Monday 30 June 2014

Illogical Verisimilitude (Dallas/ Coronation Street/ Hollyoaks/ Emmerdale)

Dallas – Bobby’s Dallas Death Nightmare

Bobby Ewing, the do-gooder of the Dallas series, was always in tactical competition with his brother J.R as he was the more favourite son but always kept the true love of brotherhood with him. Unfortunately Bobby’s role in Dallas came to a shocking end when Katherine ran Bobby down with her car, where he later died in hospital from his injuries. This infuriated the audience as he was seen as a good-hearted character and “had no reason to die”. 

As the 2 series (season 7 and 8) went on without poor Bobby Ewing, the production team realised that they executed their “money-maker” from the show, and it showed from the TV ratings and audience numbers. A decision was made and plot lines were twisted to then finally find that two whole seasons after Bobby’s death, Pam would wake up from her terrible nightmare that consisted of life without Bobby (“Quite a long dream” you’re thinking, I know). All was revealed that Bobby did not come back from the dead but was just sat beside Pam while she dreamt her awful dream.

This questioned the audience. Had they just been mocked? Were they only part of a gullible ride hosted by a notorious string of lies? Who was to know? Bobby Ewing was back in the spotlight, alive and well as ever. However, was it reasonable to question the morality and dreaming someone’s death, and putting thousands of hard-core Dallas fans through misery and pain for a whole season? Or was it discourteous to just bring him back by throwing away two entire seasons of drama, corruption and disruptive affairs? The production team of Dallas really did test the illogical verisimilitude of this story line. Staging people’s death then bringing them back is seen as a highly supernatural cause and therefore an impossible factor in the real world. Pushing the boundaries of a realistic soap opera can be dangerous and troublesome but it does cause a stir in the public’s eye, bringing a whole new level of “the shock factor” to the piece. The public did not expect to see such a thing as it is seen as impossible and very unpredictable, therefore breaching the illogical verisimilitude of this plot twist. All in all, Dallas dreams can go on for a long time.

The Video:

Coronation Street – Goodbye Jack

The well-known Jack Duckworth in Soap, Coronation Street, said his farewell to his long-lived character role after 30 years of being a member of the cast, greeted at death by his wife, Vera. Her death in 2008 saw their 50 years of marriage potentially come to an end, however she was soon joined by Jack in 2010 when he passed away in his sleep, sitting in Vera’s chair. The scene shows Jack sitting in his wife’s chair (the same chair that his wife had passed away in) after celebration with everyone in the pub, with feint music playing in the background. Suddenly, Vera appears, talking to Jack and helping him cross in to the afterlife. Before he leaves they are seen having one final dance to ‘Softly as I Leave You’ by Matt Monro, ending with Tyrone, Molly and Connie returning to find Jack lifeless in his chair.

This represented illogical verisimilitude as it is unlikely that Jack would've been greeted by his wife after death as well as having one final dance with his wife. However, illogical verisimilitude is utilised to “cushion” the death of one of the most beloved characters in soap history for their audience. By presenting that Jack had a peaceful death that was happy for him, it influences the emotions of the audience as they believe that he is at peace although they are distraught over the loss of such a popular character. Being named one of the most influential couples in soap history, alongside Dot and Jim Branning in EastEnders, it was clear that the producers wanted to ensure that Jack had a peaceful yet emotional send off, that was tasteful as, if they were to offend their audiences, they may issue complaints, especially on such a serious topic of illness leading to death rather than overcoming. By reuniting Jack and Vera once more, although it was illogical verisimilitude, it influences the audience to believe that deaths can be peaceful, which could soften the anxiety that some audience members may have if they are linked to somebody that is dying of an illness, like Jack, linking to the function of personal identity.

