TV Drama Feb / Mar 09


Shot types

And camera angles list and analyse the range of shot types and effects created by them – specifically look at Merlin and write analysis. DONE

Do again

Harley Street – watch and comment on the opening sequence and how the character Dr Robert fielding is privileged by the text, what we learn about him, his character and relationships, also the likely narrative arcs.


Why is genre useful for institutions? (saleability / expectations / familiarity)

Why do audiences like them? (expectations / reassurance / familiarity)

What conventions for each genre? See w/s 3 and 4

Why are hybrid genres popular? (wider audience appeal)

Work through w/s 6


Todorov’s narrative theory.

For each genre how do the narratives go? I.e. what is the narrative arc? Watch Dr Who ‘The girl in the fire place’.

Look at narrative construction using w/s 9
Lost – note how starting with Jin gives a particular impression; if it had started with Sun then we’d have a different idea of the story line.


Research Propp.

List character types in different genres or individual programmes.

Levi Strauss – binary oppositions; list in different genres. w/s 5

W/s 13 look at audience positioning – work through the suggested activity.


How do genres uphold dominant ideological views? E.g. crime drama – good vs. bad guys; good guys win; crime gets punished; often poor people associated with being criminals; women as victims; police seen as guardians of the common morality; etc

Watch Ashes to Ashes first episode. Compare with Shameless.

w/s 17 analyse the representation of the police in the two series.

Other genres?

What about social class; family life; women’s roles; sexuality; gender; ethnicity…


What is realism and how is it constructed? w/s 10 read and discuss.

Watch Casualty – how is realism constructed here? (Already seen Life on Mars)

Discuss Soap opera and realism. Show extract of Hollyoaks or other. To what extent are they ‘real’?


W/s 14 and look at the current BBC homepage

See w/s 15 read discuss then answer as comprehension.

Research Barb website collect facts and figures for popularity of drama shows and a top ten, citing which channel broadcast on and time. See w/s 16 for example.

Go through TV listings mag and make a note of all crime dramas screened, channel, time and audience.

Look at Saturday night’s schedule. How important is TV Drama in it today? Why? What is it competing with both on and off the TV?

Title sequences

Watch an example and write an analysis: How is the setting or theme of the television drama represented? Timed 30 minutes.

w/s 25 look at and work through Shamelesss title sequence.


Using e.g. Dr Who Big Bad Wolf analyse the audience pleasures in the use of intertextuality.

What is the importance, for the BBC, of the series and franchise Dr Who?


What are the most common groups seen in dramas? Why? Why have the BBC gone for the youngest ever Dr Who?

W/s 22 discuss the representation of Muslims in 24 or Spooks and the view of terrorism.

Sexuality / gender

W/s 12 mind map favourite examples of TV Drama with women in and then analyse the ways that women are represented in them.

Come up with ‘types’. What factors contribute to the representations?

Analyse the representation of women in Dr Who ‘School Reunion‘ see w/s 24

Gay sexuality w/s 26 need Shameless episode 1 series 1?



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