The TV programme I chose to use as my soap is the American show ‘The O. C’ after watching numerous episodes of it in class and at home. I chose this programme because it was one that I was most familiar with, and a programme that I enjoyed watching. ‘The O. C’ is an American show, aimed at a teenage audience, as it follows the lives of teenagers and their families in Orange County, California. It mainly concentrates on the story of Ryan Atwood, a teenager from a rough town and a run down family who throw him out after a run in with the police.
Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, who are part of a wealthy family, adopt him, and they invite him to live in their pool house at their home. They already have a son, Seth Cohen, who is your typical nerdy character, whom Ryan becomes brothers with. They both have to deal with life in Orange County, a place that comes across for the rich and good looking. They also have to deal with their relationships with Marissa Cooper, the girl next door when Ryan moves in, and Summer Roberts, Seth’s dream girl. Summer is portrayed as a stereotypical spoiled rich girl, with some snobiness.
This is displayed in the first episode, where Summer is at first attracted to newcomer Ryan Atwood, until she finds out he is from Chino, prompting the response “Chino, eww. ” However, different sides to Summer become evident as she develops. It is during her transformation that Summer falls in love with Seth, the boy who was never popular. Marissa also comes from a rich family, as the girl next door. But has a troubled time as her family falls apart. Ryan is the person who has to help her through this. The character that I have decided to create is called Claire Atwood.
Claire is the sister of Ryan, but neither of them know they are related when the character is first introduced, and neither do the audience at first. She is fairly tall and slim, with blonde hair, and good-looking features like most of the other female characters in the show. Her good looks are what make her fit in with the show, as she full-fills the male gaze like many of the other female characters. The first scene that introduces the character, is the first day back at school for Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa.
Seth and Ryan notice her walking down the hallway of the school, and can’t help but stare, as they are instantly attracted to her. They end up being in the same class, and she has to sit right in the middle of both Ryan and Seth. Nobody talks to her in the scene, and we don’t hear her speak either. The camera shows us a shot of her writing her name on a sheet of paper as she finishes her work, and she writes the name ‘Claire Atwood’. Only the audience sees this, and we instantly know that she is related to Ryan, as we know he has the same surname.
I think the character would bring a lot to the show, including a sense of humour and irony. Marissa, who becomes Ryan’s girlfriend, becomes jealous of Ryan’s involvement with the new character as he offers to help her to do a school project. But only the audience knows that she is his sister, creating the irony and humour of the situation. The way in which she fits in, is because of her good looks. But Ryan and Seth become more and more suspicious of her, as she never lets anyone come to her house. They both follow her home one-day and discover that she is living in a trailer park.
So we see that she doesn’t completely fit in, as she isn’t from a rich family, living in a big house like most of the other characters in Orange County. Ryan goes and knocks on the door of the trailer, and the door is opened by his biological dad, who has just come out of prison. This is when it is discovered that Claire is the sister of Ryan. Later in the programme, we discover that the father had been treating Claire poorly, and she comes to live with The Cohen family too. The character creates a lot of conflict in the show, something that greatly appeals to a lot of audiences.
Ryan is very protective of her, and gets into fights with other boys who seem to take an interest in his sister, until Claire tells Ryan to stop being so protective. She is also a character that will attract more females to the show. We have followed the story of Ryan coming from the wrong side of the tracks and getting a chance to live in Orange County, being something that the male viewers can enjoy to watch as they are relating to another male character. But now we can follow the life of Claire, as she also comes from the wrong side of the tracks, in a very similar situation to Ryan’s.
She has an aggressive personality, due to her poor upbringing as a child, and at first does not get along with the Cohen family, as she tells them she doesn’t want their help. She also gets into fights with other girls at the school, as she against most people who have wealth and tells everyone that she doesn’t need it. As her relationship as a sister to Ryan becomes stronger, and she becomes best friends with Marissa and Summer, they eventually convince her to move in with the Cohen family. Jamie Parker The first scene
The fist scene involving Claire Atwood very much full-fills the male gaze. We see Ryan and Seth talking near their lockers, and they are instantly struck by Claire walking down the hallway. The camera cuts to her feet walking along, and slowly pans upwards to her face, then a long shot of her walking down the corridor towards the camera. The scene is played in slow motion, not only for the male gaze, but also to emphasize the importance of the scene, and the importance of the new character that is being introduced to the program.
Because of the scene, we know she is going to have some importance, and not just a one off showing of a insignificant character. Whilst this is being shown, there is fast paced music playing, But as Claire, Ryan and Seth sit down in the classroom, the music slows and becomes more mysterious. The audience knows because of this, that there is something significant and important to this character. The camera zooms into Claire’s hand as she writes her name on the paper. And it is revealed to the audience that she is related to Ryan.