There is one really good show that I love to watch. And for me, that is a big thing to say; television doesn’t really have much substance these days. But when Modern Family came out it really made an effort to start questioning and challenging our ideologies and the way we view society. Everyone has their own interpretation of what a family is and how it should be look like. However, the families depicted are ones that are not necessarily your usual type. The older gentleman and the new foreign wife who is considerably much younger than him, the middle class family with 3 children, the middle child to appears to be the smartest of the 3 and eldest and youngest that are not so bright. And then the notably gay couple with an adopted child. All 3 families challenge the ideas and ideologies of what a family should be. I think that show is very well done and shows the diversity of people and families. But like any program that has aspects of challenging the society norm, there have been controversies in regards to same-sex marriage and the roles of genders. The obvious ones are Cameron and Mitchell, the gay couple. In the first season, the show follows their struggle to introduce their adopted baby daughter to the family. Also showing a sub-story with Mitchell and his relationship with his father Jay in terms of his sexuality. As much as the program has tried its best to show the relationship, there has also been criticism from the LGBT community, saying that it wasn’t a true representation of what a gay couple is. The series developed for a long time before the couple were shown to be affectionate towards each other until finally there was a “kissing” scene.
More criticism is shown through the roles of men and woman in the show. Although ironically enough, the show is called MODERN family, none of the 2 mothers and Cameron, who is depicted as the feminine one of the gay couple have jobs in the show. They are all depicted as stay at home mothers. Some people say that this is not a true representation of modern society and that it pigeon holes woman. Another argument is stereotyping the intellectuality of men and woman. In the family with Clair and Phil, the wife Clair is not very good with electronics and cannot use the television remote or anything electronic. This is the same for the eldest child Hayley. Where Luke, the youngest and supposed ‘dumbest’ of the 3, can easily use electronics because he is a boy. Another example would be Gloria and Jay. Gloria, a very attractive woman married to a man old enough to be her father, is portrayed as a strong woman who doesn’t work and is supported by her husband giving the impression that she is a gold digger, and that she married an older man for his money.
Modern Family and its attempt to breakdown the walls of traditional families can also be argued that it has tried to very lightly. It has not really succeeded in showing what an evolved family could be, but rather it shows a more traditional and almost backward ideology of men, women and families masquerading as comedy and entertainment.
It has been a long time since I have sat down and watched television. I remember as a child watching television for hours. Maybe it was innocence and wanting to know more about the world, or simply, television was a lot more entertaining. Over the last few years the television for me has somewhat become an artifact, gathering dust in the corner of my house. The lack of interest I have in the programs and its content has been much for evident for me as I would rather read a book. However, a growing trend of reality tv shows has come about.
To think that major corporations are the ones who are responsible for the media, but not necessarily this; they control the way we view the media and thus the world. Setting ideologies and creating new versions or distorted realities, almost like a dystopian world.
I believe that the media is very much responsible in shaping the way that children see them themselves. Sexualization of children is big in today’s society but has been around for a long time in even children’s tv shows. A great example of this is sexual messages in Disney films. One of the shows that stands out for me is Toddlers and Tiaras where the contestants are competing in a pageant. These girls (and boys) are from the ages of 0-12. This show has had many controversies surrounding the sexualization of children and how, most astonishingly, the parents support it.
I think its important for us as a society to understand how media shapes us and how it affects the way children view themselves. It’s important to know who controls the media and what their motives are to choose such programmes to air on television.
The Honey Boo Boo trailer.