Friday, 13 March 2009

Verisimilitude in TV Drama

Verisimilitude: the appearance of being true or real.

Realism or verisimilitude is apparent in all TV dramas from Hollyoaks to Dr Who, however, there are varying levels of it depending on the genre and plot within the series.

Dr Who contains certain levels on verisimilitude as there are elements of reality for example: characters have ‘normal’ conversations, wear typical clothing, show signs of suitable emotions and behave in a socially acceptable way. On the other hand though, there is also frequent appearances from aliens, monsters and the recurrent mode of transport is a time travelling huge-on-the-inside-small-on-the-outside telephone box called the ‘Tardis’ therefore indicating factors of surrealism. There may also be occasions such as someone dying and then coming back to life in a couple of episodes time and there is a lack of synchronicity. Nevertheless, Dr Who is still considered to be realistic but there is a definite divide between realistic and realism.
Realism is palpable in Television dramas such as Eastenders or Coronation Street. Episodes contain a conventional narrative plot like eating breakfast or going to the corner shop. Furthermore there is apparent synchronicity, for example, when the audience is experiencing a festivity like Christmas this is also occurring in Eastenders. This helps to add a further feeling of reality and believability for the audience, furthermore it enables audiences to relate to characters consequently having feelings for them. Conversely, storylines are often exaggerated and sometimes slightly implausible but this is added for entertainment values and is often expected in these types of TV drama.

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