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Comedy: Example exam answer
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Comedy: Example exam answer

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  • 1. EXAMPLE EXAM ANSWER – TV COMEDY4(a) Pick two TV or radio comedies you have studied. Discuss why they were scheduled:on the channels that chose themon the days and times they were transmitted. [15]My two comedies are Have I Got News For You (HIGNFY) and Scrubs.HIGNFY is scheduled on BBC1 at 9 pm on Friday nights and is repeated the next day. It fits BBC1 as itis a mainstream programme that will appeal to a wide audience because it is funny. It is alsoeducational as it covers serious subjects like politics, so this makes it fit public service broadcasting.It is essential the BBC fits public service broadcasting because it is funded by the licence fee and sohas to have some reason for charging everyone to watch it.Friday night is good for comedy as it is a wind-down time of the week, so BBC1 always showscomedy at this time. After 9pm is good as it is after the watershed and therefore the programme cancontain swearing and rude subjects. The programme that follows is usually a comedy as well,because it can inherit HIGNFYs audience. The programme can also be downloaded on BBCi.Scrubs is shown on E4. It shows three episodes a day at 8.45am, 2pm, and 2.30pm on everyweekday, three episodes on Saturday at 2.05pm, 2.45pm and 3.05pm, and two episodes on Sundayat 9.05am and 9.35 am. Scrubs fits E4 because it is a channel aimed at young people - the sametarget audience as the programme. It also fits because E4 shows a lot of comedy shows, especiallycool shows from America. E4 can do this as it is a niche audience channel that is not covered by PSBregulations as it is not a terrestrial channel. This means it can have stripped schedules and repeatprogrammes over and over again that are aimed at young people. This makes it easier for youngpeople to know what is going to be on E4.Scrubs is shown at the moment at lunchtimes and early mornings because these are repeatedepisodes and not considered important enough for prime time. It can also be downloaded on 4oD.The BBC does not show lots of imported programmes such as Scrubs because it is supposed to makeits own programmes. E4 would not show HIGNFY because most of its audience will be older than theE4 audience.Examiners commentsCovers the BBC1 audienceCovers BBC as an institutionExplains why Friday night and explains why after 9pm, but not in much detailCovers E4 as an institution and how it targets its audienceExplains times, but not in much detailExplains how programmes fit their channelsThis answer does what the mark scheme asks for, so it just needs more detail for a highermark
  • 2. EXAMPLE EXAM ANSWER – TV COMEDY4(b) Show how these two programmes offer their audiences different pleasures. [15]HIGNFY is very different to Scrubs as it is a comedy panel gameshow about recent events in theworld, whereas Scrubs is a sitcom where the comedy is based on characters and everyday situations.HIGNFY is infotainment as it offers some education on the events of that week, whereas Scrubsepisodes are simply for entertainment.HIGNFY has regular stars - Paul Merton and Ian Hislop - that the audience can tune in to see sparringwith each other every week. This is similar to the regular characters in Scrubs, such as JD and Turk,who are in some ways like a family that the audience can drop in on regularly. One big difference isthat HIGNFY is presented by different people every week and has different guests, and the audiencescan tune in to see who is presenting this week and how well they will do. Scrubs, on the other hand,usually has more or less the same cast in every episode, but different storylines for the audience tofollow.Scrubs is a drama, so it has episodes with narratives that are resolved at the end of the episode. Thisgives the audience the pleasure of a story being told. HIGNFY follows a similar pattern every week,but there is little sense of narrative resolution - one team will win the competition, but this is really athrowaway ending. The quiz is an excuse for people to be funny.Scrubs will have situations where we can sympathise with characters as well as laugh at them or crywith them. For example, when JD is unlucky in love.HIGNFY is more about people performing for TVas themselves, so we tend to judge them on how well they have performed instead of feeling forthem.Examiners commentsUnderstands the differences between the programmesShows understanding of how the programmes offer different pleasures, but where are theexamples?Develops this understanding further, but still no detailed examples from the programmesThis answer does what the top level mark band asks for, except for detailed and appropriateexemplification. Tim needs to study some episodes in detailTim has done pretty well. He only had just under half an hour to write these answers, so we cantexpect lots of writing. He must learn to give more examples from the text, though. For this answer,he could have used an example of the panellists in HIGNFY being funny, an example of a storyline inScrubs that is resolved, and perhaps an example of an everyday situation that is explored in oneepisode of Scrubs.