Explore how far the ‘Vampire Diaries/Being Human/Misfits’ DVD cover conforms to genre conventionsIn this essay, I will be analysing the DVD cover of the ‘Vampire Diaries’ which is a television programme in the teen-supernatural hybrid drama genre. I will also be analysing the covers of ‘Being Human’ and ‘Misfits’ and I will compare and contrast them with the ‘Vampire Diaries’ cover. The typical genre conventions of supernatural dramas are that there are supernatural beings such as ghosts.
Werewolves and vampires, and ‘ordinary’ setting, a trigger/event that leads to the creation of supernatural beings. ‘Ordinary’ people becoming supernatural or finding out about supernatural beings, and the running theme which is good vs bad. On the front of the ‘Vampire Diaries’ cover, the title is written in bold white writing. The red ribbon wrapped around the white writing could connote the red strangling the white, or rather the bad strangling the good. There is also a drop of blood that can be seen under the ‘V’.
Blood is conventional of the vampire story. There is a girl in a red dress which could connote lust, blood, love and danger and she is lying in the middle of two men which could connote a love triangle. The bodies look lifeless but they are looking directly at the camera which could connote that they are the living dead. This contrasts to the drooping tree which looks like it has been drained of life which links to blood being drained. The logo on the ‘Misfits’ cover is separated, and is tinged pink.
The ‘Being Human’ title is written in a plain, simple font. The ‘Misfits’ title is the only one that uses an unconventional colour scheme. The ‘Vampire Diaries’ follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) who falls for a century old vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Their lives grow more complicated as Stefan’s vicious brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) returns to town with a vendetta against his brother. The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history.
This cover is the only one that uses conventional colours and gothic themes and the other covers, especially ‘Misfits’ subvert the genre conventions. The narrative of the ‘Vampire Diaries’ is very conventional of a supernatural and a teen drama. The elements are there, especially when a love triangle is introduced into the plot. ‘Misfits’ is a British science-fiction drama television series based on a group of young offenders who obtain supernatural powers after a strange electric storm.
The plots of ‘Misfits and ‘Being Human’ follow a majority of the genre conventions, but some parts of the narrative completely subvert them. For instance, there is a lightning storm that leads the characters gaining supernatural powers, but they are a group of young offenders and they wouldn’t usually be the kind of people to gain powers.
On the back cover, there are profile images of each character which are comic-book like, which links with the idea of superheroes which is iconic, but the characters subvert the conventions of superheroes. There is a different colour behind each character which again suggest they are a team of superheroes.
In ‘Being Human’ all three supernatural characters share a flat together in Bristol. The darkness surrounding the characters with some light suggest they are fighting against something evil that is almost taking them in. The messy house suggests chaos and along with the simple font and location suggest the simple they want is not possible. Both programmes would be very ordinary if there was no supernatural element to it. The ‘Vampire Diaires’ appeals to teenagers, as the characters in it are attractive and are supposed to be around the ages of 17 and onwards.
The drama part of the series also deals with some of the social problems and worries teenagers face today. ‘Misfits’ subverts genre conventions and appeals to its target audience as it contains things like sex, drugs, mystery and action which are endearing to people in this age range and uses the kind of language they would also use which makes the characters seem more realistic. All three programmes have a website where views can interact with each other and can be more involved and learn and watch more about what happens behind the scenes of the shows.
The ‘Vampire Diaries’ is the programme that fully follows the conventions of supernatural drama. The running theme of good vs bad, the colours used and gothic themes. There are lots of different types of supernatural beings involved. The convention of a small historic town is also used. ‘Misfits’ and ‘Being Human’ also subvert some of the conventions of supernatural genre. They have ‘ordinary’ settings but although the narrative revolves around supernatural beings the background of it is quite normal.