If it is a one-off drama, then the narrative will be closed (all the loose ends will be tied up at the end of the programme).
If it is a series, there may be one storyline that gets finished in the episode, for example a crime that is solved, then other storylines that run on through the whole series. These other storylines may end on cliff-hangers to keep the audience coming back for the next episode.
Todorov suggested that most stories follow five stages:
Equilibrium – everything is normal at the start
Disruption – something happens: a crime, a mystery
Recognition – people see something has happened and react to it
Attempt to repair – people try to put things right, solve the crime, catch the criminal
Resolution - everything is solved, worked out, fixed, and there is a new equilibrium
Applying Todorov’s theory
Watch a whole episode of Rastamouse (on CBeebies iPlayer) or watch the clip below:
http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =4ZCvydOxcq0
Try to work out the five stages
Equilibrium: Rastamouse and his friends are playing their music
Attempt to repair
Typical settings for TV Crime Drama
Often in the city (seen as a dangerous place)
But sometimes in the countryside…consider the murder rate in Midsomer!
Within this, individual locations often include police stations, law courts, science labs, police cars, detectives’ houses, alleyways, nightclubs, victims’ houses….
Match these TV crime dramas with their setting.
Midsomer Murders Manchester
NYPD Blue English gardens
CSI: Miami Country houses
Rosemary and Thyme Midsomer
Inspector Morse Baltimore
Cracker New York
The Wire Mouseland
Can you think of anywhere that wouldn’t work as the location of a TV crime drama?
Mise-en-scene refers to what can be seen in a camera shot. Look at this image: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vk2lp
What are the characters’ positions (facing the camera? Standing aggressively? Sitting shyly?) What does this tell us about what kind of person they are?
What are the characters’ facial expressions? (Glaring at the camera? Smiling? Laughing? Winking?) What does this tell us about what kind of person they are?
What props (things) are there in the shot? (A coffee mug? A new car? A gun? A pencil?) What does this tell us about the person?
What costume does the character have? ( A suit? Jeans? A flowery dress?) What does this tell us about the person?
Where is the location or setting? (in a front room? In prison? In an office?) What does this tell us about the person?
Is the lighting bright or dim? Full-on or from the side? What mood does this give to the image?
Look at these images. One is from a television crime drama, and one is not.