The Video:

Hollyoaks – Calvin’s Return

Soon-to-be-husband of Carmel McQueen, Calvin Valentine, returned to Hollyoaks in 2011 after wife, and newly turned nun, Carmel, makes a plead to God. Calvin was shot on his wedding day by Carmel’s sister, Theresa, who Calvin had slept with in the past and was father to Kathleen-Angel. With the McQueen’s being a tight-knit family and a part of the soap for several years, represented like The Dingles in Emmerdale, they come together to cover Theresa’s tracks and frame Kyle for Calvin’s death. Kyle, after being sent to jail for his alleged murder, escapes, kidnapping Theresa and Kathleen-Angel, who later turn up in hospital. Distraught Carmel over the loss of her never-to-be husband, sister, who flat-lined during surgery and is barely alive and labelled step-daughter/niece being extremely injured, attends church to plead to God for an escape route, leading to her be visited by the ghost of Calvin. Calvin’s return reignites the love that she had for her husband and leads her to stay strong for her family, with both Theresa and Kathleen-Angel surviving.

The use of illogical verisimilitude in this narrative almost depicts humour as, after her husband being shot, her sister being a murderer and her family being known for crime such as stealing and confidence trickery, she opts for the career of a nun, pleading to God for help. Although the utilisation of humour lightens the mood, we are still feeling left sorry for Carmel as she is a good person. She has only recently lost her husband and is left with the chance of losing both her sister and niece, who after knowledge that the child is Calvin’s takes her from Theresa. Being visited by the ghost of her husband giving her hope influencing the audience to have the hope that someone is helping Carmel even though she is left on her own. Initially, we know that it is probably a figment of her imagination but it still pleases the audience as we know that Carmel is at a better place post-visit. 

[No video found]

Emmerdale- Marlon's Decision

After Tricia becomes trapped when the pub collapses during the famous 'Storm' storyline she is taken to hospital in a life threatening situation, her husband Marlon is made to make the decision whether they should turn off her life support machine. In the scenes leading up to this Marlon see's his wife as a spirit and begins talking to her and how he will cope without her if he looses the love of his life.

"Keep me in your heart till you find someone else" [Tricia]
"There couldn't be anybody else" [Marlon]
"I think there will be, I hope so I;d hate for you to be on your own" [Tricia]

In this scene Tricia is seen dressed all in white connoting the fact that she is now a spirit, the use of this colour and costume allows reader to see this and this is also clarified when the camera zooms out to the image of just Marlon sitting alone on the bench and he has actually been speaking to no one. The clever use of mise-en-scene in this shot allows the audience to feel the emotion Marlon is going through and we begin to realise what life is going to be like for Marlon when she passes. 

As Marlon walks away and returns back to the village to face his big decision there is non-dietetic music being played in the background, the lyrics we hear are; "Every night I see your face when I have to pray, I need a bell, book and candle to keep your ghost away, Keep your ghost away, keep your ghost away, I need a bell, book and candle to keep your ghost away" These lyrics re-enforce to the audience that the Tricia we have just seen Marlon speaking to was in fact a spirit and she still remains in a coma back at the hospital. He has decided to turn off her life support machine therefore ending her fight and he must now move on as she has just told him too. Tricia is then moved from her hospital bed which is shown in slow motion to reflect her moving on and leaving the soap.
This scene is an example of illogical verisimilitude as this is something which wouldn't happen in real life however the audience don't question the scene because Marlon is a much loved character and the two of them together made the audience fall in love with their relationship so when this storyline was advertised and shown it drew millions of viewers to the soap and was a turning point in the soaps history as Tricia was such an iconic character. In 2005, Mark Charnock (who plays Marlon) was nominated for and won a British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance, after the death of his wife Tricia Dingle.

The video:

Minutes Records Sheet

Date of meeting: 30/6/14
Held at: G2

People present:
- Kira Stokes
-Alice Smith
- Henry Ward

Matters Discussed

Person to take action/discussed by

Date to be Completed


Further TV Magazine Analysis

Henry and Kira



Illogical Verisimiitude analysis in relation to various Soap Operas











TV Listings Magazine Analysis - Inside Soap

This 'Inside Soap' magazine is implied especially for Soap Operas, not just TV listings, although both have the stereotypical convention of the main image being linked to a popular soap. This issue focuses initially on the narrative in 'Coronation Street' focusing on the love triangle/affair happening between Peter, Carla and Tina.
Buzzwords are used, such as "Every Story! Every Secret! Every Week!" intruiges audiences, especially those interested in soaps that would want to know every secret and every story, linking to the audience functions of watching soaps for escapism and entertainment.
The coverline, "Corrie Explodes!" would attract the audiences that watch Coronation Street, especially those following the love traingle story between the three located in the main image. As well as this, two other narratives are involved on the front cover including, 'Lloyd's Heart Attack Horror' and 'Tyrone's Clinch with Maria', covering other affairs which connote realism, such as medical issues and relationship problems. This would inform audiences on current affairs and everyday issues that may affect them in various ways, linking to the function of informing/educating their audience.
Including in the main image the popular character of Tina, stripped of her "girl-next-door" representation as she is involved in a story plot which sees her as the person in which Peter is having an affair with behind Carla's back. Including popular characters on the front of these magazines may be highly influential on viewers of the soap, influencing them to buy the magazine to find out more. This links to the use of buzzwords and the coverline attracting the audience to the magazine.
The framing images attract audience members of other soaps, such as Emmerdale and Eastenders, being the main 3 British Soap Operas. The Emmerdale coverlines include the popular characters of the Dingle family unit, creating the same conventions as using Tina in the main image. This mention of popular characters attracts audience members to buy the magazine to find out more about the narrative, touching upon the major storyline of Belle and her manslaughter charges following her recent best friend dying after hitting her head. The coverline, 'Belle Charged with Murder!' also attracts the attention of those who do not watch the soap as they may be intruiged to know what she has done and who she has murdered. This shows the function of escapism and how audience members may have a larger interest in their lives due to te entertainment value rather than their own, linking to personal identity.
On the coverlines linking to Eastenders, the use of Buzzwords such as 'Walford Secrets!' as well as the constant use of punctuation such as the exclamation marks, emphasises the excitement that the publishers aim to entice the reader to buy their magazines.

The masthead also links to attracting the audience to reading the magazine and the storylines included inside, as it informs the readers that it is a magazine all about soaps rather than everything on TV. This presents the idea that there will be more information provided on the soaps than in a conventional "TV Mag" that touches upon all programme genres.Providing this information may influence readers to purchase their magazine over other generics, leading to increase in sales due to only the influence of the masthead.
The colour scheme and saturation of the magazines also help attract audiences to purchasing the product as it will catch their eyes. The highly saturated yellows and reds attract the attention of the audience as well as connoting danger, which causes Soap Opera viewers to see the magazine initiated towards their favourite soap, like Coronation Street, and think that something dangerous and/or interesting is going to occur in the near future.

All of these conventions influence their target audience of Soap Opera viewers to buy the magazine, using the likes of buzzwords and highly saturated colours to create the sense of danger that may occur in soaps, enteraining and attracting audiences to watch the episodes. This helps not only increase sales figures of the magazine but boosts ratings for the show by advertising the different soaps available. Although only Coronation Street, Eastenders and Emmerdale are located on the front cover, the likes of Hollyoaks, Home and Away and Neighbours will be included inside the magazine. This gives the reader coverage of all soaps, even those that they may not watch, which could encourage them, by advertising the interesting narratives, to start watching the Soap Operas.

TV Listings Magazine Analysis- TV Choice

The "TV Choice" magazine shows more of a subtle approach towards the soap opera's story lines. Most magazines would show a dazzling spray of vibrant colours and extravagant fonts and pictures. However it only presents two "Soap Shockers" and possibly the only expressive sight on the cover is the advertisement.

The story line that is tackled, is struck strongly by its sweeping statements and dialogue used by the characters e.g. "Get your hands off Alfie" This is breaching the story that is to follow Kat's return "I'm back". The picture, however quite deceiving, shows Roxy (Alfie's current new lover after Kat) placed behind both characters giving her an unimportant statues and sense of vulnerability. Alfie is deviously placed between the two woman, offering the public a "piggy in the middle" situation as he is stuck between the choice of two women which from what we can see, a fiery, youthful, bimbo blonde and a mature, jet black haired "dolly bird". Finally, we see the face of the whole story, Kat Moon, who dresses in black and stares longingly out into the audience in despair but the look of determination shows in her eyes and she wishes to get her husband back from this youthful blonde. At the centre of the page with the biggest font, we can see that this is the main attraction of the front cover, catching eyes of current or potential audience members.

