Response to Richard Butsch Article

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This article by Richard Butsch was a surprisingly accurate representation of how sitcoms have not changed since the first years of television. As a TV viewer I haven't noticed the class difference until I read this article. Butsch provides three reasons for this class distinction. One, that advertisers want the program to compliment context for their ads. Two, dramas (sitcoms) are built around affluent characters that will consume and represents this consumer market our television programs are built upon. And third, is will the program attract the right audience - an audience that desires to be those in their favorite program. This idea that television programs rely so heavily on advertising funding creates an all consumer market.
Another factor to these "cookie-cutter" programs is the pressure from the production schedules. This fast pace is more "achievable through an assembly line process in which several episodes are in carious stages of production and being worked on by the same team of producer, writer, director and actors, simultaneously" (Butsch, pg. 580). This format has it advantages in means of time but produces the same characters or story lines over and over; causes viewers to see the same material show after show. This is also one of the reasons for the class difference and why we see the same successful middle-class families on television. It was not until viewing on broadcasting stations began to fall that producers started to take risks in what they produce. However, even with these new innovations in the television environment, Hollywood culture's image has remained almost the same. Due to this we still see the same middle-class, consuming families on our television programs.

Discussion Question:

"The media culture. The small, closed community of those engaged in television production, including Hollywood creators and network executives shares a culture that includes certain conceptions of what life is like and what the audience find interesting" (Butsch, pg. 581). This culture is still seen today with in other formats like reality TV and youth/single oriented shows broadcasting is moving towards since segmentation. Why do we "the audience" find this media culture appealing when we know it is false?

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This page contains a single entry by brock219 published on February 24, 2013 4:36 PM.

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