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How is EastEnders Packaged as being a real representation of Britain.

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Tarana Syed 10F How is the EastEnders Packaged as being a real representation of Britain. Julia Smith- "We do not make real life, We reflect it" In the 1980s there was a rating war among the Television channels. They were fighting for viewers. BBC was losing. They did not have any flagship programs like ITV (Coronation street). So BBC introduced a soap called 'Triangle', but it was unsuccessful at attracting viewers. They were trying to make some other soap. In 1982 there was a real sense of panic among the executors of the BBC because of the birth of a new channel- channel4. They were showing a new soap called 'Brookside'. It also attracted many viewers like 'Coronation Street', because it dealt with real issue in every day life. At the same time, Julia Smith, producer of the 'Grange Hill' came up with the idea of a new soap to compete with programs like 'Brookside' and 'Coronation Street'. They watched 'Coronation Street' closely to assess its popularity with an aim not to duplicate it, because the viewers will not stop watching 'Coronation Street' in order to watch something like ''Coronation Street''. On 19th February 1985, the BBC released the soap 'EastEnders'. ...read more.


In 'EastEnders' different types of characters have been used. Nick Cotton plays as a bad character. For teenagers, Ian, Michelle and Sharon have been used. Ian was the good working class boy. Michelle was the aggressive working class girl, and Sharon was the spoilt wealthy working class girl. These characters emphasised the different types of working class teenagers as opposed to creating a typical stereotype. 'EastEnders' is set on the street called Albert square. Unlike 'Brookside' (Brookside Close, Liverpool), 'Coronation Street' (Manchester) and Emmerdale (Yorkshire), 'EastEnders' is set in the East End of London. The main reason for this may be that they did not want to copy the other soaps but wanted to compete against them. Some of the choices to make 'EastEnders' became inevitable. For example, it is focused on a totally working class people. Unlike 'Brookside', 'Coronation Street' and Emerdale that is focused on middle, upper and some lower class people. Therefore, the viewers of EastEnders can gain an insight into working class lifestyles. Everything is about working class people. The traditional working class value is important. As for Ian's father, Pete Beal, men are meant to do the hard work and women are for cooking and domestic work. ...read more.


Where as the East End have greater ethnic minorities. Also the community is shown to support Asians against victimisation that is, Sanjay and Gita Kapoor. This shows the new attitudes towards racial equality as opposed to the traditional stereotypes. To conclude, Julia Smith, EastEnders's instigator stated, "We do not make real life, we reflect it". It means, as opposed to creating mythical storylines which are then claimed as real life happenings EastEnders show actual issues as they exist in fact with the outlook of regarding things as they are in today's Britain. Hence the program reflects 'real life' but does not create a myths of real life. EastEnders aims to show the 'New realism' of Britain. It aims to depict issues, which have recently developed in contemporary society, such as HIV/AIDS. At the same time, it shows the movement away from traditional beliefs, emphasising the new changed values and attitudes held today, such as the changing attitudes towards the role of men and women in society. The program also shows some traditional stereotypes are still maintained, for example, the long rooted extended family network. Both the visual and sound effects of EastEnders image that of the East End making the program more realistic. Also it is the characters who play them, and the showing of all these issues together that truly enhances the realism of EastEnders. ...read more.

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