Friday, 29 January 2016

C Grade example - Representation in TV crime drama

How does Sherlock represent gender?

Introduction:
Sherlock Holmes is a very well-known television program that is watched by millions more female viewers than male but this just seems to mean it is more to the liking of a female viewer. A number of other reasons for this is that some of the female audience watching may think that Sherlock or another one of the featured characters are very attractive but there is not an easy way to find this out without doing a survey on the actual viewers of Sherlock Holmes.
Within this specific episode of Sherlock, it showed the viewers a good example of femme fatale. This is an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately cause distress to a man who becomes involved with her. This is shown within this specific episode by Sherlock for the first time meeting Irene Adler and unlike any other introduction of themselves she appears naked which also conforms to the male gaze theory which is very similar to femme fatale and is basically someone on television that looks very beautiful to look good in front of others and stereotypically men and very pretty women. Personally I think that Sherlock has represented Irene as a character that conforms to the male gaze theory purely because she is nude on television and the camera angles makes a lot of flesh exposed to the audience to see making it follow along with the male gaze theory.

1: within this specific episode: a scandal in Belgravia from series 2 episode 1 there is the scene where Sherlock meets Irene Adler for the first time and strangely he meets her while she is nude this makes Sherlock a bit sceptical and shocked at the fact she is not covering herself up.
But moving on to the camera angles used there is a lot of either close ups or long shots because the producer is trying to cover up the rude parts of Irene’s body and in doing this they use close ups to only allow the very top half of her body so no rude parts are shown and when long shots are used they are used so objects are perfectly in place covering the central part of Irene’s body.
During this scene in the film there is a lot of "over shoulder shots" from over Sherlock’s shoulder so you can get a very good feel for what Sherlock’s emotions at this moment in time are like due to our being able to see what he is seeing. Another technique used within this film with the camera is that there is a lot of blurred shots to cover up most of Irene Adler’s body to prevent you from seeing nudity on a very popular TV program. By doing this in the film it shows she is very devious in this Sherlock episode. From the way the camera movement and angles are used it makes Irene Adler look taller due to the camera angle being down low over Sherlock’s shoulder and because he is sitting down she looks taller meaning he is over powered by Irene by doing this it makes the woman of the scene the most dominant because she is looking down on the male(s) that are sitting down.
2: In these few scenes where Sherlock meets Irene Adler, Sherlock is wearing the very stereotypical long jacket called a trench coat which in most detective crime dramas the main detective wears one, for example in Vera and Luther they both wear a trench coat which makes people think of a detective due to it being very stereotypical clothing for this certain genre but Irene on the other hand is not wearing anything at all which catches Sherlock off guard.
By Irene in this specific scene not wearing anything it is very different in comparison to other crime dramas where the suspected villain is normally wearing either casual clothes or clothes that cover up more of your body so your identity is more hidden. By this being done in Sherlock it makes it very different because it challenges the stereotype of suspects/villains but in doing this it represents the female of the scene quite an open character by her showing of more flesh than your average female character also by her doing this makes her the centre of attention a little bit because she is the character that everybody would focus on because it is not “normal” to be nude in those circumstances.  
The lighting in this scene is mainly on the side of Irene’s face that is shown to the camera more this means she is a little brighter this also makes her even harder to miss or take your eyes off of because she stands out a lot. By doing this it make the female the eye target for the audience.
3: The sound of this scene in Sherlock where he meets Irene Adler for the first time is pretty unnoticeable but it makes a big impact on the scene for example before Irene even walks in the room you can hear her high heeled footsteps slowly getting louder as she gets closer and closer by doing this it makes you instantly think of a female character is about to walk through the door due to the noise of the footsteps. By doing this it enforces the sexualisation factor because she is naked while wearing high heels. At first thoughts Sherlock probably assumes by the footsteps an orangery woman wearing a dress or something along those lines and it catches Sherlock by surprise a little by her being nude.

4: The editing in the specific scene where Sherlock meets Irene Adler for the first time is rather subtle but makes a big change to the scene especially when the camera zooms on her face as Sherlock tries to “read her” it shows a bunch of question marks to show that Sherlock is truly confused but as well as that the face of Irene Adler is slightly brightened. it looks as if the colour saturation has been changed because her face goes a little more tanned and her lip stick shows up louder more vibrant,  this makes her look a more like a model in the sense of the airbrush in magazines of female models being shown more tanned than they really are this makes the close up of her show her as more sexually appealing to the audience, as well as that in the same scene when the camera is doing an over shoulder shot of Sherlock you can see that all you can see is Irene’s face because the rest of her body is blocked by Sherlock’s head. But finally one of the least noticed edits in this scene is the cutting from camera to camera making sure that Irene’s body is not exposed as much as necessary this is shown in the scene from going from and over shoulder from Sherlock point of view to a shot from behind Irene showing the back of her torso and through the door sherlock’s shocked face by doing this it doesn’t show the inappropriate parts of her body but it shows enough for you to know why Sherlock’s reaction is as shown.
Conclusion: in this scene it is clear in my own opinion that this scene does conform to the male gaze theory but it is done in such a way that it’s not just the look of the character the whole way through unlike super woman where a lot of flesh is showing the whole way through just for her to look good where as in this there is a reason behind this A: her having the job she has and another reason is not that its necessary it just fits the scene because nothing else would make Sherlock crumble like that. In this scene I also think that she is stereotyped a little because the job that she has you would think a bit on the loads of flesh showing side of her clothing choice and this scene just adds that stereotype.



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