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The use of hybrid genre in LFTVD successfully targets a wide demographic in ST. Although the dominant genre is sci-fi, there are elements of other genres present, most notably horror, romance, comedy, adventure thriller and police investigation. Although D83 is a political thriller genre and not as hybrid. there is still iconography that links with the genres such as ‘coming of age’, war, Zeitgeist, and historical drama. We see Lenora manipulating Martin to work as a spy in the west. The presence of hybrid genre in both products creates many narrative strands, appealing to a diverse audience with different interests. This makes the text richer and complex linking with Steve Neil’s theory of genre being ‘instances of repetition and difference’. Furthermore, the format of long from TV dramas allows for a range of narratives, ideologies and characters to develop more interestingly slowly and in more depth.


The contrasting representations in these dramas successfully target audiences. In ST there is a representation of American western cultural hegemony which not only creates an arrogant western attitude, but also evokes the fear of the unknown through the use of the ‘upside down’ which is depicted as supernatural and terrifying. This representation reinforces a post 911 fear, drawing audiences in and linking to Gilroy’s theory on how our attitudes and ‘fear of the other’ are shaped by a colonial past. On the other hand D83 is usually represented as critical of American consumerist values most notably when Professor Tischbier states that the West German government keeps its citizens happy by keeping them ‘fat, lazy and complacent. The fact that the 83 challenges accepted attitudes to western values draws audiences in. This contrasts with Hesmondhalgh’s theory that large conglomerates stick to familiar successful formats to minimise risk.

Both ST and D 83 use interesting media language successfully, attracting a wide demographic. In ST, suspense and enigma codes are present most notably just before Will Byers goes missing when his lights flicker on his bike before he runs home in a panic. Similarly, D83 uses action suspense and enigma codes, especially when tension is created when Martin is desperately trying to pick the lock to Gen Edel’s office. This hooks a spectrum of audiences and encouraging them to continue watching, creating interest and suspense.


ST and D83 both successfully target a wider, more diverse audience. In ST re-creation of 1980s pop culture is used as a marketing tool aimed at audiences who grew up in this decade, giving a nostalgic effect. Also the authentic representation of 1980s mise en scène appeals to a younger generation by representing what life was like in the 1980s. This correlates with Baudrillard’s theory on media products being post modern. In a post-modern world nothing is original, so everything is replica, imitation, reinvention and fake. D83 however is targeted more towards a sophisticated audience who have an interest in German history and politics. The first scene of episode one shows Ronald Reagan’s ‘evil empire’ speech. Furthermore unlike ST, the emphasis on politics in D83 could deter younger audiences

Deutschland 83 & Stranger Things

Long form TV dramas target their audiences through several codes and conventions. Both Stranger Things (ST) and Deutschland 83 (D83), successfully target diverse audiences through having a hybrid genre, and interesting representations of character and also through their skilled use of media language.