My assumptions about comedy shows and sitcoms in Channel 4 only apply to the Channel 4od, were you can see block booking with those kind of series, because there are sitcoms like “how I met your mother”, at 7.30pm, “big bang theory”, at 8pm, “Suburgatory”, at 9pm and “2 broke girls”, at 9.30pm, so they are in direct succession. But on the original Channel 4, there will be only one comedy show, “the Simpsons”. The rest of the schedule is mainly reality soaps. On channel 5 there will be opera soaps, reality and documentary. But mostly imported shows from America or Australia. In-between times there are in both channels often news, which are informing and educating, but the rest of the program is to be entertained and to escape from daily troubles. The evening program of BBC one, where I expected to be a report of an event, consists mainly of news/documentaries, which I also supposed, and a reality show. In BBC two there will be block booking of quiz shows, “Two tribes”, at 6pm, and directly after this, at 6.30pm, “Eggheads”, and there will also be a documentary, so this is all about educating. The evening program of ITV is quite varied, but contrary to my expectation, no castingshow. There will be an opera soup first, then a documentary with the dogs and later a crime thriller. On all of these channels will be, as I expected, news, but in some they will be later than the main TV time.
Question: Why do people watch documentaries? What pleasures are available to viewers?
I think people generally watch documentaries to be educated and informed. Additionally most people watch documentaries about themes they are interested in so it is also their pleasure and they do that do be entertained or to escape from their daily troubles. Another reason for some people to watch documentaries is to enable themselves to socially interact.
For example my brother often watches documentaries about sharks, like “Der weiße Hai- Täter oder Opfer?” or “Planet Erde-Wasserwelten”, to escape from an exhausting school day and because he is really interested in sharks and wants to be educated and informed about them. It also allows him to socially interact because most of his friends are interested in things like that, too.
The genre of a film, like romantic, horror or comedy, is a critical tool for the story. Every genre has typical narratives, for example comedy films are funny and horror films are scary, so the theme of a comedy film can be a funny situation and a theme of a horror film can be a zombie apocalypse. There are also typical iconography, in romantic movies is that often a flower, and typical settings, for example a creepy old dark house for a horror film. You can also look for typical characters, which are in romantic films often a boy who is in love with a girl who is in love with an asshole.
In the following I will give three examples, which all have the genre romantic, and how the just mentioned typical areas apply to them.
The first romantic film, in which those typical areas are used, is “Letters to Julia”. The narrative elements, or themes are love and heartbreak. The characters are a woman, who is engaged with the wrong man and another man who is in love with the woman. An Iconography in this film is an old wall with letters in it, and the Connotation of this is love, heartbreak, pain and history, because is the wall of Romeo and Juliet and the letters in it are from people who are unlucky in love. The settings are old Italian villages and idyllic landscape and there are no special effects used. People probably watch this movie to be entertained and escaped from their daily troubles and by watching it they feel full of love, happy, in good mood and in some scenes maybe a bit sad.
Another example for these typical system is “Something borrowed”. It is about love, friendship and broken friendship, a bit comedy and heartbreak. It is filmed in New York, so the settings are dirty streets, American bars, and urban apartments, and here are no special effect used as well. A woman in love with a with the wrong woman engaged men are the characters. In this film you can see the use of a suit next to the door as an Iconography, because it symbolizes the ruination of a friendship and a broken heart. People who watch this feel will feel entertained, maybe a bit disappointed and sad, but they might also have fun. Reasons why they watch it can be the identification with the situation or that they just want to be entertained.
The last example, “Safe Heaven”, is about love, drama and heartbreak. The characters are a woman and a man slowly falling in love, a crazy ex-boyfriend of the woman and the dead wife of the man who is in the subconscious imagination of the woman. There are also flashbacks in the past of the alive woman and special effects used to set a house on fire. An Iconography which is used in this film is bike which stands for the love and care from the man for the woman, and that she doesn’t want it first should show that she doesn’t trust anybody anymore and that she wants to be independent and doesn’t want to owe something to someone. The settings are idyllic seas and wood. People probably watch this movie to be entertained and to cry, because you feel really sad when you watch it, but you are also really excited because you want to know what happened in the woman’s past and what will happen next.
These typical areas also apply to many other romantic films.