Compare & Contrast Two Magazine Shows<br />By Rochielle Parkes<br />Top Gear vs. The Gadget Show<br />
The two magazine shows which I will be comparing are BBC2’s Top Gear and Channel 5’s The Gadget Show. Top Gear is broadcasted on Sunday’s at 8.00pm and The Gadget Show is broadcasted on Channel 5 at 8.00pm on Monday’s.<br />INTRODUCTION<br />
The remit of the BBC clearly states ‘To inform, educate and entertain’, Top Gear certainly does conform the remit of the PSB. This is because it informs audiences about the latest automobile products through reviews and tests, it educates people more about cars and it is entertaining to watch especially for a Sunday night.<br />Top Gear is a motor vehicle specialist magazine show which covers reviews of the latest cars, as well as vintage cars, advice on which cars to buy and not buy.<br />The Gadget Show is another specialist magazine show which concentrates on covering reviews for the latest gadgets available in the market and for the upcoming gadgets in store for us.<br />The Gadget Show aims to give consumers an insight into the gadget world and also to give information for the more ‘geeky’ or knowledgeable audience, but making it more appealing for the casual viewer.<br />CONTENT<br />
The content in the two shows are topic focused, they concentrate on their two topics specifically and provide a range of different features in order to work different angles of the show’s primary subject.<br />They use a variety of features within the shows, like a magazine effectively, to demonstrate the programmes topic.<br />Both of the shows cover item reviews and field test experiments; however I feel that Top Gear is slightly superior to The Gadget show because it has more to offer for audiences such as weekly celebrity appearances, the ‘Cool Wall’, international coverage, power laps etc. which may however reflect on the shows overall budget and availability. <br />The programmes each fit in weekly time slots so material has to fit within these time limits or they effectively spill over into two parts shows.<br />The length for Top Gear runs through approximately 60 minutes, which is much longer than The Gadget Show as Top Gear is shown on the BBC; notoriously known to not show adverts as it doesn’t run advert revenue. The run length for The Gadget Show is also approximately 60 minutes, however in in series 3-6 it was only 45 minutes, and in series 1-2 it was only 30 minutes.<br />CONTENT PART II<br />
Top Gear consists of three main presenters; Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. I think that by having all-male presenters in Top Gear it supports the program’s topic which is about cars. They also have a non-speaking presenter called the ‘Stig’ who test drives most of the cars. <br />The age difference between the presenters represents a wider audience demographic as James May represents an older, vintage audience compared to Richard Hammond who appeals to a younger and probably a female audience. I think that the Top Gear presenters are all very likeable and each is unique to the show’s vast appeal. <br />In The Gadget Show there are four presenters; Jason Bradbury, John Bentley, Ortis Deley and Suzi Perry. The Gadget Show’s core presenters consists of a female member, this is a surprise as the shows primary subject usually reflects a largely male audience. <br />PRESENTATION<br />
Saying this, it is notable to mention that channel 5 include a female in their magazine show, Fifth Gear. Using both male and female supports fairness on behalf of both genders, as well as race. Like Top Gear, the presenters also reflect an audience appeal as with their age range and likeability.<br />Both shows have presenters which have a justifying aura and appeal; they create a drawing nature to their shows and each has individual differences which bring something unique to their respected programmes. <br />The website for both of the show’s offers audiences to look at each presenters blog so that they can get to know them better. <br />PRESENTATION PART II<br />
LOOK<br />BBC TOP GEAR SET DESIGNED BY JONATHAN PAUL GREEN<br />
The set for Top Gear was designed by Jonathan Paul Green.<br />Looking at Top Gear’s set you can see that it looks very masculine, simple but it also has elements of creativity such as the background made up of car body parts all attached together as if it was a young boy’s toy that you would snap off from a frame and build the car yourself.<br />You can see that the designers are resourceful and thinking about the environment that it is in; so by using old tyres in the ‘Cool Wall’ set reflects that it is a motor vehicle magazine show and a leather sofa made from car seats.<br />The set feels like it’s inside a man’s garage so again, you know that there target audience is male.<br />In Top Gear’s set; the main stage where they conduct the interview is similar to This Morning’s set-up where they have two sofas where the presenter and guest talk facing towards each other.<br />The use of yellow and black chequered background also connotes a racing track which is a major signifier that the show covers some kind of racing activity.<br />There are a few plasma screens around the set and the main stage where the presenter can link to the VT. <br />Most of Top Gear is made from VT’s in other locations where they do testing and races.<br />There’s a lot of lighting involve in the sets to highlight specific parts such as the car’s being tilted etc. <br />TOP GEAR SET<br />
