In Eastenders there is a strong prevalence of female characters. There is also Kat Slater. She is known for her flirty, and sometimes outrageous and bitchy behaviour. The expansion of the minority representation signals move away from the traditional soap opera format providing more opportunities for the audience’s identification with the characters. The teenagers in the soap help create a programme which is all round entertainment, because the teenagers of modern Britain are represented here. They are represented as trouble some, but more mischievous.
There are the issues of underage pregnancies and underage sex, like the tragic storyline of Demi’s boyfriend when they ran away to live together and he died from drug overdose in front of their baby, at the age of thirteen. In the series “Peep Show,” the ideologies and values of the programme do differ to then ones of Eastenders. Peep Show is a sitcom on channel four, but only shown once a week, in half an hour slots. Unlike the large cast of Eastenders, Peep Show holds only two main characters, Jeremy and Mark. However we do see another string of characters in the programme as their lovers and friends become introduced to us.
Jeremy appears to have a wasteful life, after failing a career of becoming a musician. In his thirties, he befriends a lot of ‘dodgy’ people and even takes drugs as well as consuming large amounts of alcohol during the day. Mark on the other hand is the sensible one, who has a stable job, so he pays for the flat in which they both live and he appears to provide for Jeremy a lot. Mark is a geek though, and not yet mastered the art of women. The intended audience for the show is adults. It is shown after 10pm in an evening, showing that it is not suitable for children as it is quite explicit language and sexual references.
The genre of the programme is comedy, and the humour is dark. The comedy of the show comes mainly from the voiceover we can hear, which is Jeremy and Mark’s thoughts in their head, in-between conversation to others. As the characters speak to each other, they look directly into the camera, as if they are talking to the audience. In a particular episode, it shows the weakness of Mark’s character and does not appear to show the dominance of men’s ideologies. Mark gets mugged in a city alleyway on his way home from work, and shows no signs of defence in the slightest and practically gives the muggers his wallet and phone.
This shows that Mark is a weak character and does not know how to defend himself. On the other hand, Jeremy represents a certain typical type of man, who drinks beer, gets rowdy and wants to have fights, and thinks a lot of sex. He is quite childish with some of the things he does and says. He uses colloquialism’s, e. g. ‘beerskies. ‘ The hegemonic idea of men being more dominant over women doesn’t particularly work in Peep Show, and stereotypes of men don’t appear to co-inside with this programme as men are shown as the weaker sex, and women seem to be in control.
Some of the women in the programme, like ‘Big Suze,’ are respected because of her beauty and intelligence. Alongside Peggy in Eastenders, they both hold a certain status. If I was to compare Eastenders and Peep Show, there would not be many comparisons, although some of the ideologies are the same and some dominance, men thinking they are in control, but actually some of the women are the ones who are. Bibliography Fiske, J. (1982) Introduction to Communication Studies, Methuen.