RWAV: Final Feature

This semester has been a whirl wind. Whether I had control over any of it, I don’t know. I’m just glad everything has finally been submitted.

I think overall our group has been very unlucky with the way deadlines have lined up. Our first live show fell in a very similar week to the individual interview and demo which left us planning frantically for the first 3 weeks. We then had a large gap in between these three assignments and our second show + the feature interview.

In regards to the feature interview, overall, I think we worked really well together as a team. At times it was hard to coordinate everyone into the same space at the same time. We often worked in smaller groups of 2/3 instead of the group of 5 together. I think mostly everyone did a good job at contributing. I felt at times I hadn’t done enough but I ended up becoming a big part of picking and choosing (editing) the clips together. I conducted an interview with Beth and Ben (this one was with Dusty as well). I think my contribution has definitely aided the team getting it in on time & in a great place in terms of quality.

The idea to make it about YouTube started with me but the we worked as a group formulate it into a topic – YouTube as a platform for developing skills & how it sits in a social media world. Our interviewees were great. I think they all provided a great insight into the world of YouTube. My favourite is probably Ben, the academic. He spoke really well and actually said some things that definitely conflicted with the other interviewees. This was particularly interesting in the sense that he talked about youtubers as being narcissists, just like other social media stars. However, this contrasted with Beth (who I know personally), as she is probably the most innocent and kind-hearted person and uses it as an outlet to get her feelings out into the world. She uses the platform to process her thoughts & at the same time, practices her craft (and she’s great at it).

I think overall the editing together of clips was great, as this definitely showed off contradictions in conversation as well as agreeances. The choice of music worked well for the feature. We attempted to get music that would be similar to a YouTube video in that the music is played underneath.    

RWAV: Week 6 – The Live Show

Nerves and excitement were buzzing as my group arrived around 10am in the morning on Monday the 10th of April as we began to prepare for our live RWAV show. Tweets were being sent, photos were being taken and interviewees were greeted. Dusty and I practiced our presenting with the script and Rose had a go at getting the panel operating all down-pat so that once we walked into the live show, we would already all be in the zone.

Below is a list of things that went well and not so well, as well as the link to the live show (with annotations).


