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An Exploration Of Popular Hospital Drama Series With Reference To Two Or More Selected Episodes(Casualty and ER)

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David Reynolds 11D An Exploration Of Popular Hospital Drama Series With Reference To Two Or More Selected Episodes (Casualty and ER) One of the world's most popular television genres is the Hospital Drama. Incorporating many aspects of real-life, relationships, family, money etc. with the action of a busy hospital. They are easily recognisable due to common conventions across the board although they can vary vastly in some areas from series to series. ER is one of America's most popular shows, and its British audiences are ever increasing due to its up-to-date introduction in the 'E4' schedule. 'Casualty' is a British-made hospital drama of a very different style to 'ER' that has been around for many years in prime-time viewing slots, I will be comparing these two programmes and analysing their differences and similarities. Hospital dramas are very closely linked to sitcoms and soaps, and take on many of the traits of these: love affairs, family troubles, illness and crime. However, while Hospital dramas can have these ongoing situations from episode to episode in the style of a soap, they are also able to easily include single-episode storylines. This is because the patients bring their own unique stories and problems with them, and they are gone within the episode. Such an example of these two types of storyline would be: a nurse having an affair with a married doctor (Holby City) ...read more.


Secretaries, cleaners, and even nurses and Paramedics are largely omitted from the storylines, especially on an ongoing basis. The style of the show as a whole is extremely fast-paced and intense, and so trying to incorporate characters who aren't so actively involved in the life of death situations, such as a caretaker, would greatly detract from the speed of the show which is an important part of its image. The doctors in the hospital are after all the ones with the real expertise and who ultimately save most lives, and so are portrayed in positions of power and high authority in the series, giving a lot of orders to underlings to assert this position. One episode of 'ER' involves a live electricity pylon accident, requiring a whole electricity grid to be shut down, when the doctor asks a worker to do it says it isn't possible, the doctor replies "I don't care, just shut it down". This attitude is needed to show the doctor's power, but it is not displayed in a dictatorship fashion, more that the doctor gets the situation under control in order to saves lives, and gives the impression of hero-like qualities such as determination and assertiveness. 'Casualty' however is not as intense as 'ER', and focuses more on staff and patient relationships than medical emergencies and procedures. ...read more.


time will be attracted, also, it begins after the National Lottery, which is obviously watched by millions nationwide, and so can hope to retain some viewer ship from that. 'ER' tends to be more popular with young adults and teenagers, partially due to its American sitcom fashion and rapid-pace storyline. It is currently therefore being shown on E4 on their 'Big Thursday' line-up, this includes other extremely popular sitcoms such as 'Friends' and 'Ally McBeal' . E4 itself is aimed at the young adult age group, and so this line up will be especially appealing to these viewers. 'ER' is such a famously popular name, that adding it to an evening's line-up is rather like adding a brand name, and grouping it together with the other 'big two' American sitcoms will ensure high viewing numbers. It is no big deal to someone to miss one week's episode of 'ER' but people are far more likely to make time in their schedule to make sure they don't miss ALL of their favourite shows, and so high ratings are almost guaranteed for all three programmes in one night. 'Casualty' and 'ER' are both vastly different programmes, considering they are ultimately about the same thing. However they do share the trademark conventions and serve their broadcasters in much the same way, to retain audiences, and to add to the appeal of a line-up. ...read more.

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