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Media Analysis of TV and Print, Essay Example

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Essay

The probable intended audience for the TV show Two and Half Men are middle-aged men, married, divorced or single. The plot of the show includes such themes as the relationship with an ex-wife and co-parenting, grown men’s relationship with their mother, and fears of growing older as a man. The numerous fart, urine, stripper and alcohol jokes also contribute to my awareness of the intended male audience.

There is a connected relationship between the intended audience of the show and the accompanying commercials. The commercials were mainly targeted at men also. An example of the commercials aired during the 30 minute time slot is an advertisement for The General car insurance, which features an animated military general. Other commercials aired were for Dominoes Pizza, Appleby’s two for $20 deal, Party City, Samuel Adams beer, and Cheetos snack chips. Food, beer, parties and inexpensive dates. Advertisements for the TV shows Rescue Me and Wilfred aired, two shows that also seem to be targeted towards men. Movies advertised during this time were all in the horror genre, including Fright Night and Final Destination. Though all of these things certainly appeal to some women as well, they have long been considered to be overly favored by the majority of men.

There are two types of women who appear on this episode and one additional type referred to. First, is the type that Evelyn, Judith and Berta fall into. Alan and Charlie’s mother, Alan’s ex-wife and Charlie’s maid are all cast as insensitive, manipulative, sarcastic and domineering women. The second type is Charlie’s current girlfriend, divorced, successful career, and the devoted mother of a 4yr. old boy. The women referred to are in Alan’s son Jake’s questions about the women Charlie usually dates compared to his current girlfriend, mostly attractive needy types who wear revealing clothing and drink a lot. Evelyn is older and attractive for her age, Judith is average, Berta is unattractive and stocky. Charlie’s current girlfriend, as well as the referred to past girlfriends, fall under the cultural ideal of beautiful. They are all Caucasian. With the exception of Berta, all the women portrayed are thin.

In this episode the only appearing men were Charlie and Alan. There is Jake, but he is a tween. Charlie is the older brother, but they are close in age. According to our cultural ideals, Charlie is of average body type for a middle-aged man. Alan is thinner, weaker. Their differences in personality are expressed in their physical appearance. Charlie is a freelance jingle writer who drinks excessively, doesn’t wake up before noon and dates an ever-changing parade of women. He wears un-tucked, printed button-up shirts and casual slacks and his hair is always well-groomed. Alan is a divorced chiropractor, neat-freak, and control-freak. His polo shirt is always tucked in, he wears a belt, and his hair is worn short and parted on the side. Of the two, Alan expresses what are typically seen as more feminine qualities. Alan worries about the household finances, worries about Charlie’s health and lifestyle, searches for commitment, and is the more responsible of the two in their daily actions. Charlie has a much more carefree approach to finances and lifestyle concerns and runs from long-term commitment. He admits that his fiscal fitness is a result of luck, as opposed to ambition.

Evelyn is Charlie and Alan’s mother and a high-end real estate agent. Through her interactions with Charlie and Alan it is apparent that she did not devote much attention to her children when they were young. She is a career woman with a social and dating life. Judith is Alan’s ex-wife and Jake’s mother. She is remarried, does not work outside the home and is an attentive, though controlling, mother. Berta is the sarcastic, angry maid employed by Charlie. She is direct, honest, and never misses a chance to take what she is deserves. The women on the show tend to be insensitive, domineering, controlling, interested in taking all they can get, or just not that smart. The men on the show are shown as caring and concerned, even Charlie who usually learns some moral lesson from his carefree lifestyle.

Charlie is a wealthy freelance jingle writer, so he works but makes his own schedule. His role is that of benefactor to his brother and nephew and to the many women he dates. Alan devotes time to his role as a chiropractor, having to go into his office to work every day. He shares custody of Jake with his ex-wife, so he also devotes time to his role as father.

The men seem to hold higher education, but almost every character, with the exception of Alan the chiropractor, could have arrived at their profession with no higher education. From the level of discussion in their interactions, all the characters seem to at least hold high school diplomas and most give the impression of a degree. Berta, the maid, is of working-class background. She is a minor but routine character. I think she is used to perpetuate stereotypes about class since she is always sarcastic.

The products being advertised in the commercials are food, beer, party supplies and horror movies. The main character of Two and a Half Men is a freewheeling alcoholic who loves to party. To advertise beer, food and party supplies to men who like Charlie’s character makes sense. The channel that this episode of Two and a Half Men aired on, FX, plays many shows targeted at males, such as Rescue Me. Also, when viewing Two and a Half Men online on www.hulu.com, the content of the accompanying commercials was the similar. There was a Samuel Adams advertisement, a Chili’s advertisement, and other food product commercials. Also, most of the accompanying commercials featured men in the spot roles.

Media Analysis of Covergirl Advertisment

The magazine ad I am analyzing is a Covergirl makeup ad featuring Drew Barrymore, from Cosmopolitan magazine. The probable intended audience for this ad is definitely women, since it is a makeup ad, and for all ages, teens and up. The age of Cosmopolitan readers tends to vary from teenagers all the way to senior citizens, but mostly the magazine is intended for the 20-30 year old female demographic. This print ad is trying to sell makeup, as its product; but also an ideal of beauty and feminine standard. In this ad, Covergirl is making its appeal to the potential customer with a known celebrity, Drew Barrymore. Drew Barrymore meets our society’s cultural ideal for beauty and is a famous actress. She is young and looks even younger than her actual age. By using Drew Barrymore in their ads, Covergirl is telling its potential customers that they too can be as beautiful and young looking as Drew Barrymore. Cosmopolitan is a women’s magazine, so it is filled with many different makeup, perfume, clothing and feminine product ads. Articles in Cosmopolitan focus on areas of interest to women in the same way that the advertisements, like this one for Covergirl, do.

In this ad, Drew Barrymore’s head and upper torso are shown. She is looking right at the reader, leaning toward the reader, wearing an expression that can be described as sultry, daring and challenging. Barrymore’s shirt is made of fine mesh and she is wearing a large, burgundy/pink bracelet that covers about a quarter of her forearm. Her hair is down. The attitude portrayed in the advertisement is one of boldness. Barrymore is the only person in the advertisement.

This ad encourages women to be bold in their sexuality. It says, “You are a young beautiful woman. Put on our makeup and no one can deny you!” A makeup ad is tricky to analyze as far as subject versus object. This ad seems to be encouraging women to identify themselves, but it is misleading because it is encouraging women to identify themselves in accordance with the cultural standard of beauty and sexuality. While it seems to be empowering women in its boldness, makeup exists for one reason – to affect the way a person looks to others.

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