Drama (film and television)

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"TV drama" and "Television drama" redirect here. Drama (film and television)_sentence_0

For other uses, see Television drama (disambiguation). Drama (film and television)_sentence_1

In film and television, drama is a category of narrative fiction (or semi-fiction) intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama (film and television)_sentence_2

Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular super-genre, macro-genre, or micro-genre, such as soap opera (operatic drama), police crime drama, political drama, legal drama, historical drama, domestic drama, teen drama, and comedy-drama (dramedy). Drama (film and television)_sentence_3

These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods. Drama (film and television)_sentence_4

All forms of cinema or television that involve fictional stories are forms of drama in the broader sense if their storytelling is achieved by means of actors who represent (mimesis) characters. Drama (film and television)_sentence_5

In this broader sense, drama is a mode distinct from novels, short stories, and narrative poetry or songs. Drama (film and television)_sentence_6

In the modern era before the birth of cinema or television, "drama" within theatre was a type of play that was neither a comedy nor a tragedy. Drama (film and television)_sentence_7

It is this narrower sense that the film and television industries, along with film studies, adopted. Drama (film and television)_sentence_8

"Radio drama" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has also been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio. Drama (film and television)_sentence_9

Types of drama in film and television Drama (film and television)_section_0

The Screenwriters Taxonomy contends that film genres are fundamentally based upon a film’s atmosphere, character and story, and therefore the labels “drama” and “comedy” are too broad to be considered a genre. Drama (film and television)_sentence_10

Instead, the taxonomy contends that film dramas are a “Type” of film; listing at least ten different sub-types of film and television drama. Drama (film and television)_sentence_11

Dark Drama Drama (film and television)_section_1

Drama (film and television)_description_list_0

  • Dramas dealing with intensely serious issues. (Film examples: Oldboy and Requiem for a Dream )Drama (film and television)_item_0_0

Docudrama Drama (film and television)_section_2

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  • Dramatized adaptation of real-life events. While not always completely accurate, the general facts are more-or-less true. The difference between a docudrama and a documentary is that in a documentary it uses real people to describe history or current events; in a docudrama it uses professionally trained actors to play the roles in the current event, that is "dramatized" a bit. (Film examples: Black Mass and Zodiac )Drama (film and television)_item_1_1

Docu-fiction Drama (film and television)_section_3

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  • Different from docudramas, docu-fictional films combine documentary and fiction, where actual footage or real events are intermingled with recreated scenes. (Film examples: Interior. Leather Bar and Your Name Here )Drama (film and television)_item_2_2

Comedy-drama Drama (film and television)_section_4

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Hyper-drama Drama (film and television)_section_5

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  • Coined by film professor Ken Dancyger, these stories exaggerate characters and situations to the point of becoming fable, legend or fairy tale.  (Film examples: Fantastic Mr. Fox and Maleficent )Drama (film and television)_item_4_4

Light Drama Drama (film and television)_section_6

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  • Light-hearted stories that are, nevertheless, serious in nature.  (Film examples: The Help and The Terminal )Drama (film and television)_item_5_5

Satire Drama (film and television)_section_7

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  • Satire can involve humor, but the end result is typically sharp social commentary that is anything but funny. Satire often uses irony or exaggeration to expose faults in society or individuals that influence social ideology.  (Film examples: Idiocracy and Thank You for Smoking )Drama (film and television)_item_6_6

Straight Drama Drama (film and television)_section_8

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  • Straight Drama applies to those that do not attempt a specific approach to drama but, rather, consider drama as a lack of comedic techniques.  (Film examples: Ghost World and Wuthering Heights )Drama (film and television)_item_7_7

Type/genre combinations Drama (film and television)_section_9

According to the Screenwriters Taxonomy, all film descriptions should contain their type (comedy or drama) combined with one (or more) of the eleven super-genres. Drama (film and television)_sentence_12

This combination does not create a separate genre, but rather, provides a better understanding of the film. Drama (film and television)_sentence_13

According to the taxonomy, combining the type with the genre does not create a separate genre. Drama (film and television)_sentence_14

For instance, the “Horror Drama” is simply a dramatic horror film (as opposed to a comedic horror film). Drama (film and television)_sentence_15

“Horror Drama” is not a genre separate from the horror genre or the drama type. Drama (film and television)_sentence_16

Action drama Drama (film and television)_section_10

Action dramas tend to be visceral, not intellectual, with dynamic fight scenes, extensive chase scenes, and heart-racing stunts. Drama (film and television)_sentence_17

