Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,
I was reading this article ( http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/03/opinion/bennett-men-ridiculed/index.html) about how men have suddenly become the target of jokes by women, and I recalled a conversation in which I mentioned how I noticed in all the TV programs women ridiculing men. Well, apparently I was not the only one taking notice! My concern is that women and men should be working in collaboration with each other, not in competition all the time, and what the electronic media promotes is the basis of unhealthy/dysfunctional relationships. What do you think?
I agree with you that positive role modeling is important; this is how humans learn. But media thrives on conflict. If you take a writing class they emphasize the importance of conflict. It is what keeps the readers glued. There are probably better conflicts that could be depicted, such as a man and woman working together to solve an external problem. However, any good show has multiple levels of conflict, both between the characters and against an outside force. Entertainment isn’t real life and never will be. Happy healthy relationships aren’t often interesting or entertaining. If you can figure out a way to depict them as such write a script and you might change the face of television.
Remember, even in the stereotypical 1950’s TV depicted conflict between men and woman and most often the woman herself was creating the conflict with her man. As the Granny Dr. pointed out in a previous essay there are shows today where men and woman work together to solve crimes and such… but if they worked in absolute harmony no one would care.
Besides- the resolution of conflict is more important than the conflict itself and most shows resolve whatever conflict there is by the end of each episode. In fact that is a standard three part formula used in most media today: introduce the characters, introduce the conflict, and resolve the conflict.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
The Granny Doctor thinks that the way in which men and women are depicted on TV has more to do with the shows you watch than with some general standard that can be applied to the general category of TV. If you watch the history channels or the travel channels, you will see realistic depictions of the way men and women live. If you watch sitcoms and formulated crime shows, you will see what Dr. Brilliant described above: depictions of men and women which have been skewed to entertain the couch potatoes. You could write a show yourself about sensitive and cooperative men and women but I doubt if anyone would watch it unless they were trying to put themselves to sleep.
If the depictions of men and women on TV disturb you so much, I suggest that you watch something other than sitcoms and crime shows. You can also turn the TV off and watch the interactions in your own family. They can be surprisingly entertaining.