Good Night, and Good Luck.

The third parent in our household is the television. This electrical box has watched me grow up and has appealed to me at every stage of my life. Let’s see what’s on the boob tube today?

All these are the current shows that are playing on Channel 5, shows like “Desperate Housewives”, “Drop Dead Diva” and “90210” to name a few. So what kind of World do these shows portray to us?

The women of Wysteria Lane sure know how to throw a party! Can you imagine blasting off a shotgun from your HDB flat window to your crooning boyfriend below? Impossible! I can just imagine the mass hysteria and confusion that would ensue.

Drop Dead Diva (DDD) is interesting as it takes on the lesson of stereotyping. This anti-hero of a show shows how a “dumb blonde” learns to accept her new brunette and overweight body and the series showcases the stages of her self-actualisation. Don’t you find it interesting how although this show does break the stereotype, it actually fortifies it first by casting the opposite of a blonde, skinny model to be an overweight, brunette lawyer! Yes, I understand the good intention of the show and how the main character’s realisation does come later, but why choose these images for the opposites? They are answering to the known stereotype image of a “dumb blonde” and found the opposite to be the brunette, I guess its to achieve common ground with its viewers quicker.

Now, but how “real” are these shows? Could you sing on the streets and get shot by a shotgun in Singapore? Could you throw a paperweight out of a window in CBD and get away with it? (in the DDD video) Nope! But what happens when the line between dramatization and reality is blurred?

I refer to the Cultivation Theory by George Gerbner (1976) on how television influences and “cultivates” us as we grow up watching it. This channel of mass media communication changes with the times and adapts to appeal to the mass public of the present. Although we can say that we choose what we want to see and take, the people that create the programs on television study and know what we want to see. They could be using Logo, Ethos and Pathos to persuade us to buy something, or even send subliminal messages through product placement in your favourite television series. With the dramatization of life, it is no wonder “Mean World Syndrome” exists! I could get hit by a falling paperweight in CBD!

With the function of a family being diversified by the government and now even the television, it leads me to wonder just how much we are influenced by it. No one is left out of the cultivation, as the the different timeslots cater to different ages and how the different shows appeal to different taste. All cultivating us slowly, as long as you turn the television on. So, how many parents do actually have?

Want to score? Learn form “House”!

There is no escape from the television, it sits in every home waiting for you. Next time you go to a house party, turn on the television and notice how the interaction between people change.

All images and videos are not owned by me but by their respective owners.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jessica on July 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    In a totally unrelated note, House is probably the show that does not overcompensate rationality with boring romantic cheesefest.
    Hugh Laurie= genius.



  2. Posted by Pea on July 4, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Boston….i didn’t know you had a blog! Anyway….it’s refreshing to read a blog that is about one’s take on shows…especially when i agree…ESPECIALLY when they’re of a friend’s!

    I haven’t read this whole entry yet, but you might wanna check out Modern Family. Extremely refreshing, especially since it’s kinda like Arrested Development , instead the family’s not fucked up.

    …hmm this comments has one too many “refreshing” and “especially”s…ahhaha



  3. For very much of your article, I believe you are right. However, one must understand and appreciate the fact that this TV-Parenthood usually applies more so to those who are more engaged in the media world than those who are not. (ie. The difference between the household in least developed countries (LDCs) versus that of the developing/developed nation.)

    In spite of how much I am against the notion of being influenced by the mass media, I indubitably subscribe to the nuances and messages sent by this industry. As I wise up more so each day, alongside media as my companion, many of my envisions of my future become that similar to what the media has portrayed. For instance, living in the suburbs (fairly identical to Wysteria Lane in Desperate Housewives) is my retirement dream. Yet, because of the dramatization of media, I dismiss the fact that dwelling in the suburbs may be more monotonous and mundane than the peaceful solitude I long for; ennui may result as a consequence.

    Like every other entity on Earth, media is a double-edged sword; ergo, the optimal tactic in tackling this is to consume in moderation. While we let some of the elusive ideal insinuate into our mindsets, we resist it’s total domination because we are still, truly ourselves — People that dwell in reality, not the illusionary world of Media.


  4. Hi bos!
    yes i agree that the television has become a huge part of the modern person’s life. I would like to bring up the point on how the american culture cleverly used TV as a vehicle to spread throughout the world. Cultural imperialism comes to mind. in Singapore, the american culture is more predominant among youths than the culture they would traditionally subscribe to. should we be worried?


  5. Posted by Caitlin on July 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    television programmes have influenced every one of us in almost every other way; we feel the need to conform to the society’s standard in whatever we do – pretty girls are those who are slim and slender, males who are muscular are deemed more attractive. stereotypes are also ingrained in our minds.

    so much for ‘not judging a book by its cover’. look what television shows have done to us.


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