Unit 6 Critical Analysis

For my product i have chosen to look at how HBO Tv series have signalled their content to appeal to its specific audiences. One of the main examples that i will be using is crime based television series The Sopranos. I will look at the different aspects of this Television series to see how its has been targeted to specific audiences which will widen my knowledge on these aspects. To get an idea of the type of audience who watch this television series i will research into the ways which the programme appeals to the modern day man. After some social media and web based research i found the evidence that the modern man is typically a popular viewer of the show.

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This is a graph i collected from IMDB which shows the type of people who reviewed the show and is presented in nice graph. The results show that more of the people reviewing the show were in fact male and between the ages of 18 to 29 which correlates with the statement that aspects of the show specified towards the modern man. Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook returned with the same results by looking through likes and followings of the official show accounts however, i wanted to focus more on the aspects of the show which i appeal to the modern man.

The focus is the way the The Sopranos has scripted the television series through the characters and situations throughout the script. One of the clearest examples is through the character Tony Soprano who the whole series is created around. Tony Soprano is a New Jersey based Mobster having to put up with the pressures of running crime based business whilst having to tend to his troubled family and doesn’t make life easy for himself. Looking from the outside of the mobsters life it seems he has it all going for him with two kids, a beautiful wife and a luxurious house and lifestyle due to the benefits his crime life provide him financially, but the HBO series uncovers all of the glamour and brings us as the audience a character who many can associate themselves with.

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As a well known gangster themed television show, which is an increasingly popular theme in modern culture, it comes as a surprise when the first scene consists of crime boss Tony Soprano visiting a psychiatrist. In this series there are references later on which shows that seeing a shrink in this criminal world is something to be frowned upon. Christopher Moltisante is another character in the television show who is a protégé of Tony Soprano going through a hard emotional period. When conversing in the car, Tony brings up the idea that Christopher could have been depressed to which Chris replied “me?, I’m no fucking mental midget.” This conveys to the audience that the character of Tony Soprano has his flaws which makes him seem more relatable to the viewers of the show.

Another aspect of this television show which allows the viewers to associate themselves with Tony Soprano are his struggles with his family. Tony has two awkward children in Meadow and Anthony Junior who prove to be awkward whilst growing up into adults. One scene in particular scene that gets the affection with the audience is where Anthony Junior attempts to commit suicide by drowning himself in the family pool which Tony is the one to find and rescue him. After initially being angered by AJ’s intentions, Tony comforts Anthony Junior by saying “you’re all right baby” which gives the audience a rare insight to the soft side to this tough Mafia boss. Another one of the main problems surrounding Tony Soprano is his uncle Junior who deteriorates as the show progresses through illness. This leads to Uncle Junior having difficulties with Tony Soprano such as trying to arrange for Tony Soprano to be killed and later on shooting Tony Soprano where it is evident that Junior Soprano has clearly gotten a lot worse with his illness through his strange actions.

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The theme of Tony Sopranos unconditional family carries on through his mother Livia Soprano who is also suffering from illness and also tries to organise for Tony Soprano to be killed. A quote repeated throughout the show is “She’s dead to me” and the disturbing scene when Tony finds out about the attempts of his life through his mother. Tony Soprano goes into the hospital with the scene of him fluffing a pillow with the intention to suffocate Livia and confronts her violently whilst she is in a hospital bed. Tony Sopranos family is pretty corrupt with a hot headed cousin called Chris as mentioned before and a sister, Janice, who he has to bail out after having to dispose of the body of Richie Aprile who she had killed. Audience members won’t be able to relate directly to a family full of murdering and illegal activity but the show has clearly set a dysfunctional family with a lot of problems in which viewers of the programme can relate to such situations especially the modern man. Nic Cage made a very good cameo appearance which made my penis erect and a little bit of wee came out. “Can I put my balls on your chair?” “I think you already have”.

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