Essay about Realism in British Soap Opera

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Realism in British Soap Opera Using a media text as a key example, evaluate selected techniques of fictional production which contribute to a sense of realism consistent with genre or format used.
Many have defined the term realism but these definitions by Watt and Williams can be easily applied to my choice of media text, which is the British soap opera.

Fiske writes that Watt and Williams “….tend to define it by its content. Watt traces its origins to the rise of the novel in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.” And Williams “…whose historical perspective covers the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, lists three main characteristics of realism in drama: he finds that it has a contemporary setting, that it
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The “Socially extended” characteristic can be seen with most of the main characters working in the factory or pub. Although characters are present that wouldn’t be strictly defined as “working class” such as Mike Baldwin who owns the factory or Natalie Barnes who owns the pub, in Coronation Street it is important to note that these characters are easily immediately visible to the working class.

Many commentators compare British Soaps with American soaps when discussing Realism. “ Realism is one of those words, like morality or wealth, whose definition is subjective. On the soaps reality is an artificial thing that is always being manipulated for the plot’s benefit… British soaps work in a naturalistic context which the American soaps do not attempt…..the British go for what I might call a “flattened” reality, a middle brow nuts and bolts, everyday sort of reality.”
(All For Love, A Study in Soap Opera, Peter Buckingham, Secker & Warberg 1984, p.45)

American Soap Operas such as Dallas or Dynasty are set in a contemporary setting but they are not concerned with secular action. These soaps rely on extravagant story – lines, a famous one being one character being abducted by aliens – this is not the typical experience of the working class as discussed by Williams.

These American Soaps also don’t conform to the “Socially
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