Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Shameless is produced by Company Pictures. They are an independent UK production company and have produced a reasonable amount for the main terrestrial channels including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The show is shot on set in Manchester.

Shameless has been distributed by Channel 4 since 13th January 2004. The show airs on Tuesdays and just finished its 8th series. Repeats can be seen on E4, another channel run by the Channel 4 Corporation. E4 also shows the following week's episode in advance at 11pm, after the first episode finishes on Channel 4.

Shameless is very well received by critics as it is a unique and honest show in it's representations and setting. In 2005 it won the Best Drama Series at the British Academy Television Awards and was also nominated for the National Television Awards in 2007 but lost. Shameless also won the Best Continuing Drama award at the Royal Television Awards Society North West Awards in 2007.

Shameless is renowned for its unique setting and characters. The show portrays life for lower classes in Greater Manchester, England, and shows everyday activities, similarly to Soaps, but also shows more dramatic events. Many of the characters are portrayed carrying out illegal activities, or are even shown as full-time criminals. One character runs a brothel out of her house, the family that own the pub are gangsters, and many of the characters, especially males, are portrayed taking drugs and drinking excessively. The main character; Frank Gallagher is an unemployed working class man in his middle ages, who has a tendency for having children with different women, getting drunk, taking drugs, petty theft and getting into fights in public or with the law. His family are also working class and they all are regular drinkers, most of them are also criminals. Women are often shown using sex to manipulate people. There is also consistent use of foul language throughout every episode. Overall the show portrays working classes in a very stereotypical manner; showing them swearing, taking drugs, drinking, fighting and taking part in illegal activities and scams rather than trying to get real jobs. Therefore the show negatively represents working classes in the UK, especially white people.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Analyse the representations of the ‘law’ in the two extracts from ‘The Wire’ and 'A Touch of Frost’.

In 'A Touch of Frost' the law are shown as very rough, and they take a direct, hands-on approach to stopping the criminals. At the start when they burst out the van and capture the two initial criminals, it showed that they had thought of a quick and simple plan and executed it, before running into the main crime scene without knowing details of who exactly or what exactly was in there, portrayed by the fact they expected a particular man to be there, who was not present in the stormed room. This sequence also allows the viewer to infer that the older policemen and detectives are the leaders of the operation, such as Frost and George. 
 This scene shows the police as brave and athletic, and intelligent enough to put together a plan to capture the first two men. On the other hand the police are shown to be very rough which could be seen as unneccessary as none of the men were particularly resisting arrest. The heavy-handed and athletic perception that the viewer gets is partly due to the editing, many quick shots and many close-ups used to show the people in the thick of the action. The scene generally follows where the action is happening. 

This is an example of the camera shots following the action rather than Frost's point of view at all times.
 The show portrays the law realistically. They do not show one particular man running in, being a hero and doing all the work, as many crime dramas do, but instead 'A Touch of Frost' takes a realistic approach and shows the police as an organised team fighting regular or obscure crimes, such as dogfighting in this case, rather than the stereotypical robbery or murder. The camera shots constantly show the action, rather than focusing on a particular character's viewpoint.

In 'The Wire' the police are portrayed quite professionally. Most the officers are just standing around the body, examining the scene in a professional and realistic manner and gathering forensic evidence. The main detective seems to be quite casual when he is talking to the other man on the sidewalk. This is maybe not so realistic as in real-life a person who has just seen a dead body would be more sensitive and quiet when talking to the person who knew the deceased.

 The character is like this to maybe show that he is a professional or a veteran, and police can handle seeing dead bodies as it is nothing they are not used to. The main detective's positioning and the eye-level camera used when he is talking to the citizen, shows that he can relate to the people of the street's and represents the police as down-to-earth and people who can empathise rather than people who are in their own world. Although the camera can be seen as eye-level, the view is slightly higher for the detective, which could represent his authority over the average man.

In this shot the detective is slightly higher than the citizen, possibly portraying his authority, but they are pretty much on a level-playing field, both sitting on the wall.
 The main detective in 'The Wire' seems to be a reasonable and decently nice man. He is certainly not shown to have any particularly bad character traits or flaws, therefore the police in this aspect are being shown as all good. However they are maybe shown as weak in asserting authority as the other citizen says "I ain't going to no court!".

Overall it seems that the law are represented as very professional people, with a strong desire to solve the crimes they are dealing with. The viewer is commonly shown the law's view when watching these shows, as is the case in these two extracts, as we do not know who the dogfighters are or who the muderer is respectively, but we do know what the police are trying to find out and we know they are portrayed as having good intentions, even if their personalities are not particularly warm.