Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Shameless is a British drama television series created by Paul Abbot and set in Greater Manchester, England. The story centres around the dysfunctional Gallagher family which consists of Frank and his 8 children. It is broadcasted on channel 4.

Production: Company Pictures
Distributor: Channel 4 Television Corporation

The show is known for it's unique setting and how it portrays the lower working class of Greater Manchester in everyday life. Shameless primarily deals with the representation of the working class people/family where some stereotypes (e.g. typical 'manchester boy', teenagers, sexuality of people) are used to portray that representation.

Shameless has been critically acclaimed by some British media including The Sun Newspaper and BBC Two's Newsnight Review. It is a BAFTA award winning series where it's first series won a BAFTA in the 'Best Drama Series' in April 2005. It was also nominated for the BAFTA as the 'Best Drama Series' in the years 2006, 2007 and 2009.

in 2007 it won an award at the 'Royal Television Awards Society' beating Coronation Street but lost out to Doctor Who as the 'Best British Drama' in the 'National Television Awards 2007.'
It was also nominated for a British Comedy award and an Emmy in 2004.

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

Season 4 has had the highest viewer figures so far with 3.38 million viewers (although series 7+8 are not included).

Friday, 1 April 2011

Representation of Gender - Ashes To Ashes

The two characters we are focusing on are the protagonists of the show, Alex Drake (portrayed by Keeley Hawes) and DCI Gene Hunt (portrayed by Philip Glenister).
Looking at the first episode of Ashes to Ashes, it begins with a scene showing a building trying to set a scene and also showing what year it was.  The scene moves to a close-up of the protagonists daughter going to a close-up of Alex Drake through the car window as she is driving.

The daughter is holding some files which Drake states are classified meaning she is a working woman of the modern day with a daughter. A call comes in later asking for DI Drake meaning she works as a detective. She is also wearing smart clothing suggesting that she is professional and takes her job seriously.
The audience is then taken to a scene where a man (the villain) has a hostage and a gun and has specifically asked for Alex Drake so he can talk to her. There is a crowd and armed response had been called to show the seriousness of the situation. Camera angles varied from close-ups to mid-close ups and establishing shots - the setting was established and so were the emotions of the characters.

Alex Drake was shown as calm and collected even though she had a gun pointed at the (the hostage was let go). She never stopped talking to the villain doing what he asked and tried to negotiate with him. Close-ups of Drake were shown to show the emotions she was feeling, there were also some on the villain who wasn't as collected as Drake. He shook and looked as if he was in panic and in rage, where the rage got worse every time Drake was shown as calm in the situation.
There were also a couple of low angle shots on Drake showing the authority of her character and how she is handling the situation. Although things go downhill for her when the villain starts talking about her parents.

Drake's daughter is then introduced to the scene creating chaos. Drake shows a complete breakdown of emotions different to how she was first acting at the beginning of the scene. The daughter is taken hostage and Drake is in panic. This shows that the character of Drake thinks deeply of family and the it is first priority.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Representation of law in 'The Wire' and 'A Touch of Frost'

When talking about media, representation suggests the way the media 'Re-presents' individuals, groups, events and issues. Stereotypes, archetypes and countertypes are used by the media to represent these aspects of reality. Stereotypes are used as 'visual shortcuts' as they are used so often audiences will grasp and understand what character type he is. Stereotypes can also be used as a quick reference, audience familiarity and for comic effect. Countertypes are representations that challenge the traditional stereotypical association of individuals, groups or places.
At the beginning of 'The Wire' the audience is shown a dead body, there has been a murder. The audience know it is a murder as they are shown police collecting evidence. The scene takes place at night in a street where there is trash on the floor and graffiti on the walls.
The conversation that had taken place between the two suggested that the murder was drug related, so we can assume that it's not a friendly neighbourhood.
The characters are dressed differently whith the detective (right) is dressed in a black leather jacket with smart black shoes and trousers. The other person is the stereotype associated with the drugs, he is wearing a black hat, torn trousers, and a grey hoodie. The type of dress code shows the character type where the smartly dressed man is the middle class detective where the other character (not as smartly dressed) is associated with the drugs and murder.

We only see males in the scene as policeman. The two people from law enforcement the audience are shown are male which could mean that males are the dominant gender (there are more males than females) in law enforcement.

