My essay will be based on the television programme EastEnders because I have watched it for many years. I will talk about the role of females in the soap and the fact the women work in all roles such as shops, market stalls, bars and restaurants. However, women have never worked in a car garage in EastEnders so maybe this is stereotyping women a little. In Neighbours, you have both women and men working in all professions so this is maybe the most stereotyping thing that EastEnders has ever done.
EastEnders was first broadcasted on BBC One on 19th February 1985 which first introduced gender equality. (http://www.historypod.net/02/19/19th-february-1985-bbc-broadcasts-first-episode-of-eastenders/) EastEnders has always featured the everyday domestic and professional lives of people living in London and the struggles of living in London with very little wages whilst balancing children and work. EastEnders is on four days a week on Mondays and Fridays at 8pm usually and Tuesdays and Thursdays at half past 7. Every episode of EastEnders is exactly 27 minutes 15 seconds long exactly. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EastEnders:_E20)
EastEnders is filmed six to twelve weeks in advance and is usually filled in the mornings running throughout the day so if actors need to eat food in a scene, it would usually taste cold and horrible but they have to obviously pretend to enjoy it. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/02/29/30-things-you-never-knew-about-eastenders/)
The name Walford was thought of from where the creators Julia Smith and Tony Holland were born (Walthamstow and Stratford.) Most scenes are filmed in Elstree Studios although some are also filmed in and around the Watford area. (http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/showbiz-tv/questions-eastenders-viewers-asking-internet-12478950)
I feel EastEnders is a programme where women are treated fairly. In EastEnders, there are women and male deaths with women involved as murderers such as in the storyline with Janine killing Michael, Danielle and Barry and Stacey killing Archie, and the sexual abuse storylines with Linda and Whitney too to show awareness that these things happen.
One thing about EastEnders is that it is on the channel ‘BBC’ which has to show equality. I know this because the BBC have made a promise that they must not be diverse. The show has always (http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/diversity).
Women have the same employment in EastEnders as the men do because we have women who work in the bars, women who work in restaurants as chefs and waitresses and also women who work in small shops and market stalls.
One woman in particular, has been in the soap for many years but has never had a real speaking part. She has mainly worked in the cafe and the Queen Vic (pub). her name is Tracey. She is probably one of the most well-known women in EastEnders followed by Peggy Mitchell played by Barbara Windsor. She recently took to Euthanasia with Pat Butcher who was her on-screen best friend. Pat died a couple of years before her and with Peggy getting her breast cancer back, she didn’t want to live on so she overdosed on pills.
Another woman who is well known in EastEnders is June Brown who plays Dot Cotton in EastEnders. She has been the oldest woman ever in EastEnders who recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Most of the clothes she wears on set, come from charity shops. She always wears the same dress every Christmas Day and at 28 years, it celebrated the oldest item in the show’s wardrobe department. She is also the only character who had an entire episode of just her talking. This was closely followed by Pam St. Clement who played Pat Butcher as the second longest serving cast member in EastEnders who was on the show for 25 years. It is rare to have old women take up primetime TV slots these days because for example, in Strictly Come Dancing, Arlene Phillips got sacked because she was too old. (http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0088512/trivia) Every week, the costume designers have to prepare about 150 costumes for the actors.
I chose to base my essay on EastEnders because I have been watching the show for as long as I can remember for many years since my mum introduced me to the show. EastEnders also brings the female role to light by introducing surrogacy and people having trouble conceiving. The best example of this, was when Steven Beale was first introduced to the soap. He had an argument with Jane Beale (his step-mother) and this resulted in Steven accidentally shooting Jane causing her to have a hysterectomy meaning she could no longer have any children.
On the other hand, the soap has also featured many teen pregnancies to relate to life these days because it has had Lola who fell pregnant as a teenager and had to deal with life as a young, single parent who has a very strict budget and very little support from her friends and family so she was living in the streets until her grandad Billy Mitchell took her in.
The soap also features LGBT because this shows equality which the soap must also always show. These include Johnny coming out as gay to his parents who, at first, had different views on it like in reality. His Dad, Mick Carter, was happy for him, however his mum Linda Carter was not at all accepting him into the family for ages. This was also similar for Ben Mitchell who dated Abi Branning before he finally came out as being bisexual by hiding his feelings for the late Paul, the son of Pam and Les Coker from the funeral directors. The show has also featured lesbians such as Tina Carter and bisexuals like Steven Beale and Sonia Fowler. It also had Kyle who was born as Stacey’s sister but changed into a man.
The show has also featured characters of all different ethnicities and people of different countries, for example, the show once featured Aleks from Russia although he is played by Kristian Kiehling from Germany. The cast has also featured women such as Shabnam and Zainab who are Islamic and Denise who is of a different race/ethnicity and this also shows lots off equality in the show.
The show has also had recently a major storyline about Michelle who was dating a student from her school when she was a teacher before she lost her job.
EastEnders uses ‘uses and gratifications’ to make the viewer feel sorry for the characters, to love them and to hate them and to be able to relate to them in a physical or emotional way. The programme focuses on gender theory because they always show equality between the characters and make sure the women wear appropriate and not too revealing clothes just like the men and the camera doesn’t angle towards the women or male parts inequality. The soap has equal pay between genders too because male and female actors get paid equally but it all depends how much or how little hours they work. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37198653)
The soap is probably one of the most watched television programmes because they have some live episodes every century which always reach over one million views.
The target audience for EastEnders would mainly be women who are aged above 12 because it has many scenes which feature a range of characters ages.
One of my favourite episodes aired on EastEnders would be when Ronnie discovered her friend Danielle, was actually her daughter Amy who was told by her dad that she was stillborn but really he put Amy up for adoption with a different name. When Ronnie finally discovered that Danielle was her long-lost daughter Amy, Janine drove fast around the corner and knocked Danielle over killing her instantly at the scene. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2064239/Eastenders-Pregnancy-Christmas-Janine-Lola-discover-expecting.html)
The show has also featured many controversial episodes because it had Syed Masood who had a gay affair with Christian Clarke which is strictly forbidden in Islam. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/rs/relationships/isloveandsexrev1.shtml)
EastEnders tries not to stereotype and tried to always show equality with women by making sure that both the women and men have similar storylines for example rape, same-sex relationships and also EastEnders makes sure that women are acting in the same way as men for example smoking cigarettes. The most common smoker in EastEnders is Dot Cotton who would usually smoke in almost every scene.
In conclusion, I believe that EastEnders is a good show that will always show equality in the show. The BBC are committed to reflecting and representing the diversity of the UK. The BBC is aimed for everyone to watch so they should include everyone no matter their background and I believe EastEnders are the best for doing this.