Luther and The Sweeney:Contexts

Luther and The Sweeney:Contexts

Luther and The Sweeney:Contexts and Representation Log onto the computer: 1. 2. 3. 4.

You have 5 minutes to make as many bullet points as possible on The Sweeney. LO:To understand the contexts of Luther and The Sweeney 04/10/2017 Context: The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood. Stereotypes are a simplified representation of a person, groups of people or a

place, through basic or obvious characteristics - which are often exaggerated. Representation is how media texts deal with and present gender, age, ethnicity, national and regional identity, social issues and events to an audience. Media texts have the power to shape an audiences knowledge and understanding about these important topics. Luther Context ma/ You have 5 minutes to make as many bullet points as possible on Luther Luther challenges the stereotypical representations of black men in Crime Dramas. The opening sequence relies heavily on a negative representation as the audience might

be tricked into thinking Luther himself is the criminal who is chasing the white character in the suit. Crime Dramas have historically negatively portrayed black males as the villain being chased down by white detectives. Luthers unconventional approaches to solving crime may be picking up on some of these tropes; suggesting he challenges expectations of a detective. The actress Indira Varma, who plays Zoe Luther, has a diverse ethnic background and this plays no role in the ethnic representation of her character; possibly this shows how contemporary the programme is in its handling of the representation of key

characters. With both of the key villains of the episode being of the caucasian/white ethnicity it possibly shows a progression in the management of stereotypes. Luther, gives a very mixed view of masculinity with macho Luther going through a rollercoaster of emotions during the episode. The vulnerability of his psychological state is directly contrasted by his treatment of his wife in her office and at their house. The aggression and unstable behaviour supports

the negative representation of male characters who struggle getting their own way. The police station is primarily full of male police officers; only being subvertedby the most senior person being the female character Rose Teller; this is later further undermined by her being challenged by a senior male character who the audience have limited knowledge about. Justin Ripley arrives in the narrative as a new sidekick who has idolised and been in admiration of Luther for a long time. This is a character who doesnt necessarily worry about the masculine tropes he should be presenting when admitting his want for Luthers

partnership. The masculinity of Luther clearly has a weak spot; this is the feminine controls of the characters of Alice, Zoe and Rose who all serve to undermine a different element of his masculine portrayal. As the series continues the different versions of masculinity are explored further through DCI Reed who is flawed through corruption and Mark North, Zoes boyfriend, who shows a more modern and gentle approach to masculinity.

Alice Morgan manages to both support and challenge the ideological and typical representations of femininity in the episode. The vulnerable victim appears first; trembling, scared and lost as she exits her house before transforming into the calm and collected character answering Luthers questions in the interview room. It is the very interaction between Alice and Morgan that propels her to explore the many dark parts of her personality and subverts our expectations of a female character into a powerful and manipulative villain. DSU Teller brings us the powerful authoritative and heroic woman, in charge of many

male characters; but could it be suggested that many of her mannerisms and even dialogue carries many tough masculine traits, developed through a career of working as one of the lads. Her authority is later challenged by a male character who we know very little about, but suggests that Rose is not as autonomous as we first believe. Zoe Luther is by far the most negatively represented female character; vulnerable, weak and driven by romance and the need for a man in her life. She has a high-powered job role, but the fact that it is a humanitarian-lawyer arguably projects a much more caring and nurturing side to her personality.

The flaws of each characters femininity are key narrative components that drive the development in the episode and beyond through the rest of the series. In Luther we have multiple representations of the dark side of crime with a focus on the more serious offences. The detectives are seen to deal with incidents such as serial killers, murderers and armed robberies. There is a distinct lack of procedural elements (uniformed officers, forensics etc.) being shown in the episode as the director clearly believes the bestdramatic

conflict comes from the relationships between the key characters. Luther, as the central protagonist, is fundamentally flawed and seems to regularly go against what is expected from a detective. DSU Rose Teller acts as the calm, steady influence in his life; regularly referencing the legal ramifications of his decisions to try and keep him in line and encourage him to do things correctly. Luthers own colleagues seem to suspect him of bending the rules with regards to how he carries out justice.

The opening sequence allows the audience to see that Luther, while fundamentally wanting to stop criminals, is taking to whatever measures necessary to protect and save those who are vulnerable. Blumer and Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory is a way of explaining audience. Their theory says there are 5 primary reasons a person (audience) consumes media.

1. be informed or educated 2. identify with characters of the situation in the media environment 3. simple entertainment 4. enhance social interaction 5. escape from the stresses of daily life

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