Archive for April, 2010

The Shift in Television

April 7, 2010

Whatever happened to the predictability? The Milkman, the Paperboy, Evening TV? This Full House theme song is exactly how I feel about TV today. Whatever happened to it?

Its 7 p.m on a Monday night, and every teenage girl, is excited about the new Gossip Girl episode. This is what everybody will be talking about on Facebook in about an hour. Everbody watches these high society girls carrying expensive purses, wearing low necklines, with figures that tease normal size girls about their weight. These girls wear dresses to school that plainly do not pass the hands on the side test, and heels that are definitely more than 4 inches. Teenagers watch as these girls sleep around and steal each others boyfriends. The girls lie, they cheat, they deceive. The worst part – Everybody loves them!

At the end of the hour, (and I am guilty of this too), we all want to be super rich and super skinny!

At this, I think back to more than a decade ago. As a teenager in America, the TV I grew up to and the lessons I took away from it were quite the contrary. I remember watching DJ Tanner loving and caring for her sisters. I remember every episode ending with a moral lesson learnt and a group hug. I remember being hooked on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, or Alex Mack, the girl who turned into a silver puddle. They had problems. But their problems seem to be something I could relate to, such as the zit before the dance, or parents that are too strict, or annoying younger siblings. I don’t think I could imagine Stephanie Tanner plotting against DJ to steal her boyfriend, like we see Jenny doing to Serena.

Shows such as Jersey Shore encourage girls to be, or give an impression of being, promiscuous! Not only will that make them “cool”, but they might even land up on reality TV. Or they can just have 8 kids, but that’s a different topic.

Family values were displayed in shows such as Full House, Step By Step and Home Improvement. They all depicted togetherness and adoration. Parents that loved each other, siblings that cared about each other, and neighbors that were like family. Although, come to think of it, this has not only condensed on TV, but amongst us as a generation, which brings me to ponder over this.

Does media influence society? Or is media merely mirroring it?