Monday, 23 November 2015

Representations of Sexuality in TV drama

Heterosexuality - Damon and Elena - 'The Vampire Diaries'

Heterosexuality is represented in this clip through a very happy, positive relationship, shown through the use of camera angles, editing techniques, and sound. The camera shots are mostly close-ups to show emotion and facial expressions that are mainly produced by Damon. He is adhering to the idea of the stereotypical male within a heterosexual relationship by being assertive and confident in admitting his feelings to Elena, looking directly at her and being in close proxemics with her. This could suggest that he is the more dominant of the two, therefore the idea of a stereotypical heterosexual relationship is being adhered to, confirming it as the dominant ideology. Also, the use of mid-shots shows their body language towards each other. Damon looks like he is stood very firmly with both feet apart and his shoulders rolled back, communicating a sense of power and dominance when talking to her. Elena on the other hand looks more timid and flirtatious by looking down slightly and then back up at him as well as holding her hands together and lifting her shoulder slightly, emphasising her neck and shoulders while communicating that she is perhaps more submissive towards him. the shot/reverse shot technique is used mainly to show how Elena is reacting to what Damon is saying, showing her as the stereotypical woman in the relationship whose job is to listen to the man. The use of Damon's speech over the top of the clip shows that he is dominant over their relationship as other clips are shown of them together but he is speaking for the both of them. Also, the use of slow, romantic music communicates how their relationship is happy and positive with little to no issues that can't be overcome by the power of love alone.

Homosexuality - Santana and Britney - 'Glee'

Homosexual relationships are represented in this clip as being difficult and restricted because of what everybody else feels is acceptable. For example, when Finn confronts Santana in the corridor, the low camera angle makes it look as though he is towering over her and making her feel small and powerless. This echoes the fact that she feels that she can't express her true feeling towards Britney in front of everyone else because of how she will be seen by the rest of society. This is representative of how society stereotypically feels towards homosexuality, e.g. hostile, confused, disrespectful. When Britney and Santana are together, the camera is on the same level (eye level) and the shot/reverse shot shows both of them equally. This represents that they only feel secure and equal when they're in each others company and confidence as opposed to when other people confront them about it. When Santana tells her own mother for example, she is told to leave the house and never return due to the fact that her mother has strong religious beliefs and won't accept her as a lesbian. A slightly lower camera shot is used when the camera is behind Santana's shoulder to show how her mother is belittling her and Santana remains powerless. It is only when Britney and Santana are together that they are shown to be on the same level.

Bisexuality - Barbara and Renee/Barbara and Jim - 'Gotham'

Bisexuality is shown in this show as being a source of conflict as Barbara cant seem to choose whether she wants to be with Jim or Renee. This represents bisexuality as being quite destructive and difficult both for those who are bisexual and for those who are involved with someone who is bisexual. For example, when Barbara is with Jim in the first clip, the lighting is dim and romantic. There's a crackling fire and a nice apartment where Jim comes home from work to his 'trophy' of a girlfriend who takes up the stereotypical role of the comforting, listening type. After Jim decides he doesn't want to go out, she simply accepts it and moves on to make sure he's comfortable and talks to him about his day to try and allow him to relax. She seems happy here. However, in the second clip when she is with Renee, she looks conflicted as though she still wants Jim but she chooses to be with Renee. Again, the warm lighting and the crackling fire in the background shows the comfort and safety she feels when she is with Renee whereas the apartment where Jim is shown making the call to her is dark and cold. This could represent the fact that Barbara feels conflicted as a bisexual as she doesn't want to hurt either Jim or Renee but she knows that she can only bring light and comfort to one of them. However, in the first clip, the high camera angle shows her as being the more submissive of the two which is stereotypical of a heterosexual relationship whereas in the second clip, a mid shot is used to show her and Renee on the same level as  they are both women.

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