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December 1994, Week 2


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:01:42 CST
text/plain (51 lines)
Author:  "Melissa Battaglia" <[log in to unmask]
Date:    12/12/94 2:30 PM
[Editor's note:  This message was submitted to SCREEN-L by the "Author" noted
above, and not by Jeremy Butler ([log in to unmask]).]
        Reply to:   RE>>My So-Called Life
I am one of the pro-MSCL viewers and hope it continues for several reasons.
First, what some point to as criticism, I think of as fascinating.  For
example, I am extremely interested in the issues that are raised and how they
are handled.  I think the treatment of the many MSCL issues/dilemmas and the
solutions (whether they be permanent or temprorary) greatly reflect where we
are (in terms of television reality) today.  Yes the cast and issues seem to
be progressive in attitude and treatment, but the solutions and the wisdom
stems from Angela's nuclear family.  The white middle class parents, while
they fumble through their own lives, still know what is best for their
So, what has changed from the Daddy knows best shows of the 50's?  The parents
are both working to sustain their income, they get to sleep in the same bed,
their daily problems are exposed (and treated seriously), etc.   I have only
seen four episodes so I what I have seen may not be a whole perspective.  Any
other thoughts/ideas/opinions on this are welcome.
I do have a question to regular viewers, do the parents live in a white
middle class town?  Do they have any non-white friends?  I am interested in
looking into this because tv shows either seem to mix races well (ie:
Homocide, Northern Exposure) or terribly (ie:  Any soap opera, Beverly Hills
I have followed Beverly Hills 90210 from the beginning and have been
fascinated at how this show constantly seems as if it is from the 50's.  This
is another show that has had some realistic aspects, (ie:  drinking in high
school as a normal occurence) but has treated them through the Walsh family.
These parents are the king and queen of upper middle class values and they
make sure that their values are the ones that are followed.
I could talk about these shows forever, but I will take a breath and hope for
another opinion.
Any thoughts on these shows would be welcomed.  Feel free to e-mail me in
private at the address below.
American Indian Program
Cornell University
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