Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Stereotypical class and status character

I have chosen to use Gene Hunt from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes as my stereotypical character. I've focused more on status rather than class, as i focused on class more in my prezi presentation.
His status as DCI in the police is challenged especially when Alex comes along in Ashes to Ashes, as she's an independent woman and at the time women would have not have had such power at the time.
He almost abuses his power as he portrays the 'good cop' but isn't as 'by the book' as police are nowadays, yet his word is final.
In the 70's and 80's the patriarchal society that Britain once was was being challenged, and Gene Hunt shows the almost comical side of how he can easily take advantage of the fact he is DCI, and what he says goes.
The music that is used in the series 1 of ashes to ashes advert builds up towards him stepping out of the car, therefore building his status, by introducing the characters (Chris and Roy)that have less of a reputation than Hunt, then Alex' reaction immediately shows the audience that he's higher up than everyone else and possibly a bit of a womanizer.

His rank in his job especially increases the way the audience accepts his, what would otherwise be un-acceptable, behavior. If it was Chris coming out with half the lines that Gene did, it wouldn't have the same affect.
Hunt's body language is quite proud, dominating and confident, which shows his self confidence is high. I would assume he has quite a lot of pride and cares a lot on what people think of him and his overall reputation.
The way he dresses also asserts power, he is dressed considerably more formal than Ray, Alex and Chris. He's wearing a shirt and tie, suit and a long overcoat with leather gloves whereas Ray is wearing a black turtle neck polo shirt with a leather jacket which is more casual. Looking at how they are standing in this photo Gene is standing in front and it looks like as if he could be rubbing his hands, like he's ready to get going. It could also show that he is protecting them. I think that Gene Hunt is at the more extreme end of a stereotypical DCI; abusing his power and having a fair few sexist one liners. This character works solely on how he is built up by the reactions of other people towards him, 9/10 times when he is in the room he has the higher status.
In my opinion, after watching both series of Life On Mars and all three series of Ashes to Ashes, i grew quite attached to Gene Hunt, mainly for all of his one liners and simply the way he goes about things. From a feminist's point of view I could see how he would be despised because of his obvious sexism and how he could be seen as being at one extreme of a stereotypical man, how he belittles women obviously because his status in his job allows him to.
The idea of him being a stereotypical man is based on opinion, but i think there are masculine traits that are exaggerated which makes him more beleivable, yet he doesn't represent a majority of men which would critisize him being a stereotypical man.
I think Sam Tyler lets the audience see how exaggerated Gene Hunt is, as Sam's character is one that you are more likely to come across in everyday life. This could relate to how society and expectations have changed since the 70's/80's, so his character lacks validity to men in 2010, yet proves that some behaviors of men haven't changed.


  1. An interesting choice Izzy. Gene Hunt (his name is a deliberate play on a slang term) is an excellent character for masculinity as he is so 'biggoted', 'sexist' and seemingly 'racist' and yet he's become an 'anti hero' for most. It's worth considering what the point of his character is.

    Are we supposed to be repulsed or attracted to him? Is he an ironic representation of masculinity or is there elements of 'truth' about him?

  2. I've added a bit at the end, is that what you meant?

  3. Sort of. I'll cover preferred and oppositional readings in class tomorrow, that should clear things up.