Nostalgia and film
As a brief follow up to my post on upper-middle-class families in modern television and film, I’d like to respond to this comment by Sam MacDonald:
Yes. If we could only go back to my childhood, when there were accurate, realistic portrayals of the American middle class, such as the Jeffersons, Silver Spoons, Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Diff’Rent Strokes, Soap, Knot’s Landing, etc. Even better were the really accurate shows from the 50s. Remember that episode of Leave it to Beaver when Ward and Wally went to the ballpark to toss battteries at the Jewish guy?
But seriously… I suppose you could point out a few shows from that era that did offer something more realistic (All in the Family, I suppose) but I think I could find current examples as well. Isn’t there that show with the fat people? Mike and Molly? I think the main dude is a cop. There was King of Queens. Lots of stuff on CMT, I think, like reruns of that Reba show. Maybe the problem isn’t television, but the choices you make when you hit the remote? I presume you COULD watch Reba reruns if a more “real America” portrayal is what you were after.
What I am getting at is… what makes you think that things are worse? Just a hunch?
Well, I don’t think things are “worse” first of all. As far as I’ve concerned we’re in a golden age of television. Between some of the really excellent comedies, most of Lost, and the HBO pantheon, we have some of the best TV ever made. The point I was making is simply that overall the portrayal of ‘normal’ families seems to be of pretty rich families. Maybe it’s always been this way, and I just never noticed. Certainly there have been awfully slanted portrayals of normal people throughout the history of television and film. It just seems as though things have been…sterilized in a way in recent years.
But that doesn’t really bother me that much. Shows like Modern Family are still some of the funniest most entertaining shows I’ve ever watched. I’m not nostalgic for some other golden age of television and film. I think we’re in one.