I am now viewing television in a whole new way because of our readings and discussions that took place this last week. I was oblivious to the ever popular "buffoon" character being a regular appearance for the vast majority of television shows. I mean, I always knew that every show had to have a goofy character for comedic relief, but I didn't see that this character is also usually correlated with being "dumb," or "incapable." But time and time again we see these characters reemerging. Is it because we have grown comfortable with the "buffoon" character and now we expect to see someone fill that role on every show? Why isn't there a sarcastic and hilarious CEO on screen? These generalized roles are ever more evident after reading Bettie and Butsch.
With that said, I also find the topic of race and class to be a sensitive subject in regards to television standards. Typically, I don't pay attention to these things either, but I am in awe of how many shows broadcast this "standard." It's almost discriminatory how these typified characters are portrayed to be real people. For example, on Wednesday we spoke about the racially loaded term "white trash" that is frequently used on Roseanne. I learned as a young child that if I don't have anything nice to say, then not to say it at all. I'm offended that she sees herself in this light and has the audacity to consider herself of that standard. Frankly, this isn't a message that should be put on television, despite the "humor" that accompanies it. I don't think its funny to mock the working class in this way.