• A series of episodes (ranging from 30min to
90mins normally) that link together to create
a set constant storyline that was designed for
• Examples of this include: Being human,
Breaking bad, Game of thrones and the
• The way in which something is depicted in a
• This could be something like a gender in a
television program, or a sexuality.
• The media’s way of altering reality for the
benefit of public interest, whether this is good
interest or bad.
• This could be changing a celebrity photo for a
magazine or only showing one side of a war as
• In regular terms, to stereotype is to represent
a certain group of people with one blanket
image, and sometimes this is used in media to
help further character development.
• An example of this would be teenage thugs all
wearing hoodies and ganging up on people in
• The idea that to a certain group of people, this
is the normal attitude or religious ideal.
• In media, this could be creating a scenario
that people can relate to and not being to
• A good example of this is heterosexuals in
• The conscious or unconscious reasons why a
character will do the things that they do.
• In a TV drama this will affect the storyline
massively as characters cannot do something
that would not be in their ideology.
• Semiotics is the study of sign processes (semiosis),
• symbols, or signification and communication. It is
• divided into the three following branches:
• • Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to
• which they refer
• • Syntactics: Relations among signs in formal structures
• • Pragmatics: Relation between signs and their effects
• the people who use them
• When we connote something, we are giving
meaning to a word further than what it might
• An example of this could be someone wearing
black- connoting death, hiding and darkness.
• Meaning to indicate something, for instance
viewing a person in a dark setting constantly
signifies that they themselves are dark.
• Something that will signify something else in a
TV drama, for instance it could be a persons
house or clothes that signify who they are.
Types of signifier – iconic, indexical,
symbolic (find an example of each and
• Iconic signifier: A mode in which the signifier is perceived as resembling or imitating the
signified (recognizably looking, sounding, feeling, tasting or smelling like it) - being similar in
possessing some of its qualities (e.g. a portrait, a diagram, a scale-model, onomatopoeia,
metaphors, 'realistic' sounds in music, sound effects in radio drama, a dubbed film
soundtrack, imitative gestures) (Peirce).
• A mode in which the signifier is not purely arbitrary but is directly connected in some way
(physically or causally) to the signified - this link can be observed or inferred (e.g. smoke,
weathercock, thermometer, clock, spirit-level, footprint, fingerprint, knock on door, pulse
rate, rashes, pain)
• A mode in which the signifier does not resemble the signified but which is arbitrary or purely
conventional - so that the relationship must be learnt
• Two related things that are complete
opposites. This could be two roommates who
are different, or characters in a team who are
Mode of address
• It basically means how the text speaks to the
audience. Or the way you title something.
This exampled in TV Drama could be a
characters title on screen.
• The first piece of information given to the
audience that they will then take everything
• For instance this could be a plot unfolding
where we see a man in a hood over a body,
anchoring the idea that it was a man.
• The normal mode in which something occurs,
in which an example would be: boy meets girl,
girl breaks it off. Girl realises she was wrong
and later takes him back.
List the conventions of television
• Boy meets girl and they get together in the
end with complications.
• The villain nearly kills the good guy, who then
wins in the end.
• Guy faces challenge which he can only
overcome through changing.
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