In most media the police are shown in a positive light as intelligent and honest people. They have a high status and authority as they solve the crime put before them. When interviewing witnesses or potential suspects questions are usually asked one after the other and suspects can be interrogated in a rash manner (not physical aggression) so the police can get a confession or information. Although in this scene the detective is seen interacting with the friend of the victim, who could be a suspect, in an informal manner. The detective knows about the street language spoken by the friend and is mirroring the body language of the friend whilst talking to him. He is trying to get information without interrogating the friend but trying to seem like he is also from the same place the friend is from and that he understands what is being said.

The Wire might be trying to show that law enforcement aren't all that different from any other person. Police are all just people like everyone else and have no special powers, they work like everyone else and act in a similar manner. The show could also be trying to show what law enforcement is like in the modern times and how they are treated by people as well as how they treat people. 

Things are different in 'A Touch of Frost.' The opening credits suggest that the protagonist is a 'lone wolf' type character. He is a lonely old man with only his job left. The black and white scene could suggest that he lives a dull life meaning he is a workaholic with his job controlling his life. It could also mean that something traumantic has happened to him in the past and is the reason he is still a detective putting criminals behind bars at his age.

The scene shown is set at day which could signify that crime takes place at any time of the day, whether it be light or dark out. The protgonist is rather old and he uses this to his advantage in the scene masquerading as a normal old age pensioner who needs some help with his van. His old age could also mean that he is very experienced, authority figure who deserves respect.

The police were shown as taking charge when they were arresting the criminals.
This shows police as organised and in a positive light of the media as it shows that 'they always get their man' and that a little struggle is not a problem. The police shown here are all in uniform adding to the organised factor and to establish character type to the audience.

We are shown many shots of the protagonist as the camera continues to look at him giving orders to all the other police. This obviously means that he is the authority figure.
Although like in 'The Wire,' you don't see a great deal many females in the scene. A female does appear later on the scene talking to the protagonis although not for very long and it is only that singlr female. Once again this could state that the dominant gender in law enforcement is male.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

US and UK Television - Crime and Drama

A comedy/drama/mystery/police procedural television series, Monk ran for 8 seasons, during the years 2002-2009.
Monk is about former San Fransisco detective Adrian Monk whose OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) gets in his way. Although slightly controlled at first due to his marriage, his OCD and many phobias returned after the murder of his wife.

US Release date - 12 July 2002
US End date - 4 December 2009
It was originally broadcasted on the channel USA network. The first 6 seasons ran on BBC 2 in the UK with seasons 7-8 running on ITV 1. Repeats come on the Hallmark channel/Universal Channel.

During the 8 seasons/125 episodes the show had 6 production comapanies;
Touchstone Television
Mandeville Films
Universal Cable Productions
Universal Network Television (seasons 1-2)
NBC Universal Network Studio (seasons 3-6)
Universal Media Studio (seasons 7-8)

The Mentalist
A police procedural drama television series, The Mentalist was a big hit when it was released in the United States. So far it is on it's 3rd season running 63 episodes since 2008.

The Mentalist is a story about Patrick Jane whose wife and daughter were killed by a serial killer named Red John. He has dedicated his life to hunting down Red John using his reputation as a psychic to join the Calafornia Buraeu of Investigation (CBI) as a consultant, using unorthodox methods to solve murders.

US Release Date - 23 September 2008
It is broadcasted on channel CBS in the US.
Being an instant hit, The Mentalist has gathered around 17.5 million viewers for the first season and 15 million in the second in the United States alone.

It has 2 production companies;
Primrose Hill Productions
Warner Bros. Television


Sherlock is a 3, 90 minute episodes, mini-series based on the Sherlock Holmes books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a crime drama. It ran in the UK in 2010 and has a modern outlook of Sherlock Holmes - Holmes in the present day.

Based on the Sherlock Holmes books, Sherlock takes us from the beginning where Sherlock Holmes meets John Watson for the very first time. The three episodes compile of 3 different mysteries which Sherlock Holmes and his partner John Watson have to solve. A second season is being produced and is said to be broadcasted in late 2011.

UK Release date - 25 July 2010
It was broadcasted on BBC getting around 9 million viewers each episode in the UK alone.

Production companies;
Hartswood Films
BBC Wales

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Beginning's the beginning of a new day (at 9:30pm?!) and the beginning of a new many does that make now? *sigh* i think i lost count

Anywho - welcome my new blog! i think i'm going to use a new font just for kicks...and cause i'm bored of using the old one all the time.....well that's all there is to say
and remember...he is always watching.....................(the alien)