Component 2A

Television - Crime Drama or Sitcom

Overview

This component builds on the introduction to key areas of the theoretical framework provided in Component 1. In Component 2, learners will gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of media language and representation, as well as extending their appreciation of these areas through the study of media industries and audiences. Learners will also develop knowledge and understanding of how relevant social, cultural, political and historical contexts of media influence media products.


This section involves a detailed study of a specific television genre. Television genres have distinct social and cultural significance in terms of their particular representations of the world, their financial importance to the television industry, and their popularity with television audiences. Each set option involves study of a complete episode from a contemporary programme and one ten minute extract from a programme produced in the past. This is designed to enable learners to develop a knowledge and understanding of how genres change over time. Learners will thus be able to explore how media language, representations, messages and values, themes and issues in the specified crime dramas and sitcoms reflect the key social, cultural, political and historical contexts in which they are produced. The complete episodes set will also exemplify industry issues and emerging, contemporary developments in television in the form of online broadcasting. Both genre studies provide opportunities to address key aspects of media audiences, including targeting, consumption and appeals.

 
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Sitcom - Set Text

The IT Crowd

Series 4, Episode 2: The Final Countdown (2010)

The IT Crowd is an award-winning cult television programme that offers a range of interesting representations and plays on stereotypes of gender and ethnicity. Friends uses sitcom conventions in a typical way and represents a conservative representation of the diversity of US society whilst being slightly more challenging in its representation of gender. The two productions reflect different broadcasting contexts: a terrestrial broadcaster purchasing an American series for broadcast and a 'home-grown' British production. The ongoing availability of both series reflects the recent growth of online streaming services and global, on-demand consumption by audiences.

 

Revision Area

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Sitcoms - KO - Language & Representation

Sitcoms Knowledge Organiser 2 - IT Crowd Media Language and Representation. This document provides a clear overview of: Conventions, An Episode Summary, Narrative Arcs, Links to narrative theory (Todorov/Propp), Intertextuality, Representation of Gender and Ethnicity, and Context of the show.

 

Extract

Friends
Season 1 Episode 1 (1994)

Each set option involves study of a complete episode of a contemporary programme and one ten minute extract from an episode of a programme produced in the past. The extract is selected by the centre (Friends), must be at least ten minutes in length and, in conjunction with the complete episode, must enable learners to explore all aspects of the media theoretical framework, which includes the following main areas:

  • how the complete episode and the chosen extracts reflect the society and culture of the time in which they were made

  • what the complete episode and extract suggest about the representations of gender, ethnicity and age

  • key aspects of the broadcasting industry

  • key audience issues.

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