SCREEN-L Archives

August 1996, Week 3


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
"Michael W. Parks" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 18:00:47 -0400
text/plain (32 lines)
Simone asked:
"Do you listers think that when Hollywood puts out characters that are
unrealistic in their affluence  it is because they are
out of touch with average people, who would like to see characters more like
themselves?  Or, are they simply providing the escapism that is sought?"
For the time and money we invest going to a movie (especially those with kids
who have to arrange and pay for babysitters), we want to be entertained, not
informed.  We don't want to see our everyday lives on screen, not for $7 a
head.  We want escapism, we want thrills, we want to be completely caught up
in the film whether it's through characterization or drama, so why show us
reality?  That's what we're trying to escape from!
As for TV, it has other motivators film doesn't.  TV more than any other mass
medium is all about delivering an audience to an advertiser, and more
specifically, delivering the right audience:  those who make and, more
importantly, those who spend the most amount of money on the products the
sponsors sell.  So it's not surprising that we get TV programs that are
designed to appeal to affluent white males in the prime of life (according to
Gerbner); affluent white males want goals to shoot for:  fancy houses, fancy
cars, fantasy women, etc., not overweight housewives, troublesome kids, lousy
jobs and financial problems.  I do think there is room for programs like
Roseanne and Larroquete, and probably that's the reason for Oprah's success,
too, that she has found a niche that often is overlooked in prime-time, but
basically prime-time programs, where the real advertising money is, are going
to be designed to appeal to advertisers and to the needs and fantasies of
their own best customers.
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]