eXposing the eXtremes

You can tell a lot about person based on the TV shows and movies he or she watches. Usually they display personality traits that are already evident, but sometimes they reveal ones that hide behind the surface. Often times the genre one chooses reflects his or her interests but everyone has their guilty pleasures. From the Bachelor to Jersey Shore, our society is hooked on the pathetic lives of these wannabe famous reality stars. Our society thrives on the extremes in movies and television. We want the most scandalous, the hottest, the fastest and the goriest. The younger generation just keeps getting worse because we are already addicted to the competition of outdoing one another in attempt to get the spotlight.

Shows like Glee no longer can entertain with happy songs and steady relationships. They have to push the limits to ensure their fans keep the series recording on the DVR. From teen pregnancy to bullying of gay students, Glee touches on hot topics in today’s society. E!’s the Soup pokes fun at many reality shows, exposing the ridiculous aspects of today’s entertainment.  E online describes the “wildly popular show” by saying “Joel McHale satirizes pop culture and current events.”  While the Soup makes fun of the absurdities on TV, there are certain features one could argue are just as outrageous as the very ideas it is satirizing. The transitions like “The Clips of the Week” (pretending to clip a Chihuahua) and “Chat Soup” (a pot full of talk show host faces) portray the values of today’s society. The whole show is very silly and brings humor to demonstrate how pathetic these shows actually are.

Themes in television and movies have changed over time as values in our culture have changed. If you look at sitcoms from the twentieth century, you see pure clean humor with reassuring family themes. In the past decade we have changed from innocent to a society driven my sex, drugs, and money. Look at the titles of the shows now and then:

Then: Leave It To Beaver, Seinfield, Boy Meets World, Bewitched, Brady Bunch

Now: Sex and the City, Cougar Town, the Bachelor Pad, Take the Money and Run, Dirty Sexy Money, Intervention

As our values have changed so has TV, but that doesn’t mean it is always as negative as it may seem. We have many family friendly shows that are enjoyable for the masses. Abc’s Modern Family brings joy even to the crabby old man that yells at you for throwing your football in his yard. Nbc’s the Office makes the meanest boss bring cupcakes to all of his workers (or at least consider it for the brief moment between shredding your confidence and spitting in your face). And Eli Stone (a show that played on Abc for a few seasons a couple of years ago) brought a sense of happiness that even the most sarcastic people would be touched by. 

TV and movies may be trying to go to the extremes nowadays, but sometimes they can be eXtremely inspiring. 

(X squared p. 119)