually helps the hero achieve his goal with either vital
advice, information or objects to help them emerge victorious.
• The Wizard / Mentor
• In the story, this character is usually the one who sends the hero on his
way, giving small amounts of help, and possibly a reward at the end of the
• Typically, the main conventions of a crime drama are a very plain, “Good
Guys vs. Bad Guys/ Cops vs. Criminals” storyline.
• There does not need to be the same criminal(s) each episode, but in order
to further emphasise the aforementioned convention, the policemen tend
to stay the same regardless.
• A lot of the locations in a crime drama tend to be within rooms within police
stations, and the general area is usually in the middle of a city.
• Medical Dramas are centered around medical staff, or a hospital etc.
As such, almost every aspect of the show is set on hospital
grounds, if not all.
• In these dramas, it is quite common to highlight relationships
between medical staff, as well as display a brief insight into their
• Shows a very positive and idealistic view of a hospital.
• A soap opera, or ‘soap’ is defined by a group of recurring characters, each
with their own storyline, all of which interweave with each other.
• The highlight of a soap opera tends to be on the emotional relationships the
characters share. Generally, these are long term daytime TV
programs, spanning years, even decades, with no particular conclusion to
aim for, as is seen with EastEnders.
• Point of interaction.
• Costume drama, also known as period drama is any drama which involves
the actors putting on costumes in order to properly represent the people
from the era the story is set in, as well as create an ambiance to further
engross the audience into the story.
• Mise-en-scène is a prevalent factor, and is based around that period.
• Stereotypes, from speech patterns to lifestyles.