The hero is nearly always sharp-witted, quick on their feet, and able to improvise mentally and physically. Drama (film and television)_sentence_18

The hero begins the film with an internal problem, quickly followed by an external problem. Drama (film and television)_sentence_19

By story’s end, the hero resolves both problems. Drama (film and television)_sentence_20

Examples of action dramas include Die Hard (1988) and the Mad Max series. Drama (film and television)_sentence_21

Crime drama Drama (film and television)_section_11

Crime dramas explore themes of truth, justice, and freedom, and contain the fundamental dichotomy of "criminal vs. lawman". Drama (film and television)_sentence_22

Crime films make the audience jump through a series of mental "hoops"; it is not uncommon for the crime drama to use verbal gymnastics to keep the audience and the protagonist on their toes. Drama (film and television)_sentence_23

Examples of crime dramas include: The Big Short (2015), The Godfather (1972), and The Usual Suspects (1995). Drama (film and television)_sentence_24

Drama thriller Drama (film and television)_section_12

In a drama thriller, the protagonist is often an unwitting hero reluctantly drawn into the story and must do battle with an epic villain to save the lives of innocent victims; the hero inevitably finds himself deeply involved in a situation involving insane criminals with a very dark past, who will threaten, double-cross, and kill anyone who stands in their way. Drama (film and television)_sentence_25

According to screenwriter and scholar Eric R. Williams: Drama (film and television)_sentence_26

Films such as Black Swan (2010), Se7en (1995), Shutter Island (2010), and Zodiac (2007) are thriller dramas. Drama (film and television)_sentence_27

Fantasy drama Drama (film and television)_section_13

According to Eric R. Williams, the hallmark of fantasy drama films is "a sense of wonderment, typically played out in a visually intense world inhabited by mythic creatures, magic and/or superhuman characters. Drama (film and television)_sentence_28

Props and costumes within these films often belie a sense of mythology and folklore – whether ancient, futuristic, or other-worldly. Drama (film and television)_sentence_29

The costumes, as well as the exotic world, reflect the personal, inner struggles that the hero faces in the story." Drama (film and television)_sentence_30

Examples of fantasy dramas include: Life of Pi (2012), Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), and Where the Wild Things Are (2009). Drama (film and television)_sentence_31

Horror drama Drama (film and television)_section_14

Horror dramas often take place during modern day with the central characters isolated from the rest of society. Drama (film and television)_sentence_32

These characters are often teenagers or people in their early twenties (the genre’s central audience) and are eventually killed off during the course of the film. Drama (film and television)_sentence_33

Thematically, horror films often serve as a morality tale, with the killer serving up violent penance for the victims’ past sins. Drama (film and television)_sentence_34

Metaphorically, these become battles of Good vs. Drama (film and television)_sentence_35

Evil or Purity vs. Drama (film and television)_sentence_36

Sin. Drama (film and television)_sentence_37

The Conjuring, Psycho, Halloween, and Friday the 13th are examples of horror drama films. Drama (film and television)_sentence_38

Life drama (day-in-the-life) Drama (film and television)_section_15

Further information: Slice of life Drama (film and television)_sentence_39

Day-in-the-life films takes small events in a person’s life and raises their level of importance. Drama (film and television)_sentence_40

The “small things in life” feel as important to the protagonist (and the audience) as the climactic battle in an action film, or the final shootout in a western. Drama (film and television)_sentence_41

Often, the protagonists deal with multiple, overlapping issues in the course of the film – just as we do in life. Drama (film and television)_sentence_42

Films of this type/genre combination include: 12 Years a Slave (2013), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Moonlight (2016), and The Wrestler (2008). Drama (film and television)_sentence_43

Romantic drama Drama (film and television)_section_16

Romantic dramas are films with central themes that reinforce our beliefs about love (e.g.: themes such as “love at first sight”, “love conquers all”, or “there is someone out there for everyone”); the story typically revolves around characters falling into (and out of, and back into) love. Drama (film and television)_sentence_44

Annie Hall (1977), Carol (2015), Her (2013), La La Land (2016) and The Notebook (2004) are examples of romance dramas. Drama (film and television)_sentence_45

Science fiction drama Drama (film and television)_section_17

The science fiction drama film is often the story of a protagonist (and her allies) facing something “unknown” that has with the potential to change the future of humanity; this unknown may be represented by a villain with incomprehensible powers, a creature we do not understand, or a scientific scenario that threatens to change the world; the science fiction story forces the audience to consider the nature of human beings, the confines of time or space, and/or the concepts of human existence in general. Drama (film and television)_sentence_46

