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In your chosen two television programmes, discuss the extent to which situation comedy is dependant on stereotypical representations of gender.

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Introduction

June 2003 In your chosen two television programmes, discuss the extent to which situation comedy is dependant on stereotypical representations of gender. For this essay I am going to be analysing two comedies where the humour depends on the stereotypical representations of genre. The two comedies I m going to be analysing are 'Men Behaving Badly (MBB)' and 'Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab)'. The first comedy I am going to look at is MBB. Most of the humour in MBB comes from the exaggerated male behaviour, now it becomes laughable because it's predictable (it's albeit exaggerated), it's also based on genre difference, that idea that only men can do them certain things, woman cant. Further more we are encouraged to share the woman's perspective on what happens, as they too see their behaviour as weird The episode we've studied is entitled 'The Good Pub Guide', the title itself reflects the stereotypical male obsession with drinking. This episode is particularly good one to look at because not only does so much of the humour come from the audience's understanding of the 'new lad' stereotype, but also it draws a line between the differences between men's and women's stereotypical behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

The girly' words have a more soft and connotations of home, where as the guy' words are linked to stereotypical male obsessions like cars and football. When Dorothy comes in and Gary tries to explain the importance of pubs to men by comparing a pub to cathedral, suggesting that drinking is their religion. Gary then enacts all of his bad habits mentioned earlier. When Gary goes to the pub he lives to-do notes for Dorothy, and she from furry goes to the pub and does a role reversal and acts like a stereotypical 'lad' does. Now what Dorothy does is, in effect, to expose the dominant ideology that says it's socially acceptable for men to behave like this, but totally taboo for woman to do the same. The humour in this scene comes through the surprise of the role reversal/breaking of stereotypes showing us what we do not expect to see. The second comedy I am going to look at is AbFab, now the humour comes form the characters breaking the stereotypical representations of woman, unlike MBB where the humour comes form the exaggerated stereotypes. ...read more.

Conclusion

We also see how ruthless, insincere, heartless and totally lacking maternal feelings Edina is (you wouldn't expect to see woman like that, it breaks away from the stereotypical representation of woman) when she organises the fashion show. Scene 6 is backstage at the fashion show where we see Patsy and Edina taking the traditional, male role of initiating casual sex and the two 'male models' taking the traditional female role of sex objects. Scene 7 in back at the office where Edina and Patsy arrive completely drunk and vulgar, this breaks the 'feminine' stereotypes that are meant to be responsible. In the last scene we see Edina having a flashback when she was younger going home drunk, the flashback shows how they have not changed and refused to grow into 'responsible' women. AbFab breaks all the female stereotypes by being: rude, aggressive, treating men like sex objects, smoking, drinking, taking drunk, ignoring the maternal instinct, basically acting like a stereotypical man. To conclude the humour in Men Behaving Badly' comes from the characters exaggerating the stereotypical roles and duties of men and woman, whereas the humour in Absolutely Fabulous comes from the fact that the characters break all of the female stereotypes and act like a stereotypical man. ...read more.

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