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The dog ate my homework

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Dog Ate My Homework

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The dog ate my homework

  1. 1. The Dog Ate My Homework Case Study
  2. 2. Summary • 30 minute show on CBBC. • Produced ‘in-house’ by CBBC Productions Scotland for CBBC. • Features two teams, both with two celebrities (usually a CBBC star and comedian) and a child. They answer questions and compete in various silly, offbeat games and tasks (which change regularly), and the winning team get a gold star. Host Iain Stirling can take, or give, gold stars as whenever he wants. He usually gives them when an answer makes him laugh. The team at the end of the show with the most gold stars wins. • Opens up with some corny, school-based jokes direct to camera, as if warming up the audience in the studio and at home and putting the guests at ease.
  3. 3. Host • Host - Iain Stirling – young comedian familiar to CBBC viewers from other shows. Relaxed and humorous. Zany behaviour puts audience at ease and encourages a response. • Dresses casually so easy to relate to • Speaks directly to studio audience at times and uses catchphrases: “Droolin’ for a schoolin’” • “See you next time on…” and the audience respond, “The Dog Ate My Homework!” • His humour has created an atmosphere where he can get away with being silly and nonsensical with the contestants and audience
  4. 4. Set and mise-en-scene • Set – camera cranes over studio audience. Bathed in low blue light, Triangular-shaped stage with two sets of tables for the teams and the host at a third at apex and a team at either side. It’s meant to look like a school room. There is a door behind the host through which people occasionally appear and over to the left is the PE teacher’s room where the losing team go for detention. • Set faces the audience made up of young people. Their reactions are encouraged throughout; the camera occasionally cuts away to them to use their laughter as a way of building an engaging mise-en-scene for the audience at home and Stirling occasionally walks into the audience and talks to members. It also occasionally cuts to the ‘dog’ in the audience, who holds up a piece of card with something silly written on it • Most of the camera shots are medium shots or medium close-ups. Long shots are used when contestants have to come out in front of the desks for a round or for the occasional shot of the while set
  5. 5. Set and mise-en-scene • Teams wear hand-written name tags • Note lighting colour changes during games, though as with other game shows, blue and red are dominant • Contestants and host sit behind tables that look like they’re constructed with old school furniture, stained with ink, in front of a colourful backdrop illustrated with pictures of items associated with school (e.g. ties, test tubes, rulers, calculators, maths books… Behind are two sets of shelves on which the winning contestants put their homework • Casually dressed – easier for audience to relate and creates a relaxed mise- en-scene.
  6. 6. Representation • Young host; young guests; schoolchildren (10-12?) as team captains. • Can be an ethnic mix – though not on the episode I saw…
  7. 7. Contestants • Each teams consist of one child and a comedian and presenter/celebrity familiar from CBBC • Among the many guests is Susan Calman, the Scottish comedian who hosts CBBC’s Top Class and regularly appears on other TV Game Shows like QI and Have I Got News For You. In 2017 she will hoist an afternoon gameshow for the BBC called The Boss. • It also features other CBBC favourites like Hacker T Dog and Sam and Mark. This is a kind of synergy, subtly promoting other CBBC products.
  8. 8. Theme and music • Theme tune begins with school bell and takes off with fast loud rock music over a crude, stylised animation of two kids with school bags trying to avoid all sort of wild obstacles (like sharks) on their way home, after being told they must do their homework, until they’re confronted by a dog, who eats their homework. • Fast paced music is also used to heighten the tension during games • There’s also a silly interlude where the host shouts, “School disco!”, the lights begin to flash and everyone gets up to dance as energetic music is played. When it stops, the game resumes
  9. 9. Online… • Has its own brightly coloured website as part of the BBC/CBBC website, featuring best bits and episodes on BBC iPlayer. People can comment on tne clips – so interactivity. Website is an example of synergy – links with other CBBC, CBeebies and BBC shows and features, like Bitesize, Games, things to join in e.g. Can you sing like Imagine Dragons?/Want to take part in a BBC show?/Send in your art to the Art Ninja etc, Topics to join in like animals, sports, music and food. • YouTube – has official YouTube channel with links to other CBBC shows on the same page • Perhaps for reasons of safeguarding, it doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter pages, although Iain Stirling does tweet about it on his own account and BBC Scotland advertise tickets for it on their account.
  10. 10. Mechanics/narrative • Basic – child on each team must, with the aid of her helpers, win more games in order to hand in more homework than the opposing team. There is no prize, but the losers must join the angry, comic PE teacher, Mr Smash, for a mock detention • Opening: Stirling introduces teams, who address him as ‘sir’ – graphic of their portraits appears behind them which are then blended and shown to the audience – again, another way of warming and engaging the audience with humour as the team members and host comment on them • Gets the audience to ‘Show our teams some love.’ Cut to audience clapping and someone dressed in a dog suit doing something silly. In other words he gets the audience to participate… • He explains the gameplay – winner is the team who hands in most homework, which they do after every round. Forfeit – detention with PE teacher, Mr Smash, a comic sidekick who looks menacing in a slapstick manner. • Cue some exaggerated humour at his expense. • However, he explains that he follows Iain’s rules, so pretty much anything goes if he says so
  11. 11. Mechanics/narrative – for this particular episode… • Round 1 - Shed Load – questions with many correct answers. Questions come up on scrap lined paper graphic (like it’s torn from a school book) at foot of screen. Team has to buzz before answering. Includes silly answers to keep the audience entertained and it’s up to Iain whether they count. He says which team has won after each round • Round 2 – Guesstimate how many items of clothes the adult members of the team can they dress up in. Doesn’t matter how they put them on. Team member then has to dress up from the ‘lost property box’ and see which captain has guessed the nearest. Fast music plays and host jumps about to help generate excitement • There’s a nonsensical interruption as a schoolgirl called Eve comes through the door behind the host’s desk and then the game is resumed • Round 3 - Say What – what do words mean – daft answers. The words appear behind teams for the benefit of the audience • Half Time Scores from Mr Smash
  12. 12. Mechanics/narrative – for this particular episode… • Round 4 - What happened was… Excuses for not handing in work… involves audience participation – come up with words that will be used in the teams’ excuses. The Words come up on screen. Get a buzzer when the word is mentioned and team member comes up with the excuse. Buzzes get higher pitched as near end to build tension • Audience decide who is most believable, but Iain gets final word as far as scoring… • Round 5 - Race to the finish… Contestants have to give wrong answer to questions. The team stands in front of the desks, blue and red lights flash and when one is lit by the ‘Wrong Ray’ they have to come up with the wrong answer. It’s played within a time limit and one team follows the other. Non-diegetic music with fast drumming plays to add ten sion • Final score and forfeit • There are animated book piles on Stirling’s desk – the higher pile wins • Losers take walk of shame – over to three desks where Mr Smash puts them in chains. Winners just get kudos. • Stirling says that ‘you’ may not have learnt anything, but you’ve had a lot of fun – not the language designed to include the audience. • “Q and R See you next time on…” and the Audience respond by shouting the title of the show and are shown on-camera as the camera cranes around them and back to the dancing winning team when the credits roll.

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