  • Intro: This intro worked a lot better than the one we did in the demo. It went for a little longer and we seemed more comfortable on air. We introduced the show well including giving a timeframe for things the audience were going to hear later on if they were to tune out at any point. I think this was super important as one needs to have an understanding of the fact that people don’t necessarily hear the whole show. Perhaps if people don’t like on section of the show, they can tune in later.
  • Front/Back Announcing: Overall these were great. We constantly heard track names and station and show ID’s as well as a bit of background information every so often about the bands/artists and songs we were playing which gave it just that little bit extra to show we had done our research (and of course we care!). Also a back announce in the intro from the pervious show… this was to ensure listeners knew that this was a new show but still the same station as to not confuse the listener.
  • Music: Choice of music I think worked well for the type of show that it was. We had an eclectic mix of sounds and it definitely had a true Triple R sound.
  • Panelling: At times there were moments of silence between when the presenters had finished talking and when Rose played a song/promo etc. And there is one particular moment where I had started speaking before Rose turned my mic on. I think that was a bit of miscommunication as I was listening to the music and trying to make it sound professional by talking as the song ended. However, Rose I think was waiting for the song to end before allowing me to speak… which is fair! Again, I think at this moment I was feeling a bit flustered and USUALLY in my own experience, I actually panel operate the shows I am on, meaning that sometimes I forget that others are directing me.
  • Interview 1 – Less Meat Less Heat: This is probably my favourite interview of the day. Dusty and I both had a fair share of taking part in the speaking. At times we were probably TOO casual and spoke over each other (including the interviewee) however I think this works well as it meant we were all pretty comfortable with speaking together. It was unfortunate that we ran out of time because Dusty and I had some many pre-planned questions/questions we had thought of then and there that we wanted to ask. I think in future it’s probably best if we work out what NEEDS to be told before asking what we want to ask in order to leave the interview feeling we had asked what people want to hear first + any extra fluff. The interviewee spoke well, I believe he was media trained as well which helps. He seemed keen on the cause and I felt that Dusty and I had done some good research before the show. We both downloaded the app he was advertising ‘The Climatarian Challenge’ so that we could talk to him about that. I think this showed that we cared what he was talking about and made it seem even more natural and well-researched.
  • Interview 2: Swordcraft Melbourne. I wasn’t so keen on this interview. Dusty took more control of this one and there was a long period of time where I was heard speaking. I remember during the interview feeling a little out of it in the sense that I just couldn’t get into the interview because at times the interviewee waffled and I lost track. This was probably my own fault and perhaps I could have payed more attention or done a bit more research beforehand. I think it was important that Dusty lead this one as I was about to have my own pre-recorded interview played. It worked well in this sense as I wanted to share the talking around a little more. We probably could have planned this interview better if Dusty was to talk more having me ask one every 2-3 questions rather than a few at once and then nothing. Overall, I think the interview was insightful and it would have been nice to talk to him for a longer period of time (again another time constraint issue).
  • Placing of content: The segments ran for a varying length of time which I think makes it seem natural. It probably would have been good to have had something to break up the two long-winded interviews, perhaps even splitting one of the interviews in half to stretch out the time. We had a good amount of content to fill the one hour show and I think we did really well on this aspect.
  • The incident during my pre-recorded interview: As you will hear in the live recording, the interview cut out at about 3 minutes in with around 4 minutes to go. Unlike the rest of the audio that was playing off CD’s, this audio was played off Computer 2. In future, we will burn every piece of audio (including interviews) onto a few CD’s so that we do not run into this issue. Rose had double and triple-checked the CD’s to ensure that they worked, so this was fantastic and I applaud her for such hard work. I think we did really well to recover from this mishap, especially considering it was so unexpected. I had begun to read the script from earlier but recovered quick enough so that listeners could find out what the interview was about (a back announce). I also reiterated that they could hear the ‘FULL’ interview on the Triple R website under the RWAV page, which made it almost seem like a planned cutout and it sounded super professional. Dusty also picked up after me quite well, introducing a song. I remember feeling so flustered at this point thinking all this time had passed and we had said nothing, but listening back, I think it was just nerves kicking it. We actually did really well to fill the space and it’s definitely something to add to my portfolio of ways I’ve picked up from tech errors! The cause of the technical error is still unknown, however we believe that the internet may have cut out as it was loading and playing, resulting in corrupt playback.
  • Social Media: Social media throughout the session was great, promoting the interviews and what we were talking about. We ensured to take heaps of photos before and throughout the show to allow us to have as much content to post as possible. It was also good that I continuously plugged the Triple R twitter page so if people were keen to check us out elsewhere, they could do this.
  • Choice of Interviews/Interviewees: Overall the interviews that took place covered three varying worlds which made the show interesting for a whole range of people with different interests. I think the producer Liv did a great job with the diversity targeted during the show.
  • Outro: This also worked just as well as our intro. I made sure to restate what the audience had heard on the show and where to find more information. I plugged the Twitter page and the RWAV website here to ensure that people knew where to go after the show. We front announced the next show which the next show were grateful for! Dusty mentioned the April Subscriber Amnesty as well as why listeners should subscribe. The Talks Producer was shocked but grateful for this as she couldn’t believe that we had done that much research as was really happy that we cared so much for the station. We also thanked each other (this was cute) as well as the rest of our team, to ensure they were recognised as well 🙂
  • Vocal Quality: Dusty and I both have very different vocal qualities but this worked well as we sounded really natural. We went up and down at different points which made the show as a whole flow well and not jarring at all.

Overall a really great show and I’m so proud of both myself and the rest of the team for being able to pull off being the first group with less time to prepare!

RWAV Blog: Week 5 – The Individual Interview

For our Week 6 show on 3RRR, I thought it would a nice idea to include a pre-recorded interview into our RWAV show so that we ended up with enough material to fill the 1 hour time slot. This interview would also be used towards my individual interview after being accepted by the Talks Manager at Triple R and Bruce/Sam.

So, I went off and contacted a man named Simon Starr, my best friend’s dad who owns his own bird company named Birding Victoria, which provides resources on different birds and where to find them as well as his own tour company called Firetail Birdwatching Tours. I pitched him an idea to discuss not only his love for birdwatching, but also a discussion of the duck shooting problem, something that I was only slightly aware of. Before the interview took place, I had a brief chat to him about the sorts of questions I would ask him without giving too much away, so that he could have a think about what he might like to say in the short time provided.

