Apply Fiske’s Theory to The
Idea 1 – Formal Convention
• ‘Representation in TV drama is different to film and news due to formal
• For example, in both episodes, the representation of characters lives beyond
the end of the episode. As a series becomes a continuation of various
storylines linked with each other, the characters develop their own identity
outside the series for which we know them for. Unlike in a film, which ends
the personalization of the character once the film finished, the character in a
series lives on.
• Furthermore, the way the camerawork is intended specifically to focus on
specific characters also supports this theory. For example, in the Thorpe Park
episode, when Simon is taking his driving test, both characters are filmed
with an extreme closeness that would not realistically happen. The close ups
that focuses on both characters allows the audience to get a clear view of the
emotions portayed by both characters in the shot, which in this case adds
Idea 2 – Familiar character
• ‘Our relationship with characters is unique compared to other media
• The fact that a lot of characters and their behavior is repeated throughout
The Inbetweeners suggest that they live in a similar time to us. For
example, we see this in Jay’s repetitive vulgar and sexualized behavior,
which makes a reference to similar friendships that at least someone in
the target audience group must have – familiarizes with the character.
These characters also have a past, present and future, just like us.
• The character’s behavior makes us develop different relationships with
them, whether is positive or negative, we familiarize ourselves with them.
This however, is not as effective in films as they are produced to become
to an end in a short amount of time. For example, in the Gig and the
Girlfriend episode, the audience certainly familiarizes themselves with at
least one of the group members when it comes to a social event like a gig
in a pub. As everyone goes through a different experience, such as trying
drugs or trying to impress a girl, the audience the audience themselves or
someone they know can relate, which strengthens the relationship with
Idea 3 – Constructed Representation
• ‘Constructed representation by writers and producers’
• The creators of the series would selectively construct a characters
that would each have a different identity. This is represented
through how we see these characters in terms of appearance and
stereotyped characteristics. Both of these things say something
about each character and then becomes an image that the
audience can fimiliarise themselves with. For example, in The Gig
and the Girlfriend, the representation of Will is of a very formal or
adult image. He dresses very smart, in all episodes in fact, and
speaks with adult phrases such as ‘a heavy sense of shame’. The
creators wanted to portray this complete different image of a
teenager that completely challenges the stereotype of teenagers
being dangerous and chaotic.
• The construction of a character is important as it sets the base of
the plot of the series. This construction happens with all characters
in The inbetweeners on purpose.