Archive for February, 2008

The O.C.

February 15, 2008
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Dawson’s Creek

February 15, 2008

Representation of American Youth – Smallville

February 15, 2008

Representations of Teenagers

February 8, 2008

The idea of the”teenager” as a distinct social phenomenon has been with us since the 1950’s-an intermediate world breaking up the previously straight definition between childhood and the world of work. In the present day, we are still used to media images of these young people, as evidenced in shows like Hollyoaks and Skins. How close to the truth do you think the portrayals of teenagers are in these two shows, and are they positive or negative representations?

Watch this clip from Hollyoaks to see how it deals with the issues of teenage drug users and young parents:

What kind of message does this trailer for Skins put across about British teenagers? Think about whether it is realistic in its representation, and why young people would choose to watch this programme based on such an advertisement (or, indeed, why not). 

Male Action Heroes: The Spy Film.

February 1, 2008

Within the spy genre, we can see how the idealised portrayal of the male hero has shifted over time, as perceptions of masculinity have altered. First, consider the following clip from the 1962 James Bond film, Dr No: 

 

During the 1960’s this kind of portrayal of masculinity was considered admirable – a man should be authoritative, composed and smooth. As we have looked at already, the hegemonic perception of masculinity changed over the next several decades to the point where characters such as James Bond, appeared old-fashioned, a throwback to an age that had gone by.

On the other hand, in the 2000’s the Jason Bourne films were praised for their more realistic, up-to-date characterisation. Jason Bourne is highly skilled and deadly, but he is also a complex and conflicted character:

 

As a result, the James Bond films faced a decision; How was the best way for the franchise to evolve and maintain its popularity with a modern audience, whilst keeping the classic Bond trademarks that made the films so distinct. The answer was Casino Royale (2007) a grittier take on the James Bond film, which received much praise from the critics. Watch the following clip for an example of this combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Bond.