Question (5) Why are genres important? Discuss a television genre in term of its historical and ideological features. Introduction
In general, genres points to the categories and subcategories of any sort of literature, art or entertainment based on some collective stylistic criteria. The term “genre” has been derived from the French language which literally means “type”, “kind” or “sort”. A famous media theorist Douglas Kellner has defined genre very precisely. Kellner explains genre refers to coded set of formulas and conventions indicating culturally accepted ways of organizing materials into distinct patterns (Kellner 1980). Genre is used to classify the mode of expression in the literary or art and entertainment works. Genres may have various types depending on different factors, categories, subcategories, themes, plot of a literature, art, or entertainment contents. Broadly speaking the two important genres may be identified as literary genres and film and television genres. Further genres types may be named such as action, comedy, horror, satire, thriller, animation, live-action scripted, live-action unscripted, romance and in fact many more. However many times genres in work can’t be defined precisely and exactly. Sometimes a single work may be an amalgamation of two or more genres to make it more entertaining and exciting. It has been observed amalgamation of genres keep viewers more engaged and it attracts larger audiences. Genres demonstrate the manifested messages, every artistic work, programs or show have the intention of spreading or giving out a clear message. Genres of the artistic works or programs clearly illustrate the manifested message of a work or program to the audience and depending on the genres being demonstrated in the programs or show, audiences can easily decide if it is worth watching or not. When audiences know about the genre(s) of media presentations or programmes, they hardly face any difficulty in understanding the messages inside. Consequently they may never feel cheated over the information of themes and genres of the presentations. A well identified genre for a presentation or media programme clearly explains the plot of a work independent of any individual production organization. Genres further illustrate the purpose and intention of production of the work clearly. For example a television program named “Morning Interview Programme” clearly sends a message to the target audience that the programme is all about interviewing a famous person, group or representative of an organization. Audiences who are looking for musical entertainment can easily make a conclusion about the programme, it has not been produced for them. Genres display the emotion and fulfill therapeutic functions. Audiences in every section of society are inclined to or love to watch particular genre(s) and based on this different sections of audiences have different preferences of genres. There may be a group of audiences who love to work for philanthropy and they prefer watching philanthropy shows on television, on the other hand there may be an audience group who love to create each and every single person in the society and they prefer watching shows which promote the cause of literacy. Hence these genres of the shows or programmes reflect the emotion of audience and they essentially want to display their emotions through such programmes or shows. Nowadays emotional displays are a central element to many television shows. Genres fulfill the therapeutic functions of audiences. It fulfills the therapeutic functions in a way by putting audience in touch with their primal emotions (Silverblatt 2007). For instance groups of audience who love excitement, a thriller movie may arouse feeling of thrill among them and hence fulfilling their therapeutic function. Genres offer positive role model for target audience. As mentioned above every genre is liked by a particular group of audience. The audience who like a...
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