Friday, February 27, 2009

Appeal in the boring, uneventful and everyday

It has become a common thread in contemporary television: the glamour of ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary environments under ordinary circumstances. As audience members, we just seem to crave entertainment that affirms our own lives, jobs, families and relationships. It somehow makes us feel that we're a little bit cooler, a little bit classier, a little bit more exciting when we know Hollywood's interested in the daily, hum-drum activities of receptionists, warehouse workers, diner owners, waitresses, and hospital interns like ourselves.

From Seinfeld to Friends to The Office to Grey's Anatomy: just think for a moment of the various TV programs (mostly talking about comedy here, with a few exceptions) you've been faithful to in recent years. It's very likely that they each have at least one cast member, if not the entire cast, who gets painted as the ordinary joe or jane. And this is done entirely with you and me in mind. I can at least speak for myself in saying that it makes me feel better about my pittance of a paycheck and the fact that no one may notice who I am or what job I've done when I'm getting a weekly does of the Hollywood version of such a life.
In a warped way said Hollywood version always gives me a boost of pride in where I'm at, what I do and who I am, rightly or wrongly so. It just goes to show you that media makers have power over their audiences and use it to their advantage. We tune in because it's fun to watch someone doing the same things we do and getting a whole hell of a lot of admiration for it.

No comments: