TV Drama: A look at cultural values and ideology Aiden Yeh WTUC Nov. 2006
How do you judge TV drama? <ul><li>In-groups, discuss and list down the criteria that people have for judging TV drama. </li></ul>
What is it that makes a story worth telling? <ul><li>In groups, discuss and list down answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesizes common experience </li></ul><ul><li>It creates images of social totality </li></ul><ul><li>Does it raise substantial issues? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the characters believable </li></ul><ul><li>Are the situations (in which these characters are in) credible? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the characters haunt the mind </li></ul>
Cultural Package <ul><li>Social issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Divorce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disease </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drugs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overcoming afflictions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Families coping with alcoholism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with financial difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes toward money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes toward love </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language- how it is used to expressed feelings and emotions </li></ul>
Social constructions of reality <ul><li>Individuals create their perceived reality </li></ul><ul><li>This perception may appear natural, real, and obvious to those who accept it </li></ul><ul><li>In reality, this perception is an invention of a particular culture or society </li></ul><ul><li>TV drama producers construct their notions of what is real </li></ul><ul><li>One implication is that social constructs are human choices. It is an approach to make people understand the choices they make in their lives and the choices they may ‘culturally’ </li></ul>
Ideology <ul><li>TV drama can show how much of our society and culture is dominated by the ideologies that confine/define us </li></ul><ul><li>How would you define ‘ideology’ in this sense? Discuss in groups. </li></ul>
Defining Ideology <ul><li>1 : visionary theorizing </li></ul><ul><li>2 a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture </li></ul><ul><li>b : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture </li></ul>http://m-w.com/dictionary/ideology
Rhetorical Discourse in TV Drama Reality TV Drama Reaction to Anger Releasing Aggression You show the same kind of behavior in your work place and you would get FIRED in no time! A character in a TV drama shows aggressive behavior i.e. shouting, throwing things, beating someone up, etc. He/she would be most likely to be left alone to ‘cool down’
Ideology and TV Realism <ul><li>Ideology provides back ‘knowledge’ that may have no grounds in reality </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>A person who had never been to a plastic surgeon’s clinic or who never had plastic/cosmetic surgery but had watched NIPTUCK would have a conception (an idea) of what it’s like to undergo a breast implant or face lift. </li></ul>http://www.tv.com/nip-tuck/show/17095/photos.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=summarysh&tag=showspace_links;image
Problem with ideology <ul><li>They force us to make assumptions that may or may not be true </li></ul><ul><li>Sex and the City </li></ul><ul><li>Desperate Housewives </li></ul><ul><li>Nip Tuck </li></ul><ul><li>Will and Grace </li></ul>
Episode 1 Chila ( Ayesha Dharker ) always dreamed of a fairytale romance , and it seems all her dreams have finally come true. She looks like a movie star for her wedding to her handsome millionaire, Deepak Sharma (Ace Bhatti ) , and her two best friends, Sunita ( Meera Syal ) and Tania ( Laila Rouass ) , are there to enjoy the day with her. Tania is making the wedding video. She's a successful TV director, so she's the obvious choice, but plenty of the guests are bitching about her because she's moved away from her community, and fallen out with her family . Meanwhile, Sunita is covered in baby sick. Her own fairytale marriage to Akaash ( Sanjeev Bhaskar ) seems to be disintegrating. Back home she locks herself in the bathroom and cuts her arm with a razor blade. It's not the first time.
Episode 1-2 Tania's eager to move from directing cable tv shows about psychic pets to making proper documentaries . She's over the moon when she finally gets the chance, but disappointed her boss wants it to be a documentary about her 'community '. Now engaged to Martin, Tania persuades her two friends and their husbands to take part in her film, despite Deepak's objections. Chila is so excited by the prospect she persuades Deepak to host a 'premiere' for the film at his club. He's not keen, but somehow she talks him into it.
Episode 1-3 <ul><li>The night before the premiere Tania re-edits the film and includes embarassing footage of Akaash . Even worse, she puts in a secretly filmed section where Sunita breaks down in tears and admits that she had an abortion at university, but didn't tell Akaash. She also manages to make Chila look like a fool for her naive belief in love and a perfect marriage. After the film neither Sunita nor Chila will speak to Tania. She goes alone out on to the roof, where Deepak catches up with her. </li></ul><ul><li>The old spark ignites and they end up kissing . Unfortunately, both Chila and Sunita have a clear view of the roof from different parts of the club - but neither knows that the other has seen the kiss. </li></ul>
Episode 2-1 After the screening of Tania 's film, Akaash is hurt and having trouble handling the situation. Meanwhile Chila has big news - she's pregnant and Deepak is delighted. Chila and Sunita are furious with Tania, but give her the chance to apologise - instead she tells them she thinks she did a good thing by making the film, and it seems the friendship is over. On the night Tania's film goes out, the two couples have dinner and try to ignore it, but when Tania phones Deepak he runs to her side.