It’s usually recommended that you chat with your interviewee before the interview in order to make them feel more relaxed and comfortable both when recording and directly with the interviewer. However, this wasn’t as important for Simon and I because we already knew each other and we both felt pretty comfortable talking to one another. Once he arrived at the studio, it was a matter of testing microphone levels and ensuring that audacity was recording and we were away!

Overall, I think the interview went quite well. Below is a list of dot points and more of a breakdown as to things that went well and not so well.

  • Timing: When recording, I noticed that it was getting closer to the 10-11 minute mark. Without thinking about the time after the editing would be complete, I cut it off at this point. However, after doing some thorough editing of the ‘um’s or any pauses’ it was cut down to 7 minutes and 22 seconds, only just scraping the length of the Individual Interview assignment. I think in future, I need to remember that less is more and having had Simon answer more questions would have meant more content and time to play with!
  • Leading questions from previous answers: Something I’ve always said to myself that I want to get better at is commenting beyond an answer without it seems jarring or out of place and awkward. For an interview of this kind, I didn’t want to say too much considering it was mainly focussed on Simon’s work as well as his views on the duck-shooting. During the interview, Simon told me of a story that was recently aired on the 7:30 Report on ABC which I then questioned him about. I think this worked well and actually seemed quite natural as it appeared as though I was interested and had done research and allowed Simon to talk beyond what I already ‘knew’.
  • Amount of questions: I think again relating back to the timing of the piece, I could have asked a few more questions. However I was pretty happy with the amount of research I had done and the fact that I tried to make it seem quite natural, especially at the beginning when we were laughing about his comments regarding birdwatching and that it isn’t just about watching birds.
  • Editing Phase: Regarding the post-production and editing of the interview, I think it was a nice addition to add the bird chirps at the beginning and the end, to give the piece a bit of ambience which may otherwise not exist. It would have been fantastic to record this interview on location but this is something that may be considered for my feature interview later on in the semester. I think overall I did a pretty good job with the tone and the way I spoke, varying levels depending on the types of questions I was asking and I was really happy with the fact that the interview was done in ONE take with barely any pauses. This made it relatively easy to edit and it probably saved me from still keeping within the required time frame of the assignment. At the end of the take, all I had to edit were a few um’s from Simon which made the audio seem a little too jarring at times. Again, this is something super minor and Simon did a fantastic job at speaking with me, especially for someone who hasn’t had a lot of media training. He was succinct with his answers and knew what he wanted to say which was fantastic.

Below is an embed link to the interview that you can listen to. The file also contains some more annotations regarding certain parts of the interview!


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RWAV Blog: Week 3 & 4 (and maybe a little bit of Week 2) – The Demo

As the Room with a View studio begins to really kick off with groups formed and demo’s being recorded, I thought I would reflect so far on how the class has been going and the demo my group recorded.

This task asked us to get together in the studio and record a full hour of a show so that we could reflect on our work and practice before the real live show as a group and in our specific roles. It was great to finally get together and practice using a run sheet that would be similar to the one for the live show. It allowed us to have a play around with song choices, ways we present and stings/promos we could use. The intro was also played many times to practice how long it needed to be played for on the actual day. Of course, I have never presented with Dusty before nor worked with her so ultimately  this demo session was important for us to work out how we communicate with each other whilst on air i.e. hand signals or live updating of the script. It was also an important time for Rose to work out how exactly to panel operate and to ensure the running sheet was adequately filled with promos and stings so that it could be templated for our actual show.

At this stage, we were still finalising our interviewee’s so instead, we interviewed each other. In week 2, in order to get ahead so that we were not snowed under with other commitments, we attempted to get our demo done and dusted. Only issue was that I had to leave early and we rushed too much into it… therefore didn’t have a proper working run sheet. In this circumstance, Liv filled in for my presenting role for the rest of the session so that Rose could practice panel operating.

