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Television Speech Essay
My Wife and Kids is a family sitcom blended in with serious drama because serious and realistic issues and presented. It is based on an American-Afro family following the customs of western style families. Even though the stereotypical view of a family in sitcoms is white, average middle class people consisting of 2 parents and a bunch of kids. My Wife and Kids are exactly that, just with the difference of skin colour which allows black Americans to relate to.
This is a family sitcom which present issues that makes up an average family facing everyday family problems, very similar to what every family faces in reality. This may be the reason which attracts viewers’ attention, because of ideological pleasure mixed partly with aesthetic pleasure. However, these issues presented is resolved through family values like love honesty and trust. Because Americans and Australians have similar values, the values represented in the sitcom can reveal much about the values we viewers see as important.
Family is the heart of this sitcom, because situations are always resolved through family. It’s like they are the perfect family, and all these dominant ideologies and stereotypical views are thrown in to make things more realistic, it is as if family love and values and drummed into the soul of these characters.
This show has a small cast, like many sitcoms. There is the comical and amusing Michael who likes to believe he is the man of the house. He deeply loves his family, loyal and protective, no matter what their faults are. He has values that are very similar to any other loving father in the world. It is the values he has that are violated by his children, which causes the main issue in the show, and it usually goes on to Michael trying to teach his children a lesson. Because Michael’s values are those of the dominant ideology, viewers agree and therefore don’t feel any wrongness in Michael’s actions to show discipline to his children. He is presented this way because his priorities, values and beliefs are all accepted as dominant ideologies.
Then there is Jay, the working mum, who is headstrong and respects Michael’s decisions only if she agrees with him else would stand up against him. She is a loving mother and her marriage is excellent, where values in a relationship fit in perfectly. Viewers, especially women, can easily relate to her because she is the ideal mother that is generally accepted. She, obviously a woman, works, allowed to voice out her opinions, and stand up against her husband challenges all the stereotypical views of women, which means, society readily accepting the ways of women and criticising the stereotypical view of women a long time ago.
As eldest of the 3 children, instead of being the wisest, ironically, Junior is the most stupid. He is constantly ridiculed by his family and taken advantaged of by his friