Exam Practice Task: Analyse how the producers construct representations of working class in the first 5/6 minutes including the opening credits.
The image of the working class in Shameless has been represented by the setting and characters. From the opening I can infer that the main character is Frank and he's also a lone parent as he claims his partner has 'disappeared into thin air'
In this opening shot we can see that the setting is located in a fairly normal city like setting, with parks, bulidings, offices and houses.
While the scene is being set, the voiceover by Frank is describing his family and his life and where he's at.
This screengrab shows that they live in a sort of council type of estate as there is a park which in between the house which may signal that the children play on it. This may give the representation on the working class that they may not be able to afford a better or bigger house especially with the number of people in the family and is therefore giving a negative representation of the working class.
From this scene the representation on the children is portrayed negatively as one of the kids hit their own father and he is floored by this. The clothes that the characters wear make them look slightly 'chavvy' and this can also portray a negative image for the working class.
From this shot, I believe that the children and the father have a really strong relationship as they are all looking down on him to see if he's okay and when Frank does move slightly the rest of the children run away. This shows that there is an element of fear between the relationships.
Negative representations on the working class may be extracted from this shot as it's showing the 'community' vandalising a car by burning it and everybody drinking alcohol, throwing cans at the car with police having to intervene. This definitely forms a negative image for the working class as the scene shows behaviour of an aggressive nature.
The police having to intervene makes it look like the act the 'community' which Frank prides in are committing illegal acts, and this can understandably cause negative representations of the working class as it may be seen as 'trashy' and not very welcoming.
The title appears when the camera is focussing on the whole scene of havoc. The title 'Shameless' is quite important itself as it may refer to Frank's family and community have no shame, and do things which may not be seen as 'classy'. Due to this the show 'Shameless' can't really give the working class a positive representation if this is the sort of stuff that goes on in the community. The camera is looking down, establishing the scene and this emphasises the chaos caused by the community.
The sound in the whole opening is just a rock and roll themed instrumental to emphasise the madness of the plot and characters. The sound also is quite fast paced and makes the opening quite enjoyable to watch too. The mise-en-scene of the opening show people wearing casual clothing, nothing formal or smart; so we wouldn't expect any one to have flashy jobs. The editing is really quick and there are some fading transitions used in some shots while the characters are being described to maybe show how each character has similar attributes all relating to Frank the dad.
Overall the show 'Shameless' has negative representations on the working class due to the title itself, the type of things the community gets up to which needs intervention from the police and the setting of what looks like a council estate which some may refer to as 'rough' or 'intimidating'. Therefore I believe Shameless creates negative representations on the working class.