From here in Week 3, we went on to record our demo with a working run sheet and script. However, as the hour was over, we realised that audacity had recorded the show going live to air, rather than our pre-recorded show. At this point, we were all feeling pretty exhausted after having just done what we thought, was a perfect show.  However, we knew that the demo just had to be completed so we did it then and there again. I think what we learnt from this process was that it’s important to ALWAYS test everything required before the show, something I will definitely think about when recording my interview. I think this also did us some favours as we were able to have an extra live session together before the real live show, allowing us to start to understand deeper into how we all work and how the show might actually turn out. I think Dusty and I started becoming quite good friends at this point which obviously helps with on air chemistry. This time Liv had to leave early but being the in the producing role, this wasn’t such a big deal as a lot of her work is about the pre-live show i.e. organising interviews etc.

At the end of the day we knew there were a few things we had to work on. This included ensuring that Dusty and I balanced out questions so that one of us doesn’t take TOO much of the lead during an interview. It’s sometimes difficult when you get caught up in the moment of the interview and continuously ask questions to find that the last 5 questions have been from the same presenter. This will be fixed for the live show by ensuring that Dusty and I sit in a way that allows us to both see each other and the interviewee so that we can communicate with each other i.e. with eye contact + hand gestures.

You can find annotations on the more technical issues and things that went well on the demo recorded under my username ‘sammyscrammy’, as well as any other comments left by my teammates. Here: or see embed link below. 

I’m really looking forward to doing my individual interview and the live show!

Community or not to community?

Assessment 2 is beaming like a bright light in the distance coming towards us Networked Media children. As it begins it’s decent onto planet “oh my god another assessment is due”, I must begin to investigate a community of my choosing and reflect on the interactions within it.

As a mad lover of the TV show Wentworth, I thought I might delve a little deeper into the community of Wentworth Fans that I am already somewhat involved in.

At the moment, I use Twitter to get involved in the conversations, especially as the Wentworth Twitter account follows me (and therefore I feel obliged to be up to date because I’m one of the lucky 67 accounts that they follow).

But I want to delve even deeper into the community and see more of the world that exists surrounding the show.

A few places that I think I will explore include:

The #Wentworth Tag on Twitter – Whilst I currently use this tag when commenting on the show, it will be interesting to properly read what is out there already/what will come/anticipation (as Season 4 commences May 10).

From first glance, it appears that the most common place for Wentworth lovers to talk about the show are these two Facebook groups:

‘Wentworth’ –

‘Wentworth TV Series’ –

With both groups attaining over 13,000 members each, it seems that there are new discussions going every day. I have since requested to join both groups and have been accepted into both.

Screenshot taken on 18th April 2016, Facebook - Accepted into Wentworth TV Series Group

Screenshot taken on 18th April 2016, Facebook – Accepted into Wentworth TV Series Group

Screenshot taken from Facebook on April 18 2016. Accepted into Wentworth Group on Facebook

Screenshot taken from Facebook on April 18 2016. Accepted into Wentworth Group on Facebook

Wentworth Cast Twitter Feed – I have since subscribed to this feed enabling me to keep up to date with what the cast are saying about the show.

#Wentworth on Tumblr – this hashtag allows me to access various different Tumblr accounts that house various different videos, gifs and even comments/fanfics about the show.

The Wentworth Website has a few trailers and links to the Wentworth Twitter account but may not be as useful in regards to finding the community that exists.

It must be noted that the above mediums (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) are all used to interact and therefore allow for communities to be housed as there is a sense of the ability to comment/like/repost.

Television Cultures – Blog Post #5 (Reflection)


Having taken a weekly note of my television viewing habits, it becomes evident that I am not a heavy television viewer. Despite my efforts to attempt a ‘binge-watch’ once or twice throughout the semester, I was often left unsuccessful as I felt I had better things to do with my time.

However, I did find that 90% of the time, I was always watching TV in the evening, in the Kitchen/Living Room space. This is the most communal place in my home as this is where my family eat dinner and watch television. The television for my family, has always been a tool enabling us to spend more time together. It is always on in the evening as my parents watch the news and then flick over to watch whatever else is on free-to-air or Foxtel for ‘background noise’. I noted that I often watched television for a few hours on several evenings just because it was on. This is the case with The Living Room, a show I often watched on Friday evenings purely for the ‘Hot or Not’ segment, because it has become a family favourite. The segment only goes for around 5 minutes, but I would always end up watching the whole show, as it allowed for family time that I may not otherwise have. It has become a family favourite as my mum often enjoys finding new television shows that we can watch as a family and this show has become the best thing on at this time (7:30pm). This is also the case with The Bachelorette where I only watched the show because my family had it switched on. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the show and it became a weekly show my family loved to sit down and watch.

