• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Exploration into the Representation of Families in Sitcoms

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Exploration first draft The purpose of my exploration is to scrutinise whether family stereotypes within the media are merely exaggerations, or whether they are accurate observations. I have focused mainly on sitcoms as they are known for their absurd situations and characters, but they have a hint of truth to them at the same time. I narrowed this exploration down to three famous British sitcoms: Outnumbered, Only Fools and Horses and The Royle Family. I mainly wanted to challenge the viewpoint that all sitcom characters are created for humour, rather than for being similar to our own family members. Roy Stafford defined sitcoms as ?a setting and a group of characters providing the opportunity for a comic narrative? (Stafford, 2004). Most British sitcoms are based on the concept of families, and build on these characters throughout series and episodes. Typical family members might include a grumpy Grandad or boisterous brother for example. In Only Fools and Horses, they base the early episodes on two brothers and a Grandad, later becoming two brothers, their wives and their war veteran Uncle. ...read more.

Middle

These differences in character and their situations create a ?dysfunctional family redeemed by love? in the words of Ben Dowell (Dowell, 2008). Erving Goffman stated that ?life itself is a dramatically enacted thing? henceforth the dramatisations featured in the show are very similar to our own families and their attitudes and roles (Goffman, 2009). These characters are all very significant for audiences that are in, or have been in, similar situations within their families, with their parents being ?outnumbered? by their children and the hectic household getting the better of them. Ben Dowell said in an article in the Guardian: ?These are the kind of parental vignettes that are convincing many that British comedy has finally succeeded in telling the embarrassing, ridiculous and frustrating truth about modern, competitive child rearing? (Dowell, 2008). This quotation reiterates the point that British sitcoms are becoming increasingly accurate as time goes on, and the mundane, understated humour is effective in proving how spot-on comedies can be. ...read more.

Conclusion

This style of show may be most realistic to close families who watch television religiously and were brought up in a lower class background. In conclusion, I believe that the aforementioned sitcoms are very accurate in describing family life albeit in a comedic way. The dismissal of a laughter track in all three of the shows add to this realism, and the use of one setting in the majority of the episodes create the idea that modern families in fact spend most of their time together rather than out socialising. The simplicity of the three shows also adds to this, and connotes the idea that our idea of fun in modern times is being with one another watching television. The roles of the characters are also very accurate as I believe at least one of the roles is easily recognisable for the audience; i.e. the sarcastic manner of Jim from Royle Family or the argumentative but clever nature of Karen from Outnumbered. In one way or another, these sitcoms can be related to by their audience and is a very good, although occasionally exaggerated, way of showing just how unpretentious our lives are. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Television section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Television essays

  1. The representation of men in The Jeremy Kyle show and The Maury Show

    Brendan on the Jeremy kyle show, is faced with a dilemma when it is stated his child was in hospital and he didn't even visit her. Jeremy is angry about this and also the audience doesn't take kindly to this act, he is received with 'booing'.

  2. The History of Sitcoms

    Lines are 'delivered' as if performing in a theatre, and this is accompanied by a laughter track. Well-known actors are used to increase audience, and midshots and medium close-ups are used in the sitcom. The general opinion (or voice) of the production team is conveyed to the audience; that it

  1. Analyse 'FRIENDS' taking into consideration, stereotyping, representation, audience and the sitcom genre.

    They range from a masseuse to collecting money for the poor to selling dead Christmas trees. Joey is the slow-witted one. When someone tells a joke it takes a while for Joey to understand which just adds to the humour.

  2. Representation of families in animated sitcoms

    Lisa: an 8 year old strong-headed activist who due to her intelligence sees herself as a misfit with the Simpsons family. Her personality does reflect Marge, however her liberal belief differ from Marge's democratic beliefs. To sum up their family, the baby Maggie only communicates through her pacifier and the

  1. "Compare how the representation of gender is constructed by the characters' appearance and dialogue ...

    * Ross and Rachel find a nanny, but Ross has issues because he is male. * Phoebe is still with Mike, but kisses David who is from a past relationship The Resolution's are the following: * Monica pretends that the man offended her with a sexist joke, and so now

  2. Television industry is experiencing significant growth in the UK.

    Weaknesses: - Subscribing to the satellite TV service means buying the necessary equipment, including attaching the satellite dish to the wall of a house. This may be inconvenient and costly, comparing with cable TV. However BSkyB has been extremely successful in convincing the customer so far.

  1. A key concept analysis of the comedy 'Scrubs'.

    many years and spend an excessive amount of money on their training just to start work. This is present in the show, where JD says, 'Four years of pre-med, four years of med-school, and tones of unpaid loans...' Another ideology is that men are usually in charge, but in 'scrubs'

  2. A comparison of British and American sitcoms based on an episode of "Fawlty Towers" ...

    Basil this maybe due to the fact that she is usually more friendly and therefore more popular with guests and staff therefore they look up to her, more so than Basil. Basil also may be afraid that she might leave him and to prevent this he tries to be kind

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work