Examples include: Blade Runner (1982), Children of Men (2006), Clockwork Orange (1971), Planet of the Apes (1968), and Ready Player One (2018). Drama (film and television)_sentence_47

Sports drama Drama (film and television)_section_18

Further information: Sports film Drama (film and television)_sentence_48

Obviously, in the sports super-genre, characters will be playing sports. Drama (film and television)_sentence_49

Thematically, the story is often one of “Our Team” versus “Their Team”; their team will always try to win, and our team will show the world that they deserve recognition or redemption; the story does not always have to involve a team. Drama (film and television)_sentence_50

The story could also be about an individual athlete or the story could focus on an individual playing on a team. Drama (film and television)_sentence_51

Examples of this genre/type include: Hoosiers (1986), The Hustler (1961), Moneyball (2011), and Remember the Titans (2000). Drama (film and television)_sentence_52

War drama Drama (film and television)_section_19

War films typically tells the story of a small group of isolated individuals who – one by one – get killed (literally or metaphorically) by an outside force until there is a final fight to the death; the idea of the protagonists facing death is a central expectation in a war film. Drama (film and television)_sentence_53

In a war film even though the enemy may out-number, or out-power, the hero, we assume that the enemy can be defeated if only the hero can figure out how. Drama (film and television)_sentence_54

Examples include: 1944 (2015), Apocalypse Now (1979), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), The Hurt Locker (2008), Life is Beautiful (1997), and Wildeye (2015). Drama (film and television)_sentence_55

Western drama Drama (film and television)_section_20

Films in the western super-genre often take place in the American Southwest or Mexico, with a large number of scenes occurring outdoors so we can soak in scenic landscapes. Drama (film and television)_sentence_56

Visceral expectations for the audience include fistfights, gunplay, and chase scenes. Drama (film and television)_sentence_57

There is also the expectation of spectacular panoramic images of the countryside including sunsets, wide open landscape and endless deserts and sky. Drama (film and television)_sentence_58

Examples of western dramas include: Django Unchained (2012), Hell or High Water (2016), Mad Max (1979), No Country for Old Men (2007), and Unforgiven (1992). Drama (film and television)_sentence_59

Misidentified categories Drama (film and television)_section_21

Some film categories that use the word “comedy” or “drama” are not recognized by the Screenwriters Taxonomy as either a film genre or a film type. Drama (film and television)_sentence_60

For instance, “Melodrama” and “Screwball Comedy” are considered Pathways, while “Romantic Comedy” and “Family Drama” are macro-genres. Drama (film and television)_sentence_61

Family drama Drama (film and television)_section_22

Drama (film and television)_description_list_8

  • a macro-genre in the Screenwriters Taxonomy. These films tell a where many of the central characters are related.  The story revolves around how the family as a whole reacts to a central challenge. There are four micro-genres for the Family Drama:  Family Bond, Family Feud, Family Loss, and Family Rift.Drama (film and television)_item_8_8

Melodrama Drama (film and television)_section_23

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  • a sub-type of drama films that uses plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience. Melodramatic plots often deal with "crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship, strained familial situations, tragedy, illness, neuroses, or emotional and physical hardship". Film critics sometimes use the term "pejoratively to connote an unrealistic, pathos-filled, camp tale of romance or domestic situations with stereotypical characters (often including a central female character) that would directly appeal to feminine audiences". Also called "women's movies", "weepies", tearjerkers, or "chick flicks". If they are targeted to a male audience, then they are called "guy cry" films. Often considered "soap-opera" drama.Drama (film and television)_item_9_9

Crime drama / police procedural / legal drama Drama (film and television)_section_24

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  • character development based on themes involving criminals, law enforcement and the legal system.Drama (film and television)_item_10_10

Historical drama Drama (film and television)_section_25

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  • films that focus on dramatic events in history.Drama (film and television)_item_11_11

Medical drama Drama (film and television)_section_26

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  • Focuses on doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and ambulance saving victims and the interactions of their daily livesDrama (film and television)_item_12_12

Teen drama Drama (film and television)_section_27

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  • focuses on teenage characters, especially where a secondary school setting plays a roleDrama (film and television)_item_13_13

See also Drama (film and television)_section_28

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drama (film and television).