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Compare how the two television programmes you have studied offer comic representations of gender

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Introduction

Compare how the two television programmes you have studied offer comic representations of gender. The situation comedies "Absolutely Fabulous" and "Gimme Gimme Gimme" both offer different representations of gender, gender roles and conventions. "Absolutely Fabulous" is based upon an inverted family unit: Edina's daughter, Saffy, is maternal and often ends up taking care of the wildly irresponsible Eddie, who is more like a teenager, and men are absent from the house. However, there is a masculine influence present, in the form of Patsy who takes on the role of 'man of the house.' A strong theme within the show is sexual liberation and Patsy and Eddie's free, liberal lifestyle's rejection of domesticity. Th e rejection of domesticity is apparent from the set, most notably the kitcken. This is a place of tradition and domestic life, and Patsy and Eddie are clearly shown to be uncomfortable there, only venturing in when absolutely necessary. Most visitors are shown to the kitchen and it is a place of conflict and confusion, with most arguments taking place within. Patsy and Eddie's discomfort there shows their fear of domestic life, and in the episode "Small Opening", they leave an argument there and retreat to the lounge - "their" place - a sign that they cannot cope with normal life and shut themselves away from it. ...read more.

Middle

the show, The humour here is much more direct than that of "Absolutely Fabulous", with great emphasis on sexual innuendos and crude elements. "Gimme Gimme Gimme" transgresses boundaries, with the two protagonists (Linda and Tom) subverting traditional gender roles. They resemble a married couple, but in reverse - Linda is masculine, while Tom is effeminate. Tom is middle-class and cultured, and sees Linda as beneath him - in the 'Millennium Special', he describes her as 'frighteningly working class.' He is also houseproud, as shown by his Christmas punch and his dismay when Linda broke the decorations ('Whatever happened to Timothy tree?') He gives the impression of intelligence and often loses patience with Linda, also finding her crude humour too much on occasion: 'You know, sometimes you make me physically sick.' In contrast, Linda is very masculine and uncultured, loud and direct, yet also childlike and na�ve. She is plainly of low intelligence and enjoys insulting Tom - 'I ain't homophobic, I just can't stand 'em.' She frequently calls him 'homo', but in reality this is probably a term of endearment. Although she pretends to despise him, Linda and Tom are dependant on each other, as shown by the scene where Linda is about to go out and Tom clings to her. ...read more.

Conclusion

sum up the attitudes of the two programmes - "Gimme Gimme Gimme"'s shows how the protagonists want life to be, and the show is based upon them wanting better lives. The flashback in "Absolutely Fabulous" shows how life sued to be, and the characters here are living in the past. A key difference is that Eddie and Patsy truly believe they are in control of their lives and are happy, whereas Linda and Tom are perfectly aware of the fact that they are going nowhere. While "Absolutely Fabulous" is a satire, there is also a fantasy element about Patsy and Eddie's uninhibited, hedonistic lifestyles. Both shows' characters are representative types of society, and there is an absence of men in both - the main theme of both shows. However, in "Absoultely Fabulous" this is shown to be a positive thing and Patsy and Ednia show no need for them, however "Gimme Gimme Gimme" is about its protagonists' loneliness, and is centered around their quest for men (hence the title.) "Gimme Gimme Gimme"'s comic representation of gender is based upon stereotypes, role reversal and class contrast, whereas "Absoultely Fabulous" plays on the common idea of how a mother should be, the traditional values they have and women's independence. Both shows use subversion of roles to great effect in their comic representation of gender. ...read more.

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