Below the Eastenders plot is a simple yet effective part of the magazine. Firstly it is quickly stated that the story is from Coronation Street as it states in a little yellow box "Corrie" which is the famous abbreviation for the programme, closely followed by "Wedding day drama" again, giving us a quick insight to the plot but not enough that we lose interest. We see two characters standing side by side, dressed in the best wedding clothes, smiling happily at the camera. This is far from a controversial take to a wedding day photo, however it can be thought that this is a major contrast before what could happen next to the newly weds.

This is what is to draw us in as an audience. Subtle and contrasting pictures, big and colourful fonts and  texts. The colours and big images are the first thing the audience or customer will see before taking the time to read anything on the cover. Placement of the characters and choice of words is also important as they can't give away too much too the audience, they hold back some story lines in order to keep the audience interested in the programme. Cleverly, they take the implausible factor of Alfie ever reuniting his love for Kat into the light and allow their audience to flourish of the story and interpret their own outcome of the debatable relationship. Luckily, the audience reactions were humble and supportive, it seems having the two, once separated, star crossed lovers come closer once again made hope for the watching public. Soaps have a strong influence on peoples happiness, positivity, anger or depression by simply creating or abolishing characters and stories which some audience member may get attached to, this gives them a personal connection between the soap and them, and magazines like this give them audience members a deeper insight on the soaps conspiracies.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Dallas- Propp Characters

The Hero- Christopher Ewing

A strong proponent of alternative energy, he represents a new breed of Ewing, Insecure about being adopted, Christopher feels the need to fight his way into the family and prove himself and he's already showing an inclination to maybe go a little darker than Bobby's willing to go - possibly a streak of his villainous mother coming out in him. It's too soon to know exactly where Christopher's path will take him, but the fate of the Ewings rests partly in his hands.

The Princess- Rebecca Sutter
Rebecca started off all sweetness and light, a naive newcomer to the Ewing family, showing her homely personality and reliance on her family. But it is relieved that her and her devious brothers are part-time con artists, tricking people that sway into their path. However, Rebecca is conflicted having truly fallen for Christopher, messing up her plans and throwing her off course, disrupting her sibling conning schedule. 
The Helper- Sue Ellen
As Christopher's aunt, she notices his potential to be an aspiring Ewing family member, and wishes to guide him through his tasks.these include building on the company in the Ewing name, winning over his love Rebecca and finding a centre of well being for his life to be settled for the future.

The Villain- J.R Ewing 
all the excess, greed, treachery, sex, fighting and drama that Dallas is generally as a direct result of this man. his devilish smile to his wicked ways, disrupting people loving affairs for money, winning and just down right entertainment. he truly is the Dallas Devil on TV.


Soap Opera Questionnaire

1.  Are you Male or Female?
Male Female

2.  How old are you? 
Under 16 16-25 26-35 36-45 46+

3.  How often do you watch Soap Operas? 
Every day 2-3 times a week Once a week Not very often

4.  How do you watch Soap Operas?
Live Tv Online On your mobile/tablet/laptop

5.  Which Soap Operas do you watch? 
EastEnders Emmerdale Neighbours Hollyoaks Coronation Street

6.  What time do you prefer to watch a Soap Opera? 
Lunch time Mid-afternoon Early evening Prime time (8pm)

7.  How do you follow your favourite Soap Opera?
Continuously On catch-up (e.g iPlayer & ITV Player)

8.  Do Soap Opera trailers entice you to tune in? 
Yes No

9.  What kind of storylines do you like? 
Based around a family/friends Relationships Murder/Death Current issues Shocking Other                                       

10.  What kind of characters do you like? 
Comical Annoying Confident Likeable Bubbly Evil

11.  What attracts you to a Soap Opera? 
Shocking storylines Interesting characters Familiar locations Attractive characters ''Real'' issues 

12.  Who do you watch Soap Operas with? 
Alone With my family With my partner With my parents With friends Other                      

13.  Do you discuss Soap Operas with other people? 
Yes No 

14.  Do you follow any of your favorite soap operas on social media sites if so which ones?
FacebookTwitter PintrestTumblrFan Blogs

TV magazines

Tv Magazines and their conventions-

Typical conventions which are seen in these magazines.

Titles- these are typically placed at the top of the page/article to inform the reader about the article and also what it includes in the example to the left you can see the title "Will Adam Kill James?" this instantly intrigues the reader especially if they are interested in Emmerdale, this article really entices
the reader by using yellow to highlight the words "Kill James" making them stand out and also the use of the sub-title "He's gunnin for his father after learning the truth..." this is used to focus the topic of discussion and prepare the reader for what they are going to be reading about.

