Wednesday, 11 May 2011

How does the extract from Skins construct representations of age?

The representations of age are demonstrated in a very unussual manner. The ages which are shown in the TV drama Skins break the versimilitude of their actual behaviour in the real world.

The young girls shown in the series were illustrated as chavs due to their appearance, they wore fake hooped earings and had their hair tied back demonstrating a very trampish look. The foul language coming out of their mouths illustrated that they were acting older than they actually were, "I'd still give one to him". This phrase was said even though they may have not neccessarily understood the meaning of that which was suggesting that they were attempting to act older than they were.

The teenagers in the series are represented in a very positove manner as they were not misbehaving as much as we expected that they would. They are portrayed as being very sympathetic and understanding towards their friends, the long takes and over the shoulder shots suggest that they are very concerned about the well being of one another. The close up shot of the hands together suggest a very reassuring attitude towards the uneasy teenager.

The series creates  stereotype towards the gay teenagers. An establishing shot of the dancing awards and trophy's and the costume of the boy creates a typical represesntation of gay teens.

At the beginning of the series the location is a community church which suggests that the teenagers are very community based. The formal costumes suggests that the teenagers are very grown up and mature. A midshot of the teenage girl touching her mother on the arm suggests that she was more mature than her mother and she looked afte her mother, this shows a role swap.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Analyse how the producers construct the representations of working class in the first six minutes of Shameless

   The representations of working class have been clearly presented by the producers of Shameless in terms of the language and living standards of the characters. We can see that the main character is named Frank and the series is based on his life. He is a lone-parent which is said by a sociologist, Charles Murray to be a reason of poor living standards and can influence children in a negative way as in this case, grow up without a mother figure. This causes unemployment and underachieving.

The series begins with a brief introduction of the characters. We notice that there is a jump cut of the establishing shot which focuses on the estate. The jump cut puts emphasis on the area which the characters live in and call their home.

We are introduced to Frank's children when they hit their father with a loaf of bread, this suggests that the children are not disciplined like middle class children. This is exaggerated by a low angle shot of the children when they check to see if their father is concious. We can interpret that the body language between one another within the household is quite violent and rude. The clothing of the characters is seen as quite chavvish and informal as opposed to the middle class who dress formally.

The working class is represented in a very rough yet homely neighbourhood. We see that although the characters live in the working class they still share a good relationship with their neighbours. The interpretation of parties in the working class are considered as setting cars on fire and creating riots by throwing beer cans into the fire and creating a significant amount of havoc. A sound of a siren is heard and a close up of the police car is being focused on, the bright sirens illustrate that the police are the working classes worst enemy. An establishing shot is focused on as the police run after the neighbourhood after they had created riots on the street. The credits then appear with the title of the TV drama, 'Shameless'. This title compliments the establishing shot as it shows that this is a norm for this neighbourhood as they have no shame for actions which have been performed.

We can notice flashes of police lights which are reflected on the faces of the neighbours as they throw beer can into the fire and are burning this car. This emphasises the idea that creating chaos and havoc is a traditional norm of the working class.

The high angle shot of the front of the house creates a stereotype of how the working class supposably lives. The caravan suggests that they are travellers who are family orientated. There are washing machines and cookers outside which creating a very cheap image and we see that the working class do not care about how they present themselves.

This over the shoulder shot demonstrates that the working class is represented as dirty and scruffy looking. We see this as Phillip is about to enter Karens house, her mother is uneasy about him entering with his filthy, soily shoes on. She insists that he take his shoes of and place them in a carrier bag. This shows a clear class difference as Karens mother is presented in a clean and formal way as opposed to Phillip who has muddy shoes and is dressed in dirty shoes. As Karens mother opens the door we sense she felt very uncomfortable and frightened about opening the door for him, this suggested that the working class was seen as hooligans and wild animals who do not believe in hygiene.

The extreme close-up of Phillip putting his clothes in the wash is emphasised as the washing bag is a black carrir bag compared to a laundry basket, illustrating that they can not afford luxuries as they are ofthe working class.

The mid shot suggests that the working class are quite poor and would go to extremes to get money froom anywhere as this shot is of a stranger stealing the bag of the eldest daughter whilst she is out clubbing in a public nightclub. This illustrates that people are capable of anything if they need money and need their daily necessities.

