Television Drama: "Jessica" Essay

1602 words - 6 pages

The television drama Jessica directed by Anthony Buckley and produced by Peter Andrikidis, is a powerful medium for presenting the importance of sex in a relationship, gender expectations and discrimination. The protagonist, Jessica is a young woman living in the small frontier town of Narrandera, and is constantly looked down upon by others for being a tomboy. Jessica's mother, Hester, is desperate to secure a wealthy future for herself and daughter, Meg, by forcing her to marry. Jack Thomas, the son of the richest family in town is burdened with being the perfect man chosen by Hester. Unfortunately, he falls in love with Jessica and this proves to be large problem for the two, as neither family will accept their feelings. The importance of sex in a relationship, gender expectations and discrimination are expressed through camera, sound effects and characters.Sex was forbidden for those unmarried in the early 20th century, and lack of contraception meant that if pregnancy occurred, the pair would be forced to marry due to bad reputation. According to drama, sex is important in conveying the feelings we have for one another, whether positive or negative. There are two sex scenes in the drama, and these are between Jack and Meg, and Jack and Jessica. Both are very different from the other and clarify where both girls stand in Jack's life and the way the viewers are positioned to respond to them. Meg forces herself onto Jack, and she dominates him by taking both hers and his clothes off, then pushing him onto the bed. The room is pitch black and casts shadows on the two's faces, showing that Jack and Meg aren't meant to be together as darkness symbolises secretiveness, and allows the couple to be hidden from others and themselves. A high angle shot is used with Meg on top of Jack inferring that she is in control and a lack of equality and love is being expressed. When Jack leaves the next day Meg stands watching him, blurred, from behind a window as he gets into his car. He doesn't smile and sits as if paralysed for a few seconds before a close-up of him with tears on his cheeks. The shot of Meg behind the window conveys the idea that she is protected, as she knows her mother will go to any lengths to ensure her safety and happiness, leaving Jack with hate for himself and a guilty conscience. Jack and Jessica have intercourse after a voice over of him expressing his love for her which is a totally different scenario from that with him and Meg. The viewers are exposed to Jack and Jessica's intercourse through Jessica's flashback which adds effect to the experience. There is light everywhere and all objects have a fuzzy outline, indicating that it is a good memory and therefore a positive event. All noise is contained, including talking between the two, to add to the effect and harmonious music is the only sound present. Jack and Jessica look at each other continuously and close-ups of their eyes and smiles are featured. A close-up of them kissing...

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