Main Image- Much like with the title the main image is used to grab the readers attention and draw them into reading the article and inform them of who exactly the article is about. A large photo collage is seen in the image to the left helping to reate a timeline of what has happened in the 30 years of neighbors, particularly between Jason and Kylie, this image takes up the majority of the second page and the use of these two iconic characters who we now see as celebrities instantly attracts us to the magazine.

Columns- These allow readers to easily read the article as well as making the overall layout of the page look more organised and neater.

Drop Copitals- Are used to show the beginning of the article and is also linked to the colour scheme of the magazine/particular article.

Stand First- this will give a brief outline of what is written within the article and may also inform the reader of what the actor has appeared in before hand or alongside their current role.

TV Listings Date and Time- Lets the reader know when the next episode of the soap is going to be on television so they are aware of when to watch. This may also include future dates for events which have been discussed within the article.

Bylines- These name the photographer/interviewer/contributor to the article

Page Numbers- always appear at the bottom of the page to make it easier for readers to flick through the magazine, especially if they see an article that attracts them.

House style- this is when a magazine uses similar colours, layouts and structure throughout all of their issues, this includes Masthead font, logo, placement of pictures and also the location of barcode. House styles are used to help the reader become familiar with the magazine and also attract more repeat readers as they know what is included within the magazine and know what they are purchasing.

These are all conventions of a double page spread although these could be transformed into posters to advertise our Soap Opera. These are the main conventions of a TV listings magazine front cover-

  • Masthead- Large title at the top of the front cover of the magazine showing the reader what the magazine is entitled.
  • Barcode- These are always placed on a magazine for the use of shops selling the magazine.
  • Issue Number- This allows readers to see how many issues have been produced and also see how long the magazine has been around.
  • Main image- The main image will usually be of the most popular storyline on television at the moment or if the magazine has interviewed a particular actor which they know will boost readership figures.
  • Main Coverline-This is smaller than the masthead however uses a larger typeface than all of the other pieces of text on the front cover.
  • Date and Cover price- There to inform the reader of when the issue was published and tell them how relevant the magazine is, this will also include the price however if the magazine has a promotional offer on this may be larger to draw the readers eye to the new price.
  • Puff- This is a promotional offer/gift that entices the reader to purchase the magazine over its competitiors.
  • Coverlines- These are smaller than the coverline and used to inform the buyer of what other things are included within the magazine.
  • Mode of address- the way in which the magazine speaks to its readers, this is sometimes done through direct address to personally engage the reader.

Use of Melodrama in Soap Operas

     Melo meaning "Music"
“A sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions.

“A play interspersed with songs and orchestral music accompanying the action”

Melodramas originate from the beginning of the 18th-century where they were used as a technique of combining spoken recitations that included poems, soliloquy's, monologues and speeches accompanied by short pieces of music which were also played between scenes and during intervals. Within these melodramas music and dialogue were alternated with the music that was used often accompanying pantomimes. The earliest known melo-drama included some scenes in Sigismudus (1753) and after that was Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Pygmalion. Some 30 other monodramas were produced in Germany in the fourth quarter of the 18th century. The first English melodrama was called "A Tale of Mystery" (1802) and was written by Thomas Holcroft. When two actors are involved the term duodrama may be used. It was after the restoration of Charles II in 1660 when most of the British theaters were prohibited from performing "serious" dramas and were only permitted to perform plays with music or comedies. There were permitted to perform serious drama these were the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.

Melodramas are no longer present in the western scene in television and movies although it is still popular in regions particularly in Asia where they are the main genres.

