Compare how two television programmes you have studied offer comic representation of gender

In this essay I intend to use two sitcoms to answer the question. Gender representation is a major part of many sitcoms and I will be looking into why this is, and how they are represented comically. I will be using an episode of Absolutely Fabulous and an episode of Keeping Up Appearances to provide me with examples to support my ideas and opinions.
* Absolutely Fabulous- Eddie- comical features:
Over dressed, flamboyant & eccentric appearance

No sense of moral or political correctness (buying merchandise from African villages)
Physical behaviour- poor co-ordination of arms and hands- looks comical- lots of movement. (Example- when arrives late in & faces questioning from Saffy)
Voice-sounds younger than she is & talks like she is younger- comical because trying to hide from her real age
Language- talks like a teenager, talks to daughter like she is her mum (role reversal)
Also degrading to daughter, loud and immature behaviour.
Not stereotypical mum- quite the opposite, stereotypical teenager. (mood swings & behaviour, dress etc)
Main interest is men- questions Saffy about when she will finally get a boyfriend.
Generally most of her features are exaggerated to increase comical value.
Saffy- Comical features:
Very boring/ sensible dress sense, dull colours & appearance- even though a teenager.
Sensible & boring- role reversal with her mum- example- when telling mum off about returning home late.
Body language- reserved, sensible, quiet and controlled.
Tries to make deals & compromise with her mum- role reversal again. Also with Patsy- T.V show.
Well spoken, doesn’t use slang, swear or shout.
Stereotypical mum, portrayed through a daughter 9role reversal with her mum)
Relies heavily on Saffy.
Generally most of her features are exaggerated to increase comical value.
Patsy- Comical Features:
Shows how women can get wherever they want- slept with her Boss to get a better job.
Pretends to be professional.
Dresses like she’s on a catwalk- completely inappropriate & ridiculous. Uses too much make up & has an overdone hairstyle.
Addicted to cigarettes and alcohol.
Tries to use and manipulate Saffy- uses sob story to make her appear on T.V show.
Appears to be very shallow with not much of a life & few friends- when she is desperate to go to lunch with Eddie, as has no one else to go with.
Generally most of her features are exaggerated to increase comical value.
Other notes: Patsy and Eddie- more than best friends, rely on & need each other.
Magazine editors- all similar to Patsy. Some appear very aristocratic. Main editor- very professional, smartly dressed, busy, taking what some would perceive as a male role.
Patsy and Eddie try to get as much free stuff as they can from the building- demonstrates that although they behave like the others, they cant afford to live the lifestyle or dress the same.
T.V show- Presenter is typical morning T.V presenter- dress, behaviour and style. Very awkward situation & patsy doesn’t know what to do or say, and fails to appreciate the situation- national television.
Keeping Up Appearances
Hyacinth- Self obsessed, eccentric & extremist. Overpowering and controlling. She is embarrassed of her family except for her rich sister. Very Snobbish. Tries to show off to visitors and family/ friends. Obsessed with material goods & values as well as appearances. Centre of attention. Speaks freely & says what she thinks about others, unaware of others feelings.
Richard- Does as he is told, also finds Hyacinth dominating and overpowering. Puts her before his job although it should be the other way round, he finds it difficult to say no to her. Highly sarcastic.
Elizabeth- She does not like Hyacinth and is very nervous around her- does not want to do or say the wrong thing. Discusses Hyacinth with her Husband- make jokes and dislike her, particularly Emmet.
Daisy- Poor appearance, obviously no money. Tries to do & say the right thing for Hyacinth, like Elizabeth, very nervous around her.
Daisy’s husband- Very poor appearance, unaware or not bothered. Dislikes Hyacinth. However is not that uncomfortable around her- tries to take biscuits from tin. Again, as with Richard, dry & sarcastic humour.
Other Notes: more than gender issues- family & social as well. Hyacinth is centre of attention for all wrong reasons. Hyacinth and Richard have different values in life (far more material) to Daisy and her husband.
Conclusion.
I conclude that representation of gender is a major part of these two sitcoms. In absolutely fabulous, gender representation is used to make comical situations of women, but underneath, there is a moral and it is saying this is how women are and have ended up but that not all end up this way. It is showing the viewer how women can be, although this is a highly exaggerated situation, I’m sure many can relate to, or know somebody who relates to at least one of the characters in the show. It focus more on gender representation between family and close friends.
However, Keeping Up Appearances focuses more on the gender representation and its comical values between relatives and neighbours from different social classes. Again, as with Ab Fab, it mostly features women and the comical features between them, and men play a smaller role.

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