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March 1994


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Potter Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 28 Feb 1994 21:14:00 PST
text/plain (27 lines)
Well let's bring this topic of conversation further into the realm of repre-
sentation. Picking up Alison's and Kelley's melodramatic strains, I read a very
interesting article which aligned the Kerrigan/Harding scenario with a classic
soap (melodramtic) narrative structure. On the one hand you have the good woman
(ummmm, Kerrigan I guess) and on the other you have the bad woman (Harding).
The plot begins when the bad woman acts a disruptive force upon the steady and
contentive state of the good woman. Obviously what follows is a form of comp-
etition in which the bad woman plots and schemes to bring about the fall of the
good woman (think of Dynasty).
Not only has the media constructed the events to conform to a familiar soap-
like narrative structure but the marketing and "telling" of this narrative has
been soap-like with its daily installments updating the latest developments --
people getting their "daily fix."
I also think that we would be remiss if we did not address the class issue here
Clearly Kerrigan has been represented as coming from and representing upper-
class values, while Harding has been represented as "white trash". Hence, Kerr-
igan is allowed to become "America's Darling" while Harding is not.
And a final note, did anyone else notice similarities in the way in which
Harding and Michael Jackson both "worked" the press. It seems to me that
Harding (and her attorneys) learned well from Jackson: play yourself as sweet,
innocent and as a martyr.
Potter Palmer, UCLA ([log in to unmask])