Fiske's ideas on inbetweeners


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Fiske's ideas on inbetweeners

  1. 1. David Alvan Apply Fiske’s Theory to The Inbetweeners
  2. 2. Idea 1 – Formal Convention • ‘Representation in TV drama is different to film and news due to formal conventions’. • 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 comedy
  3. 3. Idea 2 – Familiar character • ‘Our relationship with characters is unique compared to other media forms’ • 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 the character.
  4. 4. 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.