In Week Four of Television Cultures, we discussed concepts that are very relevant to my television viewing habits. I think that the idea of a ‘shared experience’ and ‘social rituals’ are really important to me because I enjoy feeling like I am part of a community. I watch a lot of live broadcasts such as when Collingwood plays in the AFL as I love going to the games where am a part of a crowd. However, it is often easier just to watch the games at home especially as I am always busy. When watching it on television, there is a sense of a crowd watching with me considering that underneath the commentary, you can hear the crowd booing and cheering. It enables me to feel like I am at the game and makes it more enjoyable. The idea of ‘social rituals’, again falls back to the idea that I often watch shows purely because my family members or friends watch them. It enables for conversation to be sparked about for example, the topics within the show or ideas about storylines. Neighbours is a television program that airs every night during the week. At times, I was not at home for the 6:30pm start for the show, and often relied on my family members to tell me what had happened. This show is almost like a ‘ritual’ show for my family, as we have all enjoyed watching it over the years.

When watching television, I am also quite into the interactivity and second screens. Whenever I watch The Bachelorette or the AFL, I am on my personal Twitter account looking at hashtags made for the particular show (i.e. #TheBacheloretteAU or #AFLPiesvCats). This allows me to see what other audience members are saying about the show or the game and enables me to be part of a wider community that I may not necessarily be otherwise interacting with.

In saying that I watch a lot of TV in my family room, I must also note the occasional use of YouTube and Netflix. I watch a particular show on YouTube called Carmilla, a web series that I began watching, purely because of it’s hype. I am a part of a few artist fan bases, and found that watching the show enabled me to connect with and make new friends in these fan bases. I also love watching Netflix in my spare time, but use the service purely because it is so easy nowadays to access popular TV shows like Orange is the New Black that Australia doesn’t necessarily get straight away.

Overall I have found that I mostly watch Television due to its social factor. I tend to watch popular shows like The Bachelorette, as I am able to connect with family members and friends through conversations about these shows. It enables me to have a sense of community and makes television feel less lonely.

Television Cultures – Blog Post #4

For years, researchers have studied television audiences and viewing preferences. Advertisers, commercial broadcasters and even government policy makers care about audiences as they are the individuals who will bring profit to the industry. These ‘commodity audiences’ are reflected via ratings as they “reflect neither mass taste nor the taste of an intellectual elite” (Jenkins, 2013). Ratings give a small representation of the actual audience, making them only an indicator for companies using television as a way to make money.

But what about Fandoms?

Many television culture researchers have attempted to trace the emergence of an organized media fan culture, to the late 1960s efforts “to pressure NBC in returning Star Trek to the air” (Jenkins, 2013). In 1969, the show was cancelled after a lack of popularity shown in the ratings. The ratings only give a small representation of the actual audience, and perhaps this meant that the fans were excluded. However, reruns were then aired in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets, helping Star Trek develop a fan base greater than its popularity in the original run. As a result of large fan gatherings and conventions in support of the series between 1967 and 1972, the franchise was revived and is still thriving today.

Fandoms are stereotyped as cultural others – “as obsessive, freakish, hysterical, infantile & regressive social subjects” (Hill, 2007). Fans are often seen as ‘textual poachers’ who find pleasure in aspects of the text that are not necessarily valued by producers or those with institutional training. Pop cultures take on fandom has typically been one of distaste and critique, with fans’ emotional attachments to media texts and celebrities being viewed as “irrational” (Jenkins, 2013).

Yet despite all of this, fandoms have become an incredibly important tool for many television programs. Many producers have “employed fans as a base of support in their own power struggles with network executives” (Hill, 2007), in order to keep their programs on the air. Other producers have gone down the path of transmedia storytelling, providing extra content for fans, such as trailers, behind-the-scenes footage or webisodes in order to gain a larger fan following and to keep fans interested. At the end of the day, the fans enable programs to continue running as they are the ones that bring in capital for producers.

