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"Even though the primary purpose of satire is to create humour, there is always something deeply serious underneath" - Discuss the accuracy of this statement for the two texts you have chosen.

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Introduction

"Even though the primary purpose of satire is to create humour, there is always something deeply serious underneath." Discuss the accuracy of this statement for the two texts you have chosen. Within all satirical works, there is a deeper seriousness beneath the text. Two such texts are Ben Elton's Dead Famous and Christopher Guest's Best in Show, which both take a satirical viewpoint on contextual issues within society and have an underlying seriousness. Dead Famous is an early 21st century mock genre that satirises the idea of reality television. Dead Famous is set within a reality television series entitled "House Arrest" in which 10 inmates are put within a house with thirty television cameras for sixty-three days and compete for the public's affection, all of which is constantly overseen by "Peeping Tom" who controls what goes on within the house. Underneath this satire, the composer raises serious issues about societies obsession with reality television, how real reality television is, and questions what entertainment really is. At the beginning of the 21st century, the world's obsession with reality television was rising to a peak. Many countries around the world had had a first season of Big Brother (On which Dead Famous was based), and had screened many other reality television programs such as "Shipwrecked", "Survivor" and "Temptation Island". The text takes the reality television genre and subverts it. This subversion comes about within the text by the composer by taking a reality television program and ridiculing. The major technique used by the composer to ridicule reality television is hyperbole. ...read more.

Middle

During the event when two housemates went toward the "copulation cabin" after much drinking, a view of the editing room shows the crew becoming excited over these developments, and were hoping for Hamish to grope Kelly, as the first crew to record footage of a grope were promised a Magnum of vintage Dom Perignon. This helps to show the responder the focus that the production team had on sex within the house, and how the production team pushed for the "inmates" to have sex. Through an interview with a lead editor, the responder had been shown that in order to keep the "inmates" in a half dressed state throughout the entire series, the central heating system was switched on. Geraldine declared that an ideal television temperature would be "twenty five degrees in the room, and minus five in the vicinity of the girls nipples". The greatest example of this is the "sweatbox" task, in which the "inmates" were provided alcohol and forced to be naked within a box that has been heated to high temperatures in an attempt at "group bonding" or risk failing the task and having a considerably smaller budget for food and alcohol for the next week. Within this box, the "inmates" (aided by alcohol), took part in sexual activities, which were broadcast on television. The text questions the extremities of reality television. The melodramatic events that took place within the house, and the people selected to be put within the house are all examples of how the programmers use their power to increase the ratings of the television program. ...read more.

Conclusion

This attitude towards the dogs is shown once more by the Swan's when their dog looses its "Busy Bee" toy, and when searching for a replacement look for a toy of the same colours although they are told repeatedly that dogs are colour blind and their's is simply responding to the stripes. This treatment of the dogs, and the forced competition of the dogs are most clearly shown within the scenes that take place during the competition. These scenes portray images of the owners becoming highly agitated over their dogs. These scenes include that of Scott and Stefan working with their dog Agnes, in which it is clear that Scott and Stefan are more agitated and worked up than their dog, which is competing. This is also shown with Christy Cummings taking the opportunity to look around at the competition, or that of the Swan's attempting to "psyche up" their dog Beatrice. This is an example of the trainers, owners and handlers living through these animals, much like prior beauty queens who live through their children, and push them to unrealistic expectations within these pageants. These pageants result in many psychological disorders within these girls who later feel the need to be "perfect" as they once were perceived to be. Both Dead Famous and Best in Show are satirical works with an underlying seriousness. Both these texts create humour through the use of techniques specific to their text type and genre, and through this humour, both of these satirical works (and many others like them) contain a serious commentary on issues within society. ...read more.

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