Using examples, discuss the ways in which any of the following can be analysed either in ideological terms of the construction of gender or race?
A) Children’s television
B) The crime series
D) The situation comedy
The crime series genre has been noted as one of the most popular and most masculine genres on television ‘as it tends to focus on the public sphere, professional roles and the male world of work’ (MacKinnon 2003:69). This essay will discuss the role of masculinity within the crime series. It will look at Jack Bauer and Dexter specifically.
Masculinity can be described as a sense of who you are as a man. Being masculine is a quality ...view middle of the document...
Dexter is another television crime series which is a direct reaction to 24. It focuses on a blood splatter analyst, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), who works for the Miami Metro Police Department however he has an urge and passion to kill. At the age of 3 he was adopted by a Police Officer who noticed this passion and taught him how to constructively direct his tendencies into good use, by killing those who have escaped the legal system and, as he says ‘deserve it’, such as child molesters , rapists and killers themselves. Similarly to Jack Bauer, Dexter is the main figure of authority, and has the same intention of safeguarding America from criminals. However they just do this in very different ways. Even though he breaks the rules, Jack Bauer tends to try and stay within the law until he feels it necessary to break free and help, whereas as Dexter breaks the rules from day 1 by killing.
The crime series in general can show a great deal of realism. It can either reflect or represent reality. But who can say what reality is being represented and from the eyes of whom. It is very common that the reality being represented is from the director or producers own ideology of what police life actually is, and what is to say that their reality isn’t formulated from that of other crime series and films. This can very easily be seen in 24. Jim Carafano expressed that ‘the dramatic events and scenarios depicted in 24 are highly unrealistic and bear little resemblance to the often mundane work necessary to win the real war on terror’ (Joseph J Foy, 2008).
Verisimilitude can be seen in 24 and Dexter. Cultural verisimilitude “Refers not to what may be the case but rather to what the dominant culture believes to be the case, to what is generally accepted as credible, suitable and proper” (Gledhill, 1997:360) 24 can also show generic verisimilitude as it explores with fantasy whilst staying within the genre boundary. For example the amount of action and torture in 24 differs substantially to real life crime fighting, whilst staying in the boundary of a crime series. Then there is Dexter which also pushes the boundary. Dexter is more realistic than 24 as the police department don’t have to deal with as extreme crimes.
‘Jacks life is dedicated to the public sphere, to his work and to the good of society. The way in which Jack is routinely seen to work such long hours and gruelling days without comment or complaint makes it clear that this man will prioritise his working life over domestic arrangements.’ (R. Feasey 2008:85)
This shows how committed Jack is to his job and won’t let fatigue get in the way of it. As we learn more about him we see how he doesn’t let other personal issues, like his relationship with his family get in the way of his job. Jack has a family but is far from being a ‘family man’. Even though he is trying to make an effort with bringing up his daughter, we see Jack make many apologetic phone calls to...