Saturday, February 26, 2011

Laws of Popular Culture

1. What do the title sequence and the opening music tell you about the show?

The title sequence of Entertainment Tonight is very short and flashy, which says that the show will be fast-paced and go through a variety of topics. The bright colours used - sparkling gold and silver - mean that the show is glamourous and very well known or famous. I think the opening music is probably the most important part of the intro because it sets the tone for the mood of the show. The song is upbeat and light, which matches the show's speed and feeling. Also, the theme song of Entertainment Tonight is very catchy, which makes viewers remember the show since it will likely be stuck in your head for the next couple hours! In the video below, you can see the opening for the show from 1982. There have been many changes - even though the song is the same, it has been extremely sped up, as well as the fact that the intro is much longer compared to the current one - which mirror today's media hungry society who want their information quick and right away.

2. What messages are being passed to the viewers by the appearance, body language, and style of the host and hostess?

The hosts, Mary Hart and Mark Steines, were wearing very formal, elegant, and expensive looking clothes, complete with perfect hair and make-up. This plays on the idea that the show is very glamourous. By having the hosts look so well put together, we feel as though they are higher class than us and that we should look up to them and trust them. Also, by wearing these types of clothes, it makes the hosts look like celebrities and lead us to feel that since they are famous, they must really know all the Hollywood secrets because they fit in with that environment. When they were standing and delivering the entertainment news, they appeared very confident, in model-like poses, and used a lot of hand gestures. This makes them seem very knowledgeable about the information, and makes the news they are telling seem very serious and realistic.

3. a) List the topics and items the show deals with. Can you catergorize them?

-Jennifer Lopez's breakdown on American Idol - celebrity drama
-Michael Jackson's kids going into acting - celebrity news
-Charlie Sheen's latest drama with women - celebrity drama
-Justin Bieber's surprising new haircut - celebrity appearances/images & makeovers
-Oscar countdown, interviewing hosts & presenters - upcoming events in Hollywood

3. b) What is the average length of an item? Can you account for this?

The average length that each segment lasted for was around 2 -3 minutes. The items they previewed at the beginning of the show very all shown, but they made it seem like it was going to be a huge story, and then only talked about it for a couple minutes. The stories were not very informative, but by repeatedly saying what they were going to tell you after the commerical, they kept my interest. By going through each topic quickly, the viewers will not get bored and change the channel, which is what Entertainment Tonight wants.
4. a) List the commercials products adverstised.

-Tim Hortons
-Honda Accord
-Walmart (busy mom deals!)
-Dairy Queen
-Sears (bras and tampons on sale!)
-Stay Free Pads

4. b) What does this tell you about the intended or target audience?

The commercials that played during Entertainment Tonight were mainly targeted to young and middle aged women, advertising products like bras, moisturizers, pads, and department stores. Since these commercials appeal to that age/gender group, that is likely the intended audience for the show. However, there were two or three commercials for cars, which were directed towards men, to widen the target audience and appeal to the smaller number of men who watch the show, either voluntarily or forced by their spouses.

5. What is the main purpose of this show?

The main purpose of Entertainment Tonight is to provide everyone with the latest news and gossip in the world of celebrities. This show has a good approach because society has this obsession with celebrities, and so having a show all about them and their lives almost guarantees viewers. This shows makes the audience, who are just regular people, feel like they know celebrities and in a way have a connection with them, which is why it has been on the air and successful for so many years.
 6. What do the credit tell us about this show?

The credits for Entertainment Tonight are very long, which shows the amount of people that are needed just to make one half an hour episode. Among this long list of people are many make-up artists, stylists, and clothing companies, which makes the show seem slightly fake. So much effort is put into just the appearance of the hosts, and this kind of over the top style is unavailable to most people in everyday life. Also, the credits roll very fast, meaning that Entertainment Tonight doesn't want the audience to know how "manufactured" the show is, and that they are trying seem very real and in-the-know, rather than this fabrication and exaggeration of celebrity gossip.
7. Does the show reflect any or all of the Laws of Popular Culture?

The show reflects most Laws of Popular Culture, but the two main ones seen are probably "Popular Culture is Style" and "Popular Culture is Speed." In terms of style, this show holds true to the ideology in media that packaging is more important than substance. Entertainment Tonight has a beautiful set, a catchy intro, and well-dressed and glamourous hosts, but when it comes down to it, they really don't have a lot to report and what they do report has no credible source. They distract the viewers' attention with the style and pizzazz of the show, and this is enough to grab their attention so that they don't notice the quality of information. Also, the show follows the law about speed, because everything was so fast-paced and to the point. They don't want the audience to lose interest, so they jump from story to story and clip to clip so quickly that we stay focused and feel entertained.
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1 comment:

  1. This is a very thorough and detailed analysis of the show! I like how you've included a clip of the opening from 1982 versus the opening used today. Pop culture is speed, so it makes sense that over time our attention spans have become shorter and thus the producers of the show have felt the need to speed up the music.
    Keep up the great work. I'm really enjoying reading your entries.