THE GADGET SHOW SET<br />The Gadget Show’s set feels very studio-like compared to Top Gear because it is quite closed in. You can see that the set budget is not as much as Top Gear, although they are concentrating more on the gadgets because you can see the gaming chairs for the ultimate gaming experience, modern designs of chairs and a big plasma TV screen. Like Top Gear, The Gadget Show also has a wall of images called the ‘Wall of Fame’. The Gadget Show does not need a big set as they don’t have an area where they audience would watch, where as Top Gear’s audience circulates the presenters. <br />
TOP GEAR SOUND<br /><ul><li> The audio for the Top Gear intro has a rock’n’roll theme to it, the reason this is used is because it emphasises the macho-ness of the show.
Although watched by woman indeed, the rock music creates a connection with the motor vehicle theme.
The audio uses a basic 4/4 rock beat also heavy in sound, to add to this idea of macho content.
We hear heavy bass and snare to add to the depth of the drum track. Over the top of the drum track plays a deep riff, again this is used to add a masculine theme but noticeable is the fact that it is memorable for audiences who, when played back the track instantly recognise the Top Gear soundtrack.
During the track the music is played at a constant tempo which allows a voiceover to lay down separate audio tracks over the top of the music.
The piece concludes to a crescendo and finalises the intro to the show.
The name of the track is called ‘Jessica’ which contradictory to what has been said has female attributes. </li></li></ul><li>Quirky in nature, the audio forThe Gadget Show relies heavily on electronic sounds to create its track.<br />Electronic synthesisers are used to produce the audio which although this is used in Top Gear’s audio, it expresses its electronic feel overtly. We hear a heavy, jazzy bass line which runs predominantly through the audio; this represents the shows of ideas of ‘cool’, ‘smart’ gadgets.<br />These sounds that we hear are instinctively linked with these attributes and although not catchy and instantly recognisable like the Top Gear audio there is enough in the track for us to suggest the nature of the show.<br />Again like the Top Gear audio the tempo remains constant which allows further audio to be layered on to it. Another similarity is that the ending of the audio leads to the beginning of the show and end of the title sequence.<br />THE GADGET SHOW SOUND<br />
I feel that Top Gear is targeted at a male audience because of its content; however I feel that Top Gear does also target female audiences because cars do interest women and also I think that the male presenters would attract some of the female audiences. <br />I think The Gadget Show’s target audience is both male and female because of the use of mix presenters. I do feel that the topic of gadgets is more for a male audience, but the gadgets that they review are for a female audience too. <br />In the programmes the way that audience is used varies between the two. In BBC’s Top Gear the studio audience intertwines with the presenters and the production crew offering something different from the conventional presenter/s – crew- audience formation.<br />This unique approach makes viewers feel like they are connected with the presenters and the presenters will also connect with the studio audience giving a different feel to the shows aesthetics and end product.<br />The Gadget Show does not have a studio audience so therefore has to rely on a screen based audience in which the main communication lies with how the presenters act with the camera. This is not an issue as the presenters do not have to provide for a live audience although not having an audience does not have the same effect as it does with having an audience.<br />It also needs to be considered if the programmes themselves need to have a studio audience and if the budget would cater for this as well as the overall effect of having an audience has on the shows overall look and feel.<br />Another way of involving the audience for both shows is by looking at their website. Looking at Top Gear’s website it doesn’t look very interactive; however there are areas where it informs the audience, telling them the latest news, competitions and videos to watch. <br />AUDIENCE<br />