<ul><li>As the rift between Sunita and Akaash deepens she starts seeing more and more of Dr Krishnan at the hospital. He invites her to have coffee, and he notices the scars on Sunita's arm - he decides not to mention it. Their relationship gives Sunita a boost and she starts to gain confidence, losing weight and dressing better. At work she argues with her boss about how to help Janet, and ends up quitting before she is sacked. Akaash doesn't turn up to Sunita's leaving do, spending the night in the pub instead. Tania does show up, however, and sees Sunita kissing Krishnan. When Sunita gets home she finds Akaash is drunk. He asks her if she's having an affair and she refuses to answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Sunita decides she needs to talk to Tania, but when she gets to her flat she finds Deepak there, and realises there is more going on than just a kiss. </li></ul>
Episode 2-3 <ul><li>Later Tania calls Deepak to end the affair. He rushes from the house to see her face to face. As Chila tries to stop him she is knocked to the ground. Deepak drives off leaving Chila on the floor as she goes into labour . Sunita phones Tania from the hospital; she wants her to pass a message to Deepak that Chila is in labour and seriously ill. Tania is stunned that Deepak didn't mention Chila's pregnancy. She tells him to get out. </li></ul>
Episode 3-1 <ul><li>Everyone, including Deepak , waits anxiously for news of Chila . Luckily she gives birth to a healthy baby boy. But when Deepak comes in to see the baby, as if nothing has happened, Chila yells that she doesn't want to see him, and he is banned from seeing either of them. Sunita sees Krishnan at the hospital and tells him it's over. Akaash sees them talking and confronts Krishnan, but when he hears that he didn't sleep with Sunita, he says everything is OK, and leaves him alone. </li></ul>
Episode 3-2 <ul><li>Deepak waits in his car outside the hospital. When Chila is leaving with the baby, he tricks Tania into acting as a distraction and snatches the baby. Chila returns home, distraught. Her mother gets busy giving interviews to the press about Deepak's behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Tania tracks Deepak down at their love-nest and after a fight persuades him to return the baby to Chila. </li></ul><ul><li>Chila finds herself swept into a custody battle but increasingly has doubts about the right thing to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile Tania returns to her family and starts caring for her very sick father, and begins to mend the rift. The three friends are also able to start slowly building bridges. </li></ul>
Episode 3-3 <ul><li>Deepak and Chila have a court hearing to decide who gets custody of the baby. Before it can start, Chila stops everything saying she's prepared to give Deepak a chance to be a father. Tania makes a special film for her father, putting together his old family films of her mother, and her childhood with her two best friends. She invites Sunita and Chila to come round while the family watch the film together. Her father smiles as he sees the old film, but before it ends he dies in Tania's arms. </li></ul>
Taiwanese TV Drama: A picture of Taiwanese values and ideology? <ul><li>For your final project, you need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Choose 1 TV drama to analyze </li></ul><ul><li>Examine questions in relation to any of the following: society, cultural, politics, economy (financial matters), values and ideology </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are cultural values being portrayed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the prevailing structure of political/economic power in the Taiwanese society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it reflect the Taiwanese society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it lack authenticity, conviction, depth, integrity, insight, resolutions, purposefulness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it ideological? How does it represent ‘traditions’ or tensions of the social order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you see in the characters? The attitudes toward money, relationships, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As a whole, what is given importance (Money, relationships, personal ambitions, etc.) Does it represent ‘reality’ (current behavior of Taiwanese society) </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Analyze these items by looking at (any combination) </li></ul><ul><li>the rhetorical discourse/dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Scenes </li></ul><ul><li>Characters </li></ul><ul><li>Episodes </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly define your ‘issue’ (conflict/dilemma) </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly state your resolutions to the conflict/dilemma in relation to their implications on Taiwanese language, society, and/or culture </li></ul>
Oral presentation + Paper <ul><li>Materials to submit in class (on the day of your presentation) </li></ul><ul><li>CD which contains your powerpoint material, paper (written analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>(Make sure that all presentation materials used are saved in one folder) </li></ul><ul><li>Extra points will be given to those who will provide a voice over recording to support their powerpoint material. Note: This is for online publication of your material. You still need to present in class. </li></ul>
Dates of Presentations <ul><li>1/3 (Wednesday) 4 Groups </li></ul><ul><li>1/8 (Monday) 2 Groups </li></ul><ul><li>1/10 (Wednesday) 4 groups </li></ul><ul><li>6 groups with 5 members </li></ul><ul><li>4 groups with 4 members </li></ul><ul><li>Each group will be given 25 minutes. 5 min to prepare, 20 minutes for oral presentation. </li></ul>