Monday, September 10, 2007

Is TV Making Us Dumb Spenders?

Almost all the fictional characters on TV are obscenely wealthy. Discuss.

As the economy skids, pundits scoff at the excesses of Americans who take out huge mortgages for five-bedroom McMansions, finance their Lexuses with adjustable-rate home equity loans and charge flat screens on their credit cards... It's not hard to see where Americans got the idea that a normal-size home and regular clothes will never be enough. Twenty or 30 years ago, after all, TV characters had cheap clothes and tacky furniture and bad hair, and they were happy to be getting by. Shows like "Roseanne" and "Laverne & Shirley," and more recently, "Seinfeld" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," brought us regular families with regular jobs and regular problems. [Um, no. Seinfeld had none of the above, although his one bedroom NYC apartment was quite believably scruffy--remember how it was cluttered with that bike which he never, ever rode?]

Easy fix: Just don't watch TV. Or watch Lost, The Wire, and 24, shows where survival is paramount.

2 comments:

SPJ said...

This is so true it's kind of ridiculous. Although I do believe that being happy just getting by has it's flaws also, I definitely agree with the lack "regular" people on television. I have a quick question? What do you think of taking a couple of continuing/professional studies as opposed to just going to grad school?

Anonymous said...

TV has an interest in making us spend money; they're a major venue for advertising. They need to make us feel a bit uncomfortable with our material lives so they portray people with just more money than most people have. What is scary is the concept a hidden agenda in American education to create a culture that only functions as a market for this advertising. I mean, why is it that we can't turn off the tube and read books instead?