Learning Objectives.• To know how TV drama is classified• To understand the conventions of different TV drama genres• To be able to identify and suggest key characteristics for the many different dramas seen on TV 4 4
What is TV Drama?• What is TV drama? A broad genre - at is simplest, it is fictionalised action in a narrative form• Hugely popular – wide ranging audience• Very large genre – divided into sub-genres, such as crime drama, medical drama, docu-drama.• What does genre mean? ‘Type’ - repetition and 5 5 variation.
Task.• How many different sub-genres are there of TV drama? 6 6
Sub genres of TV drama• Crime drama - The Bill, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes• Teen drama - Skins, Inbetweeners• School drama• Soap opera• Family drama - My Family, Smallville• Medical drama Casualty, Holby City• Legal drama• Espionage drama• Period drama / costume drama• Childrens drama• Sci fi dramas – Dr Who, Heroes, Torchwood• Historical adventures 7 7
What’s the sub genre of TV drama are these in?• Holby City• Eastenders• Waterloo road• Casualty• Skins• Coronation St• Spooks• Silent Witness• Shameless
Task• In pairs, each person must think of a well known TV drama series.• Think of several facts (conventions) about the TV drama and give them one by one to your partner as clues, starting with the most difficult.• Your partner has to try and guess the drama with the least amount of clues.• Think about camerawork, dialogue, setting (dont make this too easy!), characters, plot,
Group task• Setting is important in a TV drama as its often the focal point for all the characters and its important in establishing a sense of a real place where a story can exists.• Often TV dramas are set in a domestic location or a workplace. Many regional features may well appear – landmarks, local accent, dress and customs.• What settings are used in the TV dramas you like?
Conventions of TV dramas• Characters - in single dramas small number of main characters supported by lesser characters based on stereotypes• Narrative - both overall structure and how it’s constructed• Sets and setting - locations against which the story unfolds and which are significant eg hospital, police station• Camerawork and editing- particular camerawork is used for particular sub genres eg crime dramas and period dramas 11 11
Conventions of TV dramas• Dialogue, sound and music - sound and music create effects and emotion. Narrative is dialogue based in soaps. Music drives emotional or dramatic events.• Themes and icons - tend to be associated with particular sub genres eg. the soap opera’s pub or square - recognisable every day objects. In crime series - crime icons.In the single drama varied but often 12 12
• ANDY - I ONLY GOT THIS FAR IN THURSDAY’S LESSON!!• But did give out your sheet on the Conventions Exercise 13 13
The Serial• Continuing narrative over a limited number of linked programmes with an over arching narrative.• It the much the same cast, such as Footballers’ Wives, and a cliffhanger at the end of each episode.• Closure is only achieved at the end of the run. Typically made in 13 episodes – a quarter of a year.• Examples include State of Play and Rome. 14 14
Soaps• An ongoing, multi-stranded television serial drama, typically set in an enclosed domestic location.• Such as Albert Square in Eastenders, Coronation Street, or Emmerdale, with a large cast of central characters and arching story lines.• The soap is an everlasting serial. 15 15
The Series• Linked programmes with the same lead characters where each episode is a complete story Spooks (BBC), House (C5) or The Bill (ITV), Heartbeat (ITV) or Midsummer Murders, Agatha Christie’s Poirot (ITV) Casualty (BBC) and Dr Who (BBC) or US series like Superman. 16 16
Opening sequences• Watch this opening sequence to a TV drama.• Think about the conventions in each drama series.• Waterloo Rd - Maxine Gets Shot
Model 1: Waterloo RdWhat is typical of each sub-genre?What is typical of each sub-genre?• What impressions do you get from the sequence?• What themes are in the storyline?• What type of camera shots do you notice?• Sound?• Costume?• What type of characters feature?• What iconography is there?
Homework.• With detailed reference to a drama of your choice, discuss the degree to which it adheres to generic convention.• Analyse plot, characters, setting, dialogue and music, icons• 600 words• Due in: 19 19