Comparing and contrasting two very different magazine shows.

This Morning

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The Look:

The set is quite large with different areas for the different segments including an area for the presenters to stand for introductions, the sofa area for interviews and an area with countertops for demonstration items. The set is on the waterfront and has large windows in the background of the shots to show off the scenery – suitable for the time of day as it is a morning magazine show. The entirety of the set design creates an open, light feel with few visible walls or separations. The sofa looks cosy and home-like, there is a fluffy carpet on the floor and the coffee table is decorated with coffee mugs (again suggesting the morning setting) and books. The demonstration area is large and curved so that the presenters can move along it to look at different things, on end is backgrounded by the windows but the other resembles a kitchen with an oven in the background and hob built in to the counter. The logo is a mint blue/green colour with white accents which is light and refreshing – also matches the ITV logo as it is one of their flagship shows. This colour scheme is present throughout all of the graphics creating a cohesive look. The website and social media handles appear as graphics throughout, usually at the end of segments, and #ThisMorning is present on screen throughout.

The Presenters:

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield every day except Friday where it’s married couple Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes. Middle-aged and older (men generally older than the women). All white and un-offensive, no major scandals, friendly demeanors. Good relationship with one another as the show takes on a chatty tone. Usually dressed in light colours, pastels and smart-casual outfits. Usually dressed to compliment each other. No exposed tattoos or body piercings or colourful hair – natural and down-to-earth appearance.

The Content:

Topical news discussion show. The show is two hours long so moves through a lot of segments to keep the audience engaged. Demonstration items take place in the studio with the presenters – live so anything could go wrong! Interviews also usually in the studio – the show often discusses social issues and have at least two guests with differing opinions to create a sense of neutrality and usually end in a poll for the viewers to get involved. Other segments include the two presenters discussing something topical and often light-hearted, accompanied with pictures, sometimes silent video footage and usually contains giggles. These sort of conversations quite regularly include innuendos, suitable for a morning programme but entertaining for adults. Casual and inoffensive.  Other sections usually involve the general public in some way, maintaining a down-to-earth feel instead of untouchability. There are quite often celebrity guests to plug their latest product and conversations quite often turn personal with them talking about something significant that happened to them – the show isn’t afraid to touch on hard-hitting subjects.

Top Gear (pre 2015)

The Look:

The studio for Top Gear is a warehouse and looks as such. There is an audience stood around, almost like they’d come in to walk around and look at cars as opposed to being an actual audience. They provide a live laugh track. There are cars scattered around – usually ones that will be talked about in the episode but there are also a couple from challenges that remain in the studio. Lighting rig is visible. TVs with logo on. ‘Rustic’ or even honest feel to it (goes with Clarkson’s ‘honest’ or ‘speaks-his-mind’ sense of humour). Sofa area includes ugly green leather sofas which could be found in a garage. The logo includes a gear which is also present around the raised platform the presenters stand to introduce themselves. The title of the show is spray-painted on the back wall. The presenters spend a lot of their time stood up, again reminding me of a car garage. No evidence of time of day.

The Presenters:

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Three older than middle-aged white men – greying hair, balding, unattractive. Clothes are typically very casual, every-day – no designer suits. Jeans, twede, brown, leather, un-tailored. ‘Dad fashion’. Relatable because of their appearance? Often offensive humour, Hammond and May sort of keep Clarkson in check. The humour and banter between the hosts is arguably what brings people to the show.

The Content:

All about cars – sometimes but rarely it can have features on other modes of transport. Very VT heavy – group challenges, individual car reviews and star in a reasonably priced car which features a celebrity guest (also in the studio to chat with the presenters, usually Clarkson).

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