Some of the early classics:
- Broken Blossoms (1919)
- Way Down East (1920)
- Orphans of the Storm (1922)
- Stella Dallas (1925) (remade in 1937)

Modern day Melodramas-
-  Moulin Rouge (2001)
-  Far From Heaven (2002)
-  The Notebook (2004)
-  Brokeback Mountain (2005)
-  Marley & Me (2008)
-  Up (2009)
-  The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Stereotypes within a Melodrama-

  • They usually fit our stereotypical image, who are larger than life stock characters and tend to be two-dimensional.
  • There is very limited character development so the story lines are never very long
  • All of the characters fit into Vladimir Propp's theory (e.g The Hero, The Villain, The Helper...) as well as including some others.
  • Hero- Handsome, strong, brave, honest and reliable. They are usually Middle or Upper Class.
  • Heroine- Beautiful, courageous, innocent, vulnerable. They are usually Middle or Upper Class.
  • Villain- Cunning, lack morals, dishonest, cruel and evil. They are usually Middle or Upper Class.
  • Villain's Accomplice- comical relief, bumbling sidekick who are usually Lower Class.
  • Faithful Servant- They also provide comical relief, does most of the manual jobs and usually discovers the evidence against the villain. This person is also usually Lower Class.
  • Maid Servant- Female character who is lively and flirts with the faithful servants again usually Lower Class. 
  • These characters are able to be male or female and usually have some comical value to them

  • The most common themes of a Melodrama include romance, manipulation, murder and sensation however these story lines may lack logic and may be more suited towards a younger audience. 
  • Stereo typically the hero and the heroine fall in love with each other and the villain has a hold over the heroine and uses this to entrap her.
  • Fate will always intervene and the outcome of the plot will be what the audience want to see.
  • Good triumphs over evil
Some of these elements can be found within modern day television in program's such as Soap Operas and other sub-genres particularly slapstick comedy and where the main focus is on a topical issue, recent events or action. Some television program's try to mimic melodrama and take it out of proportion.These program's are more popular with the younger generation and in particular students as it allows them to laugh at someone in a situation they can relate to and enjoy the verisimilitude, exaggerated humor and larger than life characters.

Functions of Melodrama

Soap Operas are significantly linked to melodrama, focused heavily on the representation of emotional relationships and family units. Researched through Nielsen ratings (an audience measurement system), it is clear that over the years there has been a decline in age of audiences, however also an increase in interest of melodramatic narratives involved in Soaps. This shows that those Soaps aimed at a younger audience, such as Hollyoaks, may be the most likely to utilise melodrama for interest, as well as escapism. It is clear however, that recent cases of reality shows, such as ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’, has provided an “alternative source” of melodrama, therefore decreasing ratings for Soap Operas.  Escapism is a major function of the utilisation of melodrama, especially on younger audiences, as they are made aware of events and how situations may turn out, such as the storylines involving accidental deaths or car crashes from reckless driving.
"Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this also have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic” – Lloyd, R: Los Angeles Times, Dec 2013, Found Here:
Melodrama is dissimilar to realism which is a key convention of Soap Operas, however the function may also emphasise the realism. By adding entertainment through the use of melodrama, it presents to the audience more clearly current affairs and issues which need to be raised and made aware of. Usually, melodrama is linked to tension and strong emotions, associated with the function of Catharsis, which is defined as “providing relief from strong or repressed emotions”.

The 1970’s saw a larger increase in the use of melodrama, with narratives involving homosexuality, rape-within-marriage and drug use, shocking audiences that were not used to the portrayal of melodrama on primetime TV. 

Conventions of Melodrama

Most Melodramas offer a sense of realism to its viewers, however, some characters may have an entrance theme which outlines their character (almost like a incidental music and score)

"Melodramas are built upon stock characters that have entrance music which suggests their personalities. In addition, the music gives these stock characters the timing they use, almost as though the drama is choreographed. These stock characters dwell in a very simple universe in which good and evil are easily identifiable with the hero and the villain always in conflict with one another."
Non-diagetic sound that enhances things like explosions, slapping. Non-diagetic sound is used throughout and sometimes at the start of the scene before fading out when a character starts talking. Atmospheric music is also key to a scene when the mood is changed and a sound motif is heard to tackle a moment of shock.

The lighting in this melodrama however can not move too far away from realism. they usually range from natural lighting to very little artificial lighting to mildly enhance atmosphere.

Camera shots are usually fast paced to add to the drama and build tension for the viewers and close-up angles to dramatize the characters facial expression and movement.