First being aired on May 31, 2000 on CBS, Survivor is an example of a “TV Phenomenon that sparked a multilayered convergence of media-based fan activity” (Taddeo and Dvorak, 2010). The reality television program follows a group of strangers, or celebrities, in an isolated location where they must provide food, water, fire and shelter for themselves, whilst also competing in challenges to stay on the island, in order to win the million-dollar prize. Viewers clamored to be part of the “Survivor experience through fan sites, discussion boards, mediated videos posted on YouTube, and a host of other online participatory” (ibid.). Survivor also has behind-the-scenes footage and other exclusive content, that fans are able to access via a website, promoting the concept of transmedia storytelling. It is also important to note that Survivor produced two seasons of ‘Survivor – Fans vs. Favourites’, created for fans who believed they could out-survive original contestants of the show. This suggests that producers took note of the conversations being had by fans stating that they could ‘do it better’, and thus created the program as a way of saying ‘prove it’.

It could be said that fandoms are a problem for so called ‘legitimate culture’, as they perhaps, muddy the boundaries of mass culture texts that otherwise wouldn’t be considered so highly. However, fandoms also enable important theory and criticism surrounding texts. Often their interpretations and evaluations go unheard despite the fact that they provide legitimate, negotiated ideas that may not necessarily be commonly represented. They also allow for an understanding of their own relationships to texts.

Whilst some people view fandoms to be full of individuals who are “obsessive” or “freakish”, we must consider the fact that they allow for a revival of particular popular culture texts, especially in the case of Star Trek. They enable texts to be interpreted in a deeper, more meaningful way and often become a tool for more enriching studies into the cultures surrounding television productions.


Jenkins, H. (2013). Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge. (p. 28-33)

Taddeo, J. and Dvorak, K. (2010). The tube has spoken. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. (p. i-v)

Hill, A. (2005). Reality TV. London: Routledge. (p. 3-37).

Wikipedia, (2015). Survivor: Caramoan. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Star Trek. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Star Trek fandom. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].


Television Cultures – Blog Post #3

What do you get when you cross a group of mid-twenties, female New Yorkers and Lena Dunham’s real life experiences? That’s right, the comedy-drama Girls, starring Lena Dunham, herself, as the main character, Hannah Horvath.

Girls is an American television series created by Lena Dunham, that premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. The show centres around an aspiring writer, Hannah, and her three friends, Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie, “who are as messed up as [Hannah] is” (Sheffield, 2012 pg. 32). Hannah gets a shock when her parents visit Brooklyn from Michigan to announce that they will no longer financially support her. She is left to her own devices where she must navigate her twenties alongside her closest friends. 

Classed under ‘comedy-drama’, Girls provides audiences with just that, comedy and drama. Lena Dunham, a comedian herself, takes the audience on a comedic journey showing us the typical humiliations, disasters and rare triumphs of the four women. The show has been heralded as “frank and fearless” for it’s “gritty and straightforward approach to taboo topics like abortion, its naturalistic and frank take on sex scenes and the importance of female friendship the show celebrates” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359). This ‘up-front’ approach is typical of HBO quality drama, known for seeking “discomfort” (Fuller and Driscoll 2015, pg. 258) and exploring “contemporary anxieties” (Johnson 2005, pg. 61).


However, the show adopts an interesting approach on women by suggesting that the girls are all “self-evolved, self-entitled and… unable to define themselves without male influence” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359). There is a “notion that these women’s sense of self-definition only comes through their relationships with a man”. This provokes a sense of disconnect for women, especially as the show attempts to represent women aged in their 20’s. What is also surprising is that Lena Dunham herself is extremely successful, yet she is portrayed as a character who lacks self-direction. Overall, the show is deficient of the millennial, successful and multi-cultural women, especially in a time period when society is pushing for equality and a positive representation of women.

In saying this, HBO’s Sex and the City is quite similar, in that it explores “sexual content… and the importance of sexual expression to its females” (Fuller and Driscoll 2015, pg. 259) so it is no different to Girls. Evidently, Girls follows a similar storyline to Sex and the City featuring four central female characters who are concerned with their sex lives. Girls has been critiqued for its similarity with Sex and the City, albeit the obvious shift in time periods where the show encompasses ideas that are relevant to the time in which it was created.

