Buffoonery Enabled to add Comic Relief of Life Stresses?

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It is hard to think of a sitcom nowadays that does not feature at least one of its main characters as a goof ball. Could this perhaps be because show producers are trying to manage comic relief among the viewers? In other words, sitcoms will often portray the daily lives of its characters, and often times their lives can be hectic and stressful, sometimes on the point of mental breakdown. You will not only find plots like these in family sitcoms, but it just about all of them. As American citizens, we are a continuously, on the go, hurry up group of people, and a lot of us will work to the point of exhaustion. It is nice to be able to sit down and turn on the television and relax to a show that shows people involved in very similar situations as you are in real life lose control of their stressful lives in the show and consequently act a little (or a lot) nutty. These stressful situations occur in a handful of different contexts. For example, in Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray--well the whole family is actually fairly crazy, because he has to work full time and then come home and deal with his wife Deborah who has had to take care of the kids all day and deal with Ray's overbearing parents across the street. As a result, everyone is always at each other's throat in this series, because they are constantly having to deal with one another. In Seinfeld, as another example, Kramer is a nut, because of his weird eccentricities, but George always seems to be going crazy over something. I mean if we delve into his life, we can see why--half the time he is unemployed, living with his parents, and is a short, fat bald man who cannot commit to a relationship. I really think producers and casting directors conjure up these characters and give them these types of roles, because they are trying to target similar viewers and demonstrate to them how much better their lives are compared to those they are watching on screen. Real world people are able to get a grip on their lives much more easily than these created characters. These shows and goofy characters provide that sought after sense of ease and comic relief that we sometimes miss out on because our own lives are so busy. It is opportunity to examine your own life and make the comparison to the on screen entertainment. In a way these shows sort of generalize similar situations that occur in the real world, and as audience members, we are able to rationalize and relate to these situations. Many of these plots are taken way over the top, but in my opinion, it is done that way on purpose to exemplify how life sometimes works--in unpredictable, crazy ways. Consequently, we crave these wacky characters, because they act in ways that we want to act, but don't because we are able to hold ourselves together. Our inside emotional actions are being displayed on screen vicariously through these goofy characters.

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This page contains a single entry by John published on October 11, 2012 5:45 PM.

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