TV DRAMA OPENING SEQUENCES ALTERNATIVE GENRES (2018)

You need to show that you can deconstruct TV dramas, explaining why technical decisions have been made to help convey meaning. The following questions will help guide your response:

1. Use media terms...C/U, L/S, Tracking shot, diegetic sound, non diegetic sound, desaturation, colour grading etc...
2. Apply the appropriate TV related theory, especially concepts which show the connection between TEXT & AUDIENCE...e.g. The USES & GRATIFICATIONS THEORY, SELF IDENTIFICATION, The pleasures associated with generic indicators
3. If you can show off any understanding of how the media is ORGANISED, this is likely to help inform your response.

Let's start by deconstructing the opening sequence from well known HBO drama The Pacific. Keep in mind that this series was funded at $200 million, enabling fantastic, cinematic special effects, high quality scriptwriters/directors etc and produced by Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg. (AKA: AQT- American Quality Television) As Carly Sandy suggests, 'It's TV but not as we know it.' (Media magazine, issue 34...p.32) Why?



SOAP OPERA



COMEDY




REVISION TIP- STEREOTYPE

Media Studies- Texts, Production & Context by Paul Long & Tim Wall
'Stereotyping is a process involving the expression of an exaggerated belief about a group that serves to qualify or justify the conduct towards that group of those who hold and express that belief.'

Note that stereotypes also relate to gender. Indeed, sociologists refer to 'SEX ROLE STEREOTYPING' in which boys and girls learn traditional gender values from a young age based on the signs they receive from their elders. 'Boys don't cry.' Hence boys being given ACTION men and girls, barbie dolls. Many critics suggest that children are subsequently socialised to understand and later conform to expectations based on gender.

Interestingly, Paul Long (See citation above) also mentions the work of Tessa Perkins (1997) and her article rethinking stereotypes in which it is suggested that 'there are a number of stereotypes about stereotypes themselves.' In summary, Perkins challenges the generalisation that stereotypes are always 'simple and about minority groups or oppressed groups...' Equally, she challenges the idea that stereotypes are 'rigid' and that they don't change over time suggesting that whilst stereotypes look simple they are actually linked to culture, mediation (The way the media transmits such images) and a complex network of exchange between texts, audiences and the media organisations who produce the imagery.

FANTASY/TEEN HYBRID



GENDER ANALYSIS (NOTE: Not an opening sequence but a trailer instead)



The morally ambiguous (a convention of post-modernism) nature of modern day female representation is perhaps best demonstrated by considering the star persona and role played by Lena Headey (Queen Cersei) in Game of Thrones. Headey is not adverse to using her body in roles both in cinema and TV. Her preexisting persona stems from an overtly sexual representation in 300 as the Queen of King Leonidas, which is perhaps why this persona was seen as appropriate for the explicit scenes in Game of Thrones in which she is seen engaging in all manner of sexual positions, not to mention incest. Equally, Headey came to prominence in TV drama terms by appearing as Sarah Connor in James Cameron's famous Terminator franchise. (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2008/9) In the image below, Queen Cersei represents an ambiguous role model for women. She seeks absolute power and in doing so, is perhaps 'choosing' what is usually offered only to men. (Note the mise en scene of the image with red dress, connoting the blood, which must be spilled in order for her to ascend to power) as well as the obvious iconography of the genre (Buscombe) embodied by the throne of swords. The chiaroscuro lighting used casts shadow on her face and given the contrast in black and white tones, is perhaps inspired by German Expressionism...the shadows could be interpreted as a mask, connoting that she is hiding the inner monster as seen in Nosferatu or The Cabinet of Dr Caligari?

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