However, “Girls includes in depth sexual stories that Sex and the City would “never canvass, entwined with different stories about aspiration and identity, including the looming possibility of complete life failure” (ibid.). Whereas in Sex and the City, the women were not as concerned about complete life failure. Girls seems to make a clear comment on the way women approach their sex lives within today’s society and suggests that women are more open to talking about it. It also makes a comment on the fact that there is potentially more pressure today, to be a ‘successful woman’, signified by the women in Girls feeling as if they will fail, compared to the time of Sex and the City.


Girls has also caused a lot of controversy due to its lack of racial diversity. The show’s characters are all white, middle-class females living in the highly multiracial New York City. Hadley Freeman (2014) states that “when it transpired that there were almost no people of colour in the first series of the show, critics cried racism in a way that no one ever did about the similarly New York-based and Sex and the City” (ibid.). This leads to the fact that “New York is much more segregated” than people think; Dunham is making a comment on what needs to change. It is also impossible for Dunham to “represent all life experiences of everyone in her generation”, as she doesn’t have an everyman’s “view of the world” (ibid.).


But despite the criticisms that come with the show, we must herald this “fresh” and “ground-breaking” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359) programme that seems to be a part of the revival of successful female-lead shows. The show provides a reflection for many women in their 20-somethings especially within today’s society.




Sheffield, R. (2012), Girls! Girls! Girls!. Rolling Stone, p.32.


Daalmans, S. (2013). ‘I’m Busy Trying to Become Who I Am: Self-entitlement and the city in HBO’s Girls’, Feminist Media Studies, 13(2), pp. 359-362.


Fuller, S. and Driscoll, C. (2015). ‘HBO’s Girls: gender, generation, and quality television’, Continuum, 29(2), pp. 253-262.


Johnson, C. (2005). ‘Quality/Cult Television: The X-Files and Television History’, The Contemporary Television Series, pp. 57–71.


Dunham, L., Dunham, L., Williams, A. and Kirke, J. (2015). Girls (TV Series 2012– ). [online] IMDb. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].


Freeman, H. (2014). Not That Kind of Girl review – Lena Dunham exposes all, again. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].



Television Cultures – Blog Post #2 (Scheduling and Masterchef)

We often tend to overlook the power of scheduling even though the concept of it is right in front of us every evening, when we sit down to watch television at dinnertime.

“The television schedule is a form of media temporality that simultaneously disciples and is disciple to the conventions of western ‘human time’ as they take place through standardised patterns of work, sleep, eating and family life” (Cover, 2005, pg. 14).

Schedules are important as they break down patterned audience behaviour (it is important to note that audience behaviour is relevant, as the aim for commercial television is to ‘sell’ mass audiences to advertisers in order to gain a profit from their programs). Firstly schedules include the inscribed assumptions about everyday life regarding working hours or meal times. This means that the evening television schedules often mimic evening schedules for households as this provides more relevant television and brings in viewers (therefore higher ratings, more profit). Secondly they cater to the annual pattern of seasons, events and special occasions. Thirdly, traditional slots tend to be more habitual i.e. news programs scheduled between 5-7pm (catered for the 9-5pm working day model), as this reaches a wider and larger audience range. And lastly are the assumptions about what the competition does and might do. Schedulers take into account patterns of behaviour from other networks or look at what is coming up on other networks, in order to provide the same sort of programming to compete.

The first point is relevant in regards to Masterchef as the program is broadcast around the time when individuals are preparing/eating dinner (7:30pm). Advertisers can market products relevant to Masterchef, i.e. Coles (a major sponsor of the show). For example, they may advertise half-price chicken which leads audiences to consider buying that chicken for a future meal.

Schedulers attempt to find the ‘best slot’ for particular programs especially when they are successful. This leads me to think about many popular cooking game shows that are manipulating ratings at the moment across quite a few networks including Channel 7, 9 and 10.

Channel 10 is definitely catering to my tastes with its hit television program ‘Masterchef’, an Australian reality television game show. The show features three main judges, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston who are all highly regarded within the food industry. The first episode of season one aired on the 27th of April 2009 at 7pm, with the following seasons airing half an hour later (at 7:30pm). The first episode of season one attracted an average of 1.42 million viewers (cited in Wikipedia 2015), making Masterchef Australia the most watched show in the 7pm time slot. Six years on after moving to the 7:30pm time slot, the 2015 series averaged 1.168 million viewers each episode maintaining its spot as the number one program on television at its timeslot from May-July.

