The following sample essay is a review of the drama series Shameless, Low Dirty No Shame, written by Tom Jennings. To read the introduction, body, and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
The effective review of the channel 4 drama series Shameless, ‘The low down dirty lack of shame’ written by Tom Jennings. (Variant, No 19, pp. 11-12) articulates interesting arguments surrounding the class and representation of the characters and their progressing storylines. This is shown with comparisons between reality, and exaggerated storylines.
I feel that the author’s purpose for this text is to enlighten and persuade the reader, about how different classes live.
He does this with logical reasoning and orderly presented material. In my opinion, the framework of the review is largely fixated upon the way; the drama is presented to the audience. The main question that is being answered is whether or not the drama shows a true portrayal of working class. The writer answers this for the reader by segmenting the information under clear and understandable headings.
These do not only relate to true life situations but also to shameless.
An example is ‘family affairs’. This enables the reader to make the connection with the words and meanings. Jennings then goes on to inform about the morals of programmes that represent working class, and the refusal to take into consideration the troubles that occur in reality, for example political issues. Jennings also informs the reader of the hype that is created and surrounds programmes that are being forced into narrow social classes by the media.
As a reader I can see this text clearly through living in the British culture, that is becoming increasingly obsessed with separating individuals into classes that my not represent their personality in the correct way. From reading the review, I gained the opinion that shameless entertains audiences in separate ways. Working class viewers will evoke a connection through the limited similarities it shares with reality, and also feel romanticised with the sense of fun that is perceived from the comical drama.
It also appeals to middle class audiences through fascination of how different classes live, with the element of symbolic repertoire. To conclude, the text has both strengths and weaknesses. The material separates the text into clear categories, for easier reader consumption. However, there are weaknesses. One of these being the lack of factual evidence to back up the arguments put forward. His style is largely focused upon his personal opinion. To improve upon this, he could support his points with more fact, or others opinions. This would heighten the trust between the writer and the reader.
The author targets the audience of the text to be the older viewers of shameless; I can see this through the use of language and media terminology, which the younger reader would find challenging to understand. The text would be appropriate as a learning resource which could be used for the study of representation and class. Since the text is largely about social classes and how media represents these through the characters and not directly about the series shameless. It would not be useful for writing about the actual programme, but more about what it represents.