Hollyoaks - Propp Characters

Will vs Dodger Story Plot
There is a major build-up of event concluding with the battle between half-brothers, Will and Mark (AKA Dodger), seeing Will murder his own wife and mother, fake disability for attention and threatening his family, ending with Will (labelled the ‘Villain’ in Propp’s Stock Characters) finally “losing it”, kidnapping his whole family and tying them up in his murdered mother’s house. It is Sienna, Mark’s sister, whom is the ‘Dispatcher’ in the story plot, leading Mark to the scene, however not for a positive reason, as he is now aware of her recent fake pregnancy. He follows her to the house, her being there due to her holding hostage a young boy, Tom, which none of the characters is aware of at the time. They stumble in to the house, finally coming across Will and the rest of their family tied up by Will. Dodger, portrayed as ‘The Hero’, tries to talk Will out of their murder, which he admits he is planning to do, although is unsuccessful for the time being. Dirk (Will’s father and Dodger’s step father), ‘The Helper’, joins Dodger in talking Will out of murdering them all, however while helping Dodger, Will gets angry that Dodger is getting the credit, therefore pointing the gun to Dirk’s head.
Will then mentions the relationship of Maxine and Patrick, Dodger and Sienna’s real father, who are sat at the table, also tied up. He starts by mentioning the affair that Maxine had with Dodger, Maxine being ‘The Princess’, when Will asks Dodger who he should kill next, with Dodger answering, “Patrick”. Patrick, however, uses this as his own plan, escaping from the ties and tackling Will to grab his gun, which fails, labelling Patrick as the ‘False Hero’. Patrick fits in to this stereotypical role of the False Hero by being in a relationship with Maxine, the princess that is attracted to the hero, as well as trying to tackle the situation himself, however failing.  
The plot ends on a one-on-one battle between the Hero and Villain, Dodger and Will, leading to a roof top fight. While fighting, Will shouts at his brother the problems that he has, mentioning that he feels and outcast and neglected by his family as Dodger is the “favourite”, also touching upon that he wishes he was dead. As of this, Dodger says, “you want to die? Just Jump,” with Will actually doing so. Dodger catches his brother before he falls, hanging from the roof, saying he would always be his brother, no matter what. Will decides that instead of letting Dodger save him, he wants to punish Dodger, pulling him over the edge with him. In the spare of the moment, we, as the audience, are left to believe that both characters are to die, however Dodger lands on top of Will, with the scene ending with Will stating “I can’t feel my legs”, being ironic as he, for months, has lied about him having a disability and being unable to walk, delivering Will his “comeuppance”.
You can see that the story between Will and Dodger concludes by fitting in to Propp’s theory of his stock characters having 31 functions to play, creating the narrative. The narrative follows the functions of;
  1. Hero leaves: Dodger leaves to go to the house.
  1. Interdiction: He has a spat with Sienna, her making an Interdiction not to go in to the cellar, although that is based on the plot of her kidnapping a child being held captive, not the storyline of Dodger vs Will.
  2. Villain appear: Will appears and takes Dodger in to the room where the family is held, Dodger not knowing of Will’s revenge just yet.
  3. Trickery: Dodger is fooled in to thinking Will is there for another purpose, however soon knows that it is on the basis of his family capture.
  4. Harm: Will tries to attack Dodger with the gun.
  5. Testing: Dodger is tested by Will when he is trying to stop Will from murdering his family. Dodger is asked the question, “who will be murdered next?”
  6. Misfortune: They are all unsuccessful in stopping Will, leading to the final conflict on the roof.
  7. Resolution: The story concludes when Will falls from the edge however pulls Dodger down with him. Dodger survives but Will is injured.
  8. Recognition: Dodger is found by family members rescued by the police when Patrick manages to call them. Will is taken and sent to jail, leaving the scene however on a stretcher in to an ambulance.
  9. Punishment: Will is injured and cannot move, damaging his legs and becoming partially paralysed.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

General Hospital - Case Study

General Hospital or as it is known by its viewers, GH, is America's longest running soap opera in production and the third longest running drama on television in American history. The soap is shown at 2:00pm local time on the popular channel ABC and was first aired back in 1963. It is the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood, and the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history.