According to Paul Venzo (2009), “Masterchef was successful for a number of reasons. It coincided with the media’s focus on the global financial crisis… as it taught Australian’s how to prepare food that many of us could no longer afford to eat out.” Julie Goodwin (winner of season one) “embodied a key convention of reality television… a journey followed by a transformation into the more ‘ideal-self’.”

By playing on the stereotypical conventions of the family schedule, the producers of Masterchef are able to maximise viewing statistics and revenue through scheduling themselves around the typical family timetable.



Ellis, J 2000, ‘Scheduling: the last creative act in television?’, Media, Culture & Society, no. 22, vol. 1, pg. 25-38.

Wikipedia, 2015, MasterChef Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Aug. 2015].

Venzo, P 2009, ‘Reality Really Does Bite: ‘Dead Set’ and the Development of Reality TV’, Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, no. 163, pg. 92-97.


Television Cultures – Blog Post #1 (Deadset)

When reality television and zombies combine, the British television show ‘Deadset’ comes into play. The show is essentially a spoof on reality TV set both on the inside and outside world of the UK version of ‘Big Brother’. A zombie apocalypse rocks Britain and the last people standing happen to be the participants of Big Brother.

The show was premiered on October 27, 2008 on E4 and was shown consecutively for the five days leading up to Halloween. The ‘scary hype’ that surrounds Halloween, perhaps suggests the reason for this “flesh-eating genre for the smallscreen” (Clarke, 2008, pg. 30) raking in E4’s biggest audience since 2002 with 1.4 million viewers for the 10pm premiere. According to E4, the show had an average audience share of 5.8% compared with an average of 1.8% at the time slot. And perhaps the fact that this show was approached like a “feature film” according to Charlie Booker and featured the real host of the U.K. version of Big Brother, Davina McCall (which is interesting considering the real meanings behind the show), is the reason it was a success.

Deadset encompasses everything that falls under the horror genre with the use of “rapid edits and a range of shots that cut back and forth between the ‘threat at a distance’ and the abstracted close-up of the bloody attacks” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 95) providing the audience with a “gore-fest” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 95). But the show delves further than a typical horror drama, where it begins to explore the idea of audience consumption (represented by the zombie apocalypse).

Charlie Booker has called the audience to question the concept of reality TV and to consider the “capacity of humankind to consume itself, via the media’s obsession with representing back to us the (supposedly) everyday experiences of the Western middle classes” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 93). This is shown through the reality television genre where we see the use of stereotypical and highly constructed characters that express their common human emotions and are faced with ‘un-scripted’ situations which are often relatable to audiences. Therefore, these characters and situations can teach us important things about the society in which we live.

The use of zombies, which can be seen in a typical fantasy and/or horror genre production as well as the combination of the already built-up reality television drama ‘Big Brother’ (made out to be based on real life events), prompts the audience to begin questioning the difference between what is imagined and what is real life. We are essentially faced with an entertaining yet typical and familiar story, whilst also being shown something incredibly different to what we have ever seen before, leading us to question whether the consumption of hyper reality has been taken too far.

But I also think beyond this, the use of zombies in this television program leads us to consider what audiences see as their own ‘threats’ within the real world. It is not just their own consumption of reality TV and whether what we are shown is real or not, but the threats we are faced with every day on our news whether it be to do with terrorism or natural disasters. I think it is also important to consider the fact that within Deadset, it is not only the audience who become the zombies, but the producers of this spoof version of Big Brother, which perhaps suggests that the threats we are faced with are often home-grown and the people we believe give us reliable information, are perhaps also ‘threats’ to audiences. It becomes a question again, linking back to the idea within Deadset, of what is real and what is imagined and can we truly believe everything that we see on television?



Clarke, S 2008, ‘Television: Brit Auds Eat Up E4 Zombies’, Variety, vol. 413, no. 3, pp. 30.

Venzo, P 2009, ‘Reality Really Does Bite: ‘Dead Set’ and the Development of Reality TV’, Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, no. 163, pg. 92-97.