• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An analysis of the Sitcom, Will and Grace.

Extracts from this document...


Language and the Media: Broadcasting. An analysis of the Sitcom, Will and Grace. The television boom in the 1950's was meant to abide by the Rethian ethos to inform, educate and entertain. However, audiences claimed television was dull. To attract large audiences, especially younger viewers, ITV introduced new kinds of programming including situation comedies (sitcoms) such as Abigail and Roger in Atletico Partick (1956). However, it was the American sitcoms that proved most popular on UK television as, "American upper-class standards are seen as desirable." Scollon (1998:56). The rise of commercial television did generate criticism of what was perceived to be a lowering of cultural standards and an excessive reliance on imported American programmes. To analyse sitcoms, I adopted a qualitative approach and did a close conversational analysis (CA) and the representations of the characters in "Will and Grace." This US Emmy award winning comedy started in 1998 and quickly followed the international success of "Friends." It's about a male and female cohabitation, in an adult comedy and Will is gay. It examines the relationship between a man and a woman where sex is not a factor. ...read more.


In doing so, they increase the pitch of their voices to convey confidence and to gain authority in the workplace. This is also known as the Hyperbolic Text Choice. In scene two, in Grace's Office, the two women are fighting over Jack. The persistent use of exclamation marks immediately connotes aggressiveness. Grace: Right! So tell him that his father - Karen: I'm still talking! Grace: All I'm saying- Karen: Quit interrupting me! Grace: Don't yell at me! This type of short sentence structure is known as staccato rhythm. It's a means of creating dramatic tension. The reason behind this tension could be the connotation of "interruption that speeds up the conversation." West and Zimmerman (1974:81) When someone doesn't finish a sentence because they're interrupted, this then hastens the next sentence, because they want to finish what they were saying. When people are speaking fast, especially Americans, they tend to substitute words in the dialogue. Aitchison and Lewis (2003) devised some theories about word substitution. "It's very characteristic of spontaneous discourse to avoid tedious repetition." For example, words like "so" and "gonna" are common words in American slang that are difficult to detect because they are used so often in Will and Grace. ...read more.


It's part of Walker's theory about "predictability." Walker (2000:51). "By affirming the cognitive stability of gay identity as a category, but rather endorsing gay identity as a signifier of resistance to the often exclusionary logic of identity that nonetheless makes possible at given moments for different constituencies, an identity of resistance. Endelman (1994). The character of Jack was allowed to be as gay as he liked, because he had a gay identity that was accepted by the audience. In conclusion, Will and Grace was an apt sitcom to analyse. The conversational analysis showed many theorists ideas about pauses and language rhythm. It showed how, when analysing the transcripts, a clear idea of how the dialogue is structured can be seen. This qualitative approach allowed me to do an in-depth research into the language and its structure. A quantitative analysis would have prevented me from doing so. The language also showed clear gender representations in the series. The main characters have strong representations, including homosexual representations, that are not commonly seen in other sitcoms. It challenges the preconceived ideologies that some viewers may have when watching television, but it is not shocking. Previous discourse has allowed Will and Grace to freely adopt gay representations for their characters that has proved a huge success internationally. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Television & Radio Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Television & Radio Studies essays

  1. This essay will discuss the representation of crime in the media in relation to ...

    an issue, but the media have come a considerable way from the days when the stereotyping of minority ethnicities, usually in deprecating terms, was the rule. Black and Asian characters that challenge stereotypes have appeared with increased frequency, also in the work of White filmmakers.

  2. How does the Television Drama Series Shameless, Disrupt Stereotypes of Working Class Ideologies?

    to cope with day to day life and show great feats of unity. This is largely down to the fact that the eldest daughter, Fiona keeps the family afloat and in someway acts as the mother figure of the whole family.

  1. Active audiences have a mind of their own and they inject their own meanings ...

    Various authors have argued that research into media effects from the 1950s onwards, also obliged to take into account the fact that opinions, attitudes and behaviours are much more influenced by one's social environment than by persuasive appeals via the mass media.

  2. The depiction of gender within sitcoms. For this study I have chosen to ...

    None of the characters fitted any particular stereotypes that audiences had come to associate with sitcoms.

  1. Explain how visual representations of children are informed by particular discourses of childhood.

    French historian Philippe Aries wrote that childhood is a social construction when he penned his book "Centuries of Childhood" (Aries 1962). He challenged that ideas about children and childhood have changed over the years of time. Aries studied Art from the Middle Ages and found that pre 16th century art

  2. How queer sexuality is mediated in "Glee".

    It is also on network television with a large following, therefore having a broader reach and stronger influence. The show focuses on the lives of a group of friends that take part in their high school glee club, New Directions, as they try to deal with ?relationships, sexuality, social issues, and learning to become an effective team? (Project Casting, 2014).


    Probably most of the people know the myth of Narcissus and about the dangers of falling in love with you. Narcissism commonly is used as a synonym of egotisms and excessive self-importance. In physiological terms egotism and narcissism can be different things, and narcissism springs from an opposite relationship with the self: not self-involvement, but disconnection with oneself.

  2. Little White Lies - the Fukushima nuclear incident and media representations.

    However, they are unintelligently mistaken of the power and the influence of the people and how they impact themselves. Mediums should think twice before they decide to be dishonest about the news since the breakout of an angry mob

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work