Main Writing Assignment: TV Show Character Analysis
1) Apply the principles and knowledge of the nonverbal communication fundamentals learned in class.
2) To demonstrate an understanding of nonverbal communication.
3) To practice writing and observation skills.
For this assignment, you will watch at least a 30-minute sitcom or drama! NO CARTOONS! What fun! While you watch, choose one character that you will observe. The character that you choose MUST be one of the main characters in the show. Observe and evaluate the character’s nonverbal codes, including:
You can use this form Nonverbal Communication Form to aid you in evaluating nonverbal communication.
Next, construct a 2-4 page paper (typed, double spaced) that describes the character’s nonverbal communication and how this character is affected by his/her communication structure. Make sure to use the terminology from the course to support your observations.
Think of the following questions:
How do the character’s nonverbal codes affect other characters?
How do the character’s nonverbal codes affect their everyday relationships? Workplace/school relationships?
Finally, don’t forget to provide a citation (in APA format) for the show that you observe and any other sources that you use in a Works Cited format.
Info that is needed:
Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.
Wendy, S. W. (Writer), & Martian, I. R. (Director). (1986). The rising angel and the falling ape [Television series episode]. In D. Dude (Producer), Creatures and monsters. Los Angeles, CA: Belarus Studios.
(Example is taken from Purdue OWL)
For this assignment, I have selected The Big Bang Theory, a TV series, Season11 Episode19 as my sitcom. I observed and evaluated the characters in the episode on the basis of the content of our course. To begin with, let me provide a basic introduction to the TV series and character involved in it.
The Big Bang Theory revolves around five main characters with some other characters supporting the scene wherever they are needed. The characters are shown to be located in Pasadena, California. The series involves two characters namely; Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, both are depicted as scientists living together as roommates sharing an apartment. Penny is another character who lives across the hall to the two previous characters; she is a waitress and aspiring actress.
The other two important characters are depicted as friends and co-workers of Leonard and Sheldon, these two are Howard Wolowitz who is an engineer, and Raj Koothrappali who is an astrophysicist. The story is interesting with the four people sharing a higher intellectual level and Penny’s social behavior and her common sense.
The character chosen for the report is Sheldon Cooper; he is the main character around which the episode revolves. Here is the list of the factors on the basis of which the character’s non-verbal communication is analyzed – Physical Appearance, Kinesics, Oculesics, Proxemics, Haptics, Vocalists, Environment, Chronemics, and Olfactics.
Sheldon Cooper is as in the TV series, is a guy in 25-35 age group with good height with Ectomorph build. He is usually seen in casual clothing that is nicely worn with nobody ornamentation. He likes to dress well keep everything perfect. The character uses lots of body gestures in the episode showing his support or rejection towards a particular situation or thought. He looks confident when he is in conversation with any other character and maintains good eye contact with the same.
The character uses eye movements perfectly to project how he feels about certain things in his surroundings. The character follows a guideline to maintain his personal space, he maintains a distance from other characters while interacting, he also defines his specific territory as he has a fixed spot to sit on which he allows no one to sit. Sheldon Cooper shares less liking towards touch; most he prefers is a formal touch if required at any situation.
The character uses a medium pitch and a proper rhythm to communicate and tries to put more emphasis on the words that he requires people to give importance too. The character is very peculiar about his Microenvironment and always tries to keep things in the way he prefers. He is very inclined towards time management and creates a routine timetable for everything including what to eat and when to eat etc.
Sheldon Cooper uses a lot of nonverbal communication factors as described above to share and communicate his thought amongst the other characters of the show. The nonverbal communication used by the character affect the other characters in the series, it makes them attentive towards what Sheldon Cooper wants to say and also react in a way that pleases him or make him comfortable. Sometimes his nonverbal communication projects him as dominating the conversation and other characters feel they are being dominated by him.
The character himself gets affected a lot by his use of non-verbal communication. The character’s love towards tidiness makes other characters uncomfortable who are more casual in their way of life, like penny who does not as things kept arranges or tidy. The body gestures used by the character at times, makes other characters feel uncomfortable and low confidence.
The gesture of Sheldon Cooper in the episode is mostly considered as authoritative and dominating by other characters. The character mostly tries to be emphasizing on a specific point by his body gestures but the other characters in the communication process take it as an arrogant move to support and highlight a point that is not right or true.
People find Sheldon Cooper as unsupportive and get irritated by his communication, though the character himself thinks he is not trying to be the same. Characters depicted as Sheldon’s friend mostly tend to adapt to his requirements and make adjustments so he is not affected in any way and is kept away from starting any new issues for them.
The Character I have chosen is a perfect example of how using every factor of non-verbal communication does not guarantee that the audience or the receiver will get the message as it was meant too and react positively or in a way expected by the sender or the speaker. The character’s ways of non-verbal communication though rich in various factors do not provide a good impression of him on other characters in the TV series.
The other characters are seen adjusting to the situations and interpreting Sheldon’s communication as non-arguable, as he projects himself to be rigid in terms of change though not intentionally but by the non-verbal communication practices of his. This observation of the character in the TV series brings to the conclusion that though factors of non-verbal communication are very important in a communication process they must be used in a proper way or they may lead to miscommunication and misrepresentation of a particular personality.
Chuck Lorre, (Writer), & Mark Cendrowski, (Director). (2018). The Tenant Disassociation [Season11 Episode19]. In Kristy Cecil (Producer), The Big Bang Theory. Pasadena, LA: Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
Argyle, Michael F., Alkema, Florisse, & Gilmour, Robin(1971). “The communication of friendly and hostile attitudes: Verbal and nonverbal signals.” European Journal of Social Psychology.
Blumer, Herbert. (1969). Symbolic interaction: Perspective and method. Englewood Cliffs; NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Knapp, M. L. (1972). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.