The language which was spoken by Veronica suggests a very informal and restricted code, this suugests that she is from a working class background as she has poor english. She comes accross as quit rude as she addresses the night club bouncer as a 'fat twat'.
We can acknowledge that these boys are from the working class as they share an overcrowded room with one another which suggests that they do not have enough rooms for them all to be independent. The soundtrack creates a very out of place atmosphere which suggests that the working class is incapable of fitting in with the middle class.

The overall representation of the working class is that they are very careless and would do anything to get by in the world. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ashes to Ashes Practical and Analysis

a)The character Gene Hunt is presented as the head of the force and the main character in the scene. We see this as when Hunt is presented on screen low angle shots are shown to present his significance and importance of the situation. The shot creates the idea that Hunt is a God like character in the series. He is seen as the protagonist in the series.

When watching this scene, our perception of Gene Hunt changes all the time. We can say that he is clearly the boss of those of the same gender, he treats and speaks to them with a very impolite and harsh tone when talking to the villlain in the scene. However, perception of Hunt then are transformed as we see the villain being handcuffed by him and then we interpret that he is a positive character.

We see the care approaching in wild and fast manner which sugests that this could reflect the personality of Hunt himself. His driving reflects his chracter.

Hunt is wearing cowboy boots rather than the usual police uniform. This creates confusion about the occupation of Hunt the audience may be confused whether he is good or bad. From his materialistic items, we gather that he is headstrong, macho and butch man, an image which clearly reflects his personality.

a) Done with Yasmin

b) Possible ways of dilluting the sour image of Hunt could be through the shots. For example, rather than having a shot of his feet, we could create a shot of his clean and fresh innocent face as opposed to the grumpy sour appearance. The editing could be less sharp as at the moment it consists of very sharp cross cutting, maybe the editing could be discretly cross cut to create more of a less macho atmosphere. The shot of him being God like and macho could be an eye level shot to dial down the machoness.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Shameless is a BAFT award-winning british television drama series which is situated in a council estate in Manchester.

  • The series was produced by Company Pictures for Channel 4.
  • Created and written by Paul Abbott, he is also the Executive Producer.
  • Company Pictures is an independent British television production company.
  • Company Pictures has produced programming for many broadcasters such as BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
  • First seven-series aired Tuesdays at 10pm from January 2004.
  • It been accorded critical acclaim by various sections of the British media, including The Sun newspaper and Newsnight Review on BBC Two.
  • Aired on Channel 4
  • The sister channel E4 allowed repeats of the weeks episode to be viewed if you missed the First Look on Channel 4.

  • In April 2005, the programme's first series won the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy TV Awards.
  • Nominated for Best British Drama at the National TV Awards 2007.
  • Won Best Continuing Drama Award at the Royal Television Awards Society North West Awards 2007.
  • Sold overseas in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, US, Italy, Latin America and Israel.

Analyse the representations of gender in the television drama, ‘Ashes to Ashes’

‘Ashes to Ashes’, creates a clear representation of gender within the drama. It can be interpreted that the television drama consists of a male’s domination over women. A very controlling atmosphere is illustrated in the beginning of the episode.
The male role is shown as very controlling and dominant as the episode begins with a low angle shot of a number of tall buildings, this implies that the main character is dominated and controlled by something or someone. A voiceover of a woman telling her story appears suggesting that she is quite vulnerable and innocent. A close-up shot of an adult female driving her teenage child to school is shown. We can interpret that the female character is an independent single mother as she is dressed in formal clothing which means that she is employed. It could be suggested that her job is very masculine as her hair tied back and is not wearing any make-up. These factors suggest that this series is dominated by masculine characters.
A male character is introduced as a suspect who holds a female hostage at gunpoint; this illustrates a sense of violence and aggressiveness towards the female gender. The character is demanding as he holds weaponry in his hand. A mid-shot depicts the body language that the suspect shows towards the female hostage, he violently pushes her to the floor this implies the idea of female being worthless. The suspect is dressed in black this illustrates a dark and dreary atmosphere, which could be considered as murderous. Violent attitudes towards women are seen throughout the beginning as the main character is pushed and thrown around which suggests that the female has an extremely low status as opposed to the male who is at the top of the hierarchy.
The gender of a female is depicted in this drama as very vulnerable and worthless. A close-up of the female character is shown and she is presented as doll like this is due to the fact that she has heavy tart-like make-up and her hair is done up nicely. The women are represented as strictly sex objects as in this drama their bodies are exploited; this is illustrated when a low angle shot of a woman’s wide apart legs is shown with a male figure between it. A tilt up pan focuses on the costume of the female character showing her tight, short and seductive clothing. A point of view shot shows male characters acting very flirtatious and touchy towards the female suggesting that she was a prostitute.
The boat was named ‘Lay Di’ suggesting that there were respectable females in the series however they were very rear. A high angle, establishing shot of the river and the boat is shown which suggesting that the audience is looking down on her.
The dialogue of the male characters is fowl and they insult the female using very offensive language such as ‘slut’ and ‘tart’ which suggests no form of respect to the opposing gender. The female depicted a very warm and sympathising mood from the way she spoke to other characters.
To conclude, we can see that gender was represented in a very patriarchal way as women were considered below men. The women were considered as of no value and only sex objects we see this as they are presented in sexual manners. This is a stereotypical way of representing gender as women are seen under men in the real world.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Comparative essay analysing the representations of the ‘law’ in the two extracts from ‘The Wire’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’.

Both extracts depict law in very different ways, but very effectively. They both consist of narratives which contrast from one another. Many techniques were exercised in both TV dramas to create a clear representation of law such as; lighting, angles, shots and locations. Some of these methods were more successful than others in each TV drama.
The US based drama, ‘The Wire’ opens during the hours of darkness in Baltimore illustrating that the city never rests. An extreme close-up of blood running across the floors of Baltimore introduces the setting. The shot is significant as we can interpret that a crime has been committed by this simple shot. The scene is established by an over the shoulder shot which reveals a Caucasian, middle aged male and a young, black male having a conversation. We can decode the idea that this is a form of an informal interrogation as the characters are sitting in front of a dead body. The shot reverse shot emphasises the interrogation methods used.

The role of the Caucasian male is highlighted by a mid-shot of the conversation between the characters. This shot is significant as the lights of the police car is reflected on the face of the white male, it could be interpreted that he was an authority figure such as a detective. Therefore this means that the potential male could be the black male as it is stereotyped that black males are involved in suspicious activity and this creates verisimilitude of the character type.

Although the detective is interrogating the potential suspect, a sense of unity is presented. The dress code of both characters is very similar which illustrates that even though both characters have different lives, they somehow can understand one another. Similar to this, the black male speaks in a restricted code of language which the detective can empathise with to build a relationship with the suspect in order to find gather information from the source.

It can be interpreted that law is ignored by the people of Baltimore as there is crime being committed and detectives are forced to be on duty at awkward times of the day. This is also exaggerated as Baltimore consists of very rough neighbourhoods which are quite murderous. An establishing shot presents the body of a black male shot dead on the floor, and the conversation between the detective and the potential suspect. This shot illustrates the reality of America, as it shows that although all of the characters are completely different, they still have the same lifestyle which consists of violence and doing anything to provide for their family.

The detective approaches the character in a formal way, however tries to relate to the male by using language which he could understand. The detective is represented as young male, this could mean that he is quite inexperienced however he can relate to young people. He uses the technique of being a good cop which creates an informal way of communicating and connecting with the other character.

Although the main focus of the opening is the detective, we then notice that there is a group which works together, this suggests a professional and realistic approach to the lives of detectives.

In comparison to the UK based TV drama, ‘Touch of Frost’ which is with reference to an undercover, male agent. The opening credits suggest a very lonely, depressed, old aged male which takes his job very seriously. The credits are shown in black and white illustrating a dull life and no sense of team helpings as opposed to the previous extract. We can interpret that the drama simply revolves around this man. As the narrative is introduced, the audience is forced to assume that the male is an old aged pensioner as he is dressed in an informal manner. However he is an undercover agent undergoing a case. The age of this character implies that he is very experienced and he is seen as a respectable, authority figure.

The opening scene is set in the daylight, suggesting that crime is all around us at any time of the day and the audience is too blind to see this. An overhead shot of police vehicles are shown which suggests that the security and law in this area is very tight and does not approve of suspicious activities. The character is considered an authority figure as he took charge of the situation as he hired the squad teams for backup.

This extract represents law in a secretive way so that it was easier to catch potential suspects. It is more uniformed as we see the detective in the office and at the station as opposed to ‘The Wire’ which illustrates more of an informal and on the field atmosphere which helps catching suspects in the act. Both extracts depict law individual ways however; I believe that ‘The Wire’ creates a good stereotypical concept of how detectives are represented as it is in a realistic way without making the characters seem too fictional.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011