In our lives, we have seen the entertainment world evolve in the forms of: television, film, media, etc.. In class we have talked about many concepts that reflect this topic of TV and film evolution. Some of these concepts are: ideology and representation. In this blog entry, I will expand on this evolution.
Over time, television and film have gone from black and white to color, silent films to talkies, and more recently HD/3D. Also the length of each program has increased; the average TV show episode used to be around 15 minutes or so, 30 maximum. Today, TV shows are minimum 30 minutes, and can be 60 minutes, with the occasional 90-120 minute television special. We haven’t just seen technical advances, but in the topics of TV and film, too. TV shows used to be all about mass ideas, (one topic/genre that can relate to many people, or the average American) but today it’s all about niche ideas, or topic/genres that appeal to one specific group of people. More specifically, these topics have evolved from “The Brady Bunch” which is about the typical American family, light hearted, lacks a lot of action, but can appeal to just about anyone, to “Breaking Bad” where the topics of the episodes are about drugs, sex, and other crude topics. Something like “Breaking Bad” being televised 50 years ago would shock Americans and be highly frowned upon, whereas today something like “The Brady Bunch” is dry, and boring. The same thing goes with films; they all used to be about a select few topics like robbery and comedy, but now they have increased their crude humor, sexuality, language, etc.. 50 years ago you would never have any nudity in a movie, but today, some might say that if there isn’t any, then it’s not going to be a good film.
In class we have talked about how ideology and representation play a huge role in pop culture. Ideology is the ideas and beliefs of a specific group of people. In films, ideology plays a huge role because they will base what kind of content they put in TV shows and films off of what would interest a specific audience. In example, the creators of “21 and Over” made the entire movie about one crazy drunk college night for one guy’s 21st birthday to appeal to teenagers and young adults around the age of college students, who might do something like this in real life, or at least just find something like this funny. When it comes to representation, certain groups are represented in certain ways, in certain situations it can be considered a stereotype. In most TV shows and films, African Americans are represented as athletic, uneducated, or criminal, where that is not true in most cases, but a stereotype. Another big representation, or misrepresentation, if you will, is women in media; we are represented as the weaker sex, dainty, and having to do so much to be beautiful instead of how we naturally look. That is also a stereotype. Over time, these stereotypes have continued on and potentially gotten worse. Also, more representations of certain groups or people have been added, as opposed to the fact the only white people used to be shown on screen.
We have come far in TV and film via technology, content, and topic of conversation, but TV and film will never be perfect.
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