TV Drama NotesAn Investigation in to the TV dramas and what makes them succesful
Representation• Representation, in a media sense, is how a group of people, associated by their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social background ect. are portrayed in the media. Usually these are stereotypical portrayals based on old social ideas and conventions such as men being superior or at least less flawed than women, or a minority character being singled out for their uniqueness. More recently these conventions are being subverted (turned on their head) however it is still rare to encounter a gay character, or a black one or poor one, in the media without a point being made of the fact that they are a minority or they conform to their stereotypes.
Analysis• To successfully analyze TV dramas and the representations contained therein, we must break our study down into two different types of analysis.Macro Analysis- macro analysis is looking at the piece as awhole and seeing who effect it provokes from the audienceand why.Micro Analysis- micro analysis is the detailed breaking downof a piece if work, looking at it, frame by frame, at thecamera angles, the shot types, lighting ect.
Verisimilitude Verisimilitude, is a sense of realism created by a piece of media. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the piece has to be grounded in reality, merely that its elements must be able to convince the viewer, or reader, that they could be plausible. This is essential in the media, as if someone is unable to suspend their disbelief they will loose interest and change the channel or not buy the film or book and the piece will not be successful.
TV Dramas• A TV drama is television series which focuses on the emotions and events in the lives of it’s protagonist, usually in TV drama no one character is the lead rather a whole host, so that there is defiantly someone in the cast that the audience can relate to and project themselves onto, so as they may live out he feelings of the character.• There are four main types of TV drama these are• Hospital Drama• School Drama• Crime Drama• Youth Drama
Hospital Drama• These, as they names suggest, are dramas set in the hospital or medial environment. Examples include shows such as: Holby City, House and numerous others. These dramas usually focus on the staff inside the hospital and plot lines usually follow the relationships between these staff or between doctor and patient. They are successful because, as with soap operas, audiences like to observe relationships between people, as they can associate it with their own lives and thus identify with the characters plight. However, they are also successful because, no matter how much people deny it there is a little sadism in us all and this engages the viewer to want to find out what accidents have drawn people into the hospital this week or the next week.
School Based Drama • Predictably, these are dramas set in the school/educational environment. Famous examples include: Waterloo Road, Glee and many others. These dramas focus on the lives of the pupils and staff of the school and how they react under the pressures of balancing school and social lives and perhaps darker elements like student-teacher relationships and substance abuse. These usually have the demographic of teenagers, as this group can really identify with the characters as they are going through the same experiences that characters, perhaps look to the show as an example of how they can manage with their own problems. However they are successful with other groups who can identify with the soap opera esk side of the show and perhaps identify with the teachers who have adult problems similar to the viewers own.
Crime DramaA crime drama is one that deals with the criminalworld, usually from the perspective of the police ordetective type character, but can be shown from theperspective of the criminal. Famous Examples includeshows such as Sherlock Holmes, Luther, Miss Marpleand others. They focus on the crimes beingcommitted and a heavy use of suspense and intriguebeing built to engage the viewer to want to discoverjust “Whodunnit?”. As with the Hospital Drama anaudience is also created from the fascination with themacabre and just what crime is being committed.Plots vary from vary from just one or two episodestory arcs, as with ITV’s Midsommer Murders orwhole series story arcs as with the show 24.
Youth• Youth dramas are TV programs centered around the lives of groups of teenagers, or young adults. Famous examples include Hollyoaks, Skins and many others. They have a similar demographic to school based dramas as they deal with some of the same themes. However Youth Dramas usually appeal to a wider audience, because away from the school setting they can deal with more adult themes and have more developed characters, as there is no graduation year for characters and so therefore relationships can be more developed and more themes can be explored with familiar characters.