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Semiotics And Symbolic Interactionism Essay

1647 words - 7 pages

Semiotics and Symbolic Interactionism in TV's Urban Comedies When you watch the modern urban situation comedies on television, what stereotypes or depictions come to mind? Well whatever you just thought up in your head and much more was all written in the Journal of Popular Film and Television. They analyzed the modern day and early urban and suburban sitcoms that the American public has enjoyed over the years. The article confronted all the different aspects of typical television situations. By reading this one can understand that most of the earlier comedies used families to humor their audiences while modern day sitcoms use all other types of living situations. For example, Friends, portrays a group of adults in their mid-twenties while we see a single middle aged man living with his elderly father, a live-in maid and brother that stops by frequently on the hit show Fraiser. However if you look back at some of the long running shows of the fifties through even the eighties you will find The Brady Bunch, which portrays the typical good-hearted family just as many other shows entailed back years ago.The article starts off by giving us a rundown of how the hit sitcom Mad About You starts off.The show begins with a black-and white photograph of the New York City skyline reminiscent of the opening moments of Woody Allen's Manhattan. In the same Allen style, there then follows a photomontage of the happy couple enjoying the city, strolling across a bridge in Central Park with the Dakota apartments behind them, hailing a cab in the rain, walking their dog past a churchyard, ordering food at a deli, browsing through a bookstore, returning from a trip to the corner grocery, buying flowers at a street stand, sharing wine and lunch by the Central Park lagoon, and walking along the East River promenade. (Tueth 99) This puts a picture of the perfect city life in our minds. Lately many television shows want to depict this life style. "Throughout the 1990s, television situation comedy moved almost all of most popular characters into identifiable urban areas. Sienfeld, Friends, The Nanny, Cosby, Spin City, Caroline in the City, Just Shoot Me, NewsRadio, Veronica's Closet, The Wayans Brothers, and The Parent "˜Hood have all been situated quite definitely in New York City." (Tueth 99) For the most part the article talks about these sitcoms that are centered on the whole idea of how the ideal life is in an urban area (specifically New York City). It also talks about how these modern sitcoms do not have any point or moral to them as many shows in the past did. Also, the author states how difficult it is to find any kind of sense in most of these new shows or even any type of development. "I once counted twenty-five separate scenes in a twenty-two-minute episode. Seinfeld's hectic pace enables the development of a separate conflict for each of the four main characters, all of them eventually dovetailing or colliding with one another in mutual disaster."...

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