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March 1995, Week 5


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"Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez (Cindy H-G)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 30 Mar 1995 20:35:40 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Most discussions about the harmful effects of Film and TV on impressionable
minds center on sex and violence.  Personally, I think the lowbrow sitcoms are
possibly more dangerous, in an insidious way.  I really think few people go
out and try deadly car chases, searing fires, etc. because they've seen them
on TV, but all the time you can see teenagers acting like the stupidest, rudest
sitcom characters. These characters are at first intended to be parodies of
stupidity, but as they become known and loved, they gradually become "real"
and their style becomes a real style in the junior highs and high schools of
the country. Rudeness that once would have had "Ooooh!" entertainment value
becomes the normal, cool way kids mouth off to each other, parents, teachers,
etc. And THAT is more dangerous to the moral fabric than outrageous and inimi-
table violence, partly because it sneaks in without causing alarm and imper-
ceptibly shifts from being "put on" for humor to being a basic style and iden-
tity.  I'm not recommending that we all go back to reruns of Donna Reed, but
I do see this happening.  Any comments, reactions?
   Cindy H-G
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