Ever since the late 1970's, most of the story lines have revolved on the environment of Quartermaines and the Spencers. From 1979 to 1988, General Hospital had more viewers than any other daytime soap opera. It rose to the top of the ratings in the early 1980's in part thanks to the monumentally popular "power couple"Luke and Laura, whose 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history. The soap opera has also seen guest stars appear among the cast with the like of James Franco, Roseanne Barr and also Elizabeth Taylor.

Most of the initial story lines were set in a unnamed eastern city of America on the seventh floor of the General Hospital. "They had this concept of the show that it was like a big wagon wheel – the spokes would be the characters and the hub would be the hospital," [Quote form John Beradino (original cast member)]

By the end of the 1970's, General Hospital was facing dire ratings when executive producer Gloria Monty was brought in to turn the show around. Monty is credited with creation of the first supercouple, Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, played by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis. The end of their hour wedding on November 17, 1981 was the most-watched event in daytime serial history.

The soap has dealt with some sensitive topics and allowed audience members to be educated about some serious medical matters. Story lines included HIV, AIDS, heart donation, breast cancer which have lead them to being so successful  at the Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama 11 times.

Eastenders- Propp Characters

The Hero- Alfie Moon
"The hero or victim/seeker hero — reacts to the donor, weds the princess."
Alfie recently went off to Australia for a month in order to make some money to bring back to support his pregnant wife and their son Tommy. Kat’s devastated as Alfie leaves her and Tommy for a month in Australia, but she tries to be supportive as they both say their goodbyes. Alfie has also left Kat with a parting gift and a new business plan, much to her surprise. Although she is upset that he is leaving she knows that it is for the best and that he is only doing it for her and their children.

The Princess- Janine Butcher 
"The princess or prize and her father — the hero deserves her throughout the story but is unable to marry her because of an unfair evil, usually because of the villain. The hero's journey is often ended when he marries the princess, thereby beating the villain." Janine is often in the middle of love triangles and always has people chasing after her however she is unable to ever be happily married due to her evil side. She is often seen by others as the ultimate prize especially due to her hard exterior and also being very independent. 

The Villain- Michael Moon
"The villain — struggles against the hero." As Alfie and Michael are related they often have arguments especially when Michael is selfish and only does things for his own benefit. This is when we see the hero and the villain clash which has happened in many story lines, particularly when including Michael's son Tommy who Alfie cares for. Michael is hated by many people around the square and has had conflicts with a large number of them, meaning he is the villain in most of the story lines he has been involved in.

The False Hero- Jake Stone
"The false hero — takes credit for the hero’s actions or tries to marry the princess" Jake is initially seen as someone who is there to help Lauren through her alcohol problem however this isn't the case as they soon end up falling love and Jake ends up cheating and leaving his wife. He hurts the people around him and doesn't admit to his mistakes and only tries to do what is right when it is too late. 

The Dispatcher- Phil Mitchell
"The dispatcher — character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off." Phil is seen as this dispatcher in EastEnders, he usually organizes an operation but gets others to carry out the work for him. This is how he avoids trouble and stays out of prison and he isn't bothered about who he gets into trouble. Phil is known as the dispatcher in EastEnders by other characters and uses this to his advantage and always ends up getting his own way because people know if they don't follow his orders they know what will happen to them.

The Donor- Mo Harris
"The donor — prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object." Although Mo doesn't offer anything magical she does always help people out especially if they need a specific object, she always knows who to go to (usually 'Elvis'). She is always willing to help others as long as their is some personal gain involved (usually money). She is related to Alfie through marriage and as she is always happy to help her family, she is usually the first person Alfie goes to. 

The Helper- Ian Beale
"The helper — helps the hero in their quest." Ian and Alfie have been best friends for years and are always there for each other so when Alfie needs Ian to help him cover for him when he returns to the square with a secret Ian is happy to help his friend. The pair are not the most likely of friends however they both bring out the best in each other, the helper is usually a friend or somehow related to the hero. Ian and Alfie have been involved in many story lines together and although they sometimes argue they always come out of the situation as strong as ever.

Monday 23 June 2014

Minutes Records Sheet

Date of meeting: 23/6/14
Held at: G2

People present:
- Kira Stokes
-Alice Smith
- Henry Ward

Matters Discussed

Person to take action/discussed by

Date to be Completed


Propp Characters in relation to Soap Operas




Soap Opera Questionnaire




TV Magazine Analysis




Melodrama Analysis