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The concept of a “media trope” refers to the recurrent use of particular ideas, themes and the like within (and sometimes across) different media and while tropes are often simple stylistic devices used to convey necessary information to an audience in a short space of time (Hollywood films, for example, use various recurring devices to denote “good” and “bad” characters) they can also be a lazy way of stereotyping whole groups of people.

This is something TV drama does a lot – and these are some of my “favourite” UK TV Tropes.

Not all:

• elderly people suffer – or are “in first stages of” – senile dementia / Altzheimer’s

• social housing is grey, run-down, rubbish-strewn and depressing.

• working class families involve step parents

• step-fathers are violent, sexually abusive or both

• young working class women are single parents living on “benefits”

• social housing estates involve packs of “feral youths” aimlessly kicking a football while simultaneously offering drugs to random by-passers

• young, working class, men are drug-pushers, absent fathers, violent and abusive.

While these are just a few of the tropes I happen to notice, the list is by no-means exhaustive (why are young upper class males and females all impossibly handsome / beautiful?) and you probably have your own “favourites”.

 

 

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