Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ashes To Ashes

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


In the TV programme Ashes to Ashes, the theme of genre is represented in many ways. Within the first few minutes of the opening we can see that there is a issue between a male and a female. Here the villain is clearly seen and is a male. This representation is typical for a villain as there masculinity is seen as more dominant and powerful. The diegetic sound is of the man’s voice, giving technical instructions to a variety of people against a background of diegetic people. The man is seen to be privileged by then camera in that this scene is one long uncut mid shot, dollying around keeping him in focus. The cross cutting between the villain and the victims shows the authority the male figure has compared to women.

Furthermore there is an extreme close up taken of the women’s face while talking with the man. Here you can see the women’s emotion. She seems as if she is scared and anxious as the male figure has a gun in the hand, thus saying that he will kill her. This shows that the representation of women is very weak and that they can’t act as the dominant figure over men. In most cop programmes, it is always a male that is the “bad guy” and the women being the one taking in the stress. Women always seem to be portrayed to be anxious in situations relieving there personality. The whole situation about the man and the women emphasises the villain’s expertise and importance as he gives orders and acts in a controlled, professional way unlike the woman and others shown in a establishing shot to be threatening and out of control.

In addition after the dramatic case where the villain fires a gunshot, you can see the mother and child getting together and hugging in praise. This shows that women are represented as the nurturing character within the programme. She never retaliates back to the male; she’s always seen as calm. This shows that women are represented as sensitive figures, and that males are dominant over them. They are always seen to go by the rules and laws, not doing anything that you’re not meant to.

This sex difference in fear is intriguing because, in actuality, men are more likely than women to be the victim of a crime. Many reasons have been suggested for why women experience more fear, including the fact that certain crimes, such as rape, do occur more frequently for women. In ashes to ashes this is not the case but it’s what happened in the past which led the man to do what he did. This is stereotypical of the representation of women as it is seen that women cannot be the ones doing the crime.


The production company for Shameless was ‘Company Pictures’. The series was written by a man called Paul Abbott.
Distribution -
Channel 4 Television Corporation

Reception -
In April 2005, the programme's first series won the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy Television Awards. It was also nominated for 'Best British Drama' at the 'National Television Awards 2007', but lost out to Doctor Who. Shameless won an award at the 'Royal Television Awards Society North West Awards 2007' where it beat Coronation Street to the 'Best Continuing Drama Award'.
Viewer Review
"Shameless" began a couple of nights ago on SBS TV - supposedly an ethnic channel (are Mancunian's ethnic, then??) - in Australia, with no warning, no fanfare. I was blown fair out of my chair by this show, and possibly appreciated it all the more because I had no expectations, although once I noted Paul Abbott's name under 'writer' I knew I was in for something special. His scripts for 'Clocking Off' and 'Linda Green' were, like 'Shameless', both sharp and original.

Average Viewing figures
Series 1 = 2.57 million
Series 2 = 2.67 million
Series 3 = 3.01 million
Series 4 = 3.38 million
Series 5 = 2.65 million
Series 6 = 2.69 million

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Write a comparative essay analysing the representations of the ‘law’ in the 2 extracts from The Wire and A Touch of Frost.

Representation can be closely analysed in many TV programmes. In “the wire” and “a touch of frost” the use of representations helps the audience to feel the programme is realistic, as it shows everyday examples and experiences. One thing the media industry use mostly is stereotypes, as then the audience will instantly understand what type of character is being shown and what his status is. Furthermore producers and directors see the use of stereotypes as an easy way out, as in the audience’s mind, the character they see will be how the producers want to the audience to see them. Throughout programmes the stereotypes do not always remain as they were seen at first.

In TV dramas consisting of cops and police the characters are usually portrayed as being smart and intellectual. This representation shows the typical actors in a TV drama which makes the things happening more realistic to the audience as they can see real life examples when looking at the police. In reality Police are seen as authoritive figures in society with high status. Police dramas reinforce this stereotype as storylines create ideologies to the audience about the police force. The audience will be comforted and have faith in the police in real life society if they are portrayed in a positive way. Police symbolise protection and safety and if they are portrayed negatively as in previous police dramas in the 1960s, it could impact reality as the audience may make judgments and start to doubt the actions of police and the legal system. This is shown in “the wire” as the cop is the centre of attention as close-ups are used. This shows that he is the centre of authority.
Furthermore the wire over exaggerates storylines which are full of action scenes and enigmas. This could give false representations of the police work force. Although it engages and interests the audience by doing this it creates fantasy for the viewer. It doesn’t illustrate aspects of reality such as paperwork and small policing incidents.

In the touch of frost the end result is usually the police solving the crime or catching the criminal. This could be seen as unrealistic as sometimes a case cannot be solved. Although, in the story lines where the police make mistakes, it demonstrates to the audience that they are only human, which could make the audience relate to them.

Looking at both “the wire” and “A touch of frost” you can see that the police are mainly male. TV dramas tend to have this stereotypical view that all cops that handle cases are male, because they are more masculine. In a touch of frost, an old man is the main cop. This positions the viewer to think of the stereotypical views the producers have. Also the man seems to always be smartly dressed in his own typical uniform showing is authority and significance. This in the audience’s mind makes everything look real as in real life the main detective is normally in his own clothes talking while the other detectives are dressed as a police.

In addition in the wire you can see the person dead and they guy being questioned is of a black race. This is extremely stereotypical as it is said that most crimes created are from black people. This view allows the audience to think what is being shown is realistic. However in a touch of frost the bad guys are seen to be white.