For my major study I will take a look at how Intertextuality exists within varying genres. This has become increasingly apparent in the last five to ten years within such programmes as Big Brother, The Simpsons, The Bill and most recently Popstars. I personally believe that this mixture of genres within programmes have been created to cater for ever changing audience tastes.I will seek to discover what has caused the rapid change within audience taste and how this links to mixed genre programmes appearing more often on the small screen.I will take a look at the following four programmes for this major study. Each programme is Broadcast on terrestrial TV. Big Brother on the surface is promoted as a Game Show with a prize of 80,000 pounds for the contestant who is left in the house after 10 weeks. The idea of Big Brother comes from The Netherlands and is seen by many as a Social experiment.
Many of the audience who tuned in to the programme seen Big Brother as a show which threw ten strangers together to perhaps create romance, friendship and arguments with each other. It was hard to believe that all of the Big Brother household were contestants on a Game show.However there are two genres such as Documentary and Soap Opera, which exist within Big Brother.
These codes are quite apparent within every episode. I will explain in my study what codes are found in the programme which link it to the Genres i have mentioned above. However, the infamous ‘nasty’ Nick Bateman had to remind his fellow counterparts that it was only a Game show. I will investigate how these other generic codes exist within Big Brother and see why these codes have been mixed in to form a programme, which cannot be placed in a specific genre. I will seek to discover if mixing the genres within a programme such as Big Brother can create a New genre within the minds of an audience.1. “A genre imposes several identifiable characteristics on a use of language, notably in relation to subject-matter, purpose, textual structure, form of argumentation and level of formality.
Sub-Genres can also be identified, as with types of novel or types of news story”. The Simpsons is a Cartoon based around a family of five who live in the fictional town of Springfield, USA. This cartoon has varying genres such as Light Entertainment, Soap Opera and Comedy. It is imperitive to the study that I highlight the codes which create these Genres. I shall do this by creating a small questionairre which will ask people what to them creates for example a news programme.The Simpsons often includes references to recent news stories in a satriacal style. I shall take a look at how these references can vary the generic coding within the programme. Most of the storylines don’t continue However, There always seems to be a continuation of ongoing feuds and friendships between characters.
IE, The feud between Nelson and Bart. The locations in The Simpsons never change in look but things within the location such as furniture are susceptible to change.I shall talk about how this gives the programme Soap Opera characteristics and why this can not be pinned into a particular genre category.
This can be theorised through the practise of qualitative and quantitative analysis. I intend to draw upon this research in order to compare and contrast my ideas of this particular programme with people who are seen as an authority on Genre and TV studies. These will include writers such as John Fiske and Stuart Hall.The Bill has just had a character makeover with 8 or more main characters been written out of future episodes.
Since this change The Bill has turned into a soap opera in the sense of continuing storylines about the characters lives. Previously this was not the case and The Bill was originally placed in the Drama genre and regularly pulled in 10 million viewers an episode. Taking a look at The Bill I will seek to investigate how the programme makers had seen it necessary to include codes from both Drama and the Soap opera Genre. I believe this is due to change in audience taste, as Soap operas are becoming increasingly popular with over 40 hours of programming a week dedicated to programmes such as Coranation Street, Eastenders and Brookside.The programme makers of The Bill already have a prime time slot and probably just needed to utilise in order to gain maximum audience figures. It could be argued that by mixing several genres in to one programme will increase audience figues as the programme would be appealing to a wider range of audience rather than one who enjoys a particular genre The Bill has lost many of its previous audience who enjoyed the drama style of the programme and are not interested in its new soap opera format. I will seek to investigate how this change in genre has changed its audience. It is difficult to see if The Bill was a good representation of the police force and leads to the question, Was the original genre changed to reinvent the identity of the police force through television?Popstars is the most recent of the programmes I will look at in this study.
This programme can be seen as two genres, the obvious been of the documentary genre. The programme follows 3 Judges from the music and entertainment industry who are looking for five young adults to form a pop group. The jusdges have a mammouth task on their hands to choose five popstar wannabees from a selection of thousands. At the same time as been a documentary the programme has Game show codes hidden within it One of these is the fact that there is a prize to the winners.
If I mention to someone in the street what style of programme gives away a prize my response would more than likely be game show. This is also apparant in the trailers for the programme which highlight in text “Pick me Nigel” Thia could be seen linked to a Game show such as Blind Date where the participants must be ‘picked’ in order to win the prize.Popstars however has gone from a documentary to a game show and now back to a documentary following the newly formed band. This is similar to Big Brother in respect of the way the ‘contestants’ are now been filmed about their lives after the show.My intention for this study is to investigate what codes form these programmes in to particular genres and why. My research will be collected from Journals, Books, Internet and the General public.
I would hope to utilise all of these research methods in order to gain a broader knowledge of the programmes I am studying. I intend on using Qualative and Quantative analysis in order to collect my research about Genre and what codes define Genres such as Documentary, Soap Opera, Game Show.I intend to compare and contrast these ideas with those of people who are seen as authorities within culture and Broadcasting. I will look at why genres such as Soap operas are linked to gender and class. This will be done by looking at Psycoanalyists such as Marx, Lacan and Freud.
I will seek to conclude the study by answering why mixed genre programmes are now becoming more widespread on British television.Bibliography:1. BULLOCK, A (1999) Page 360 The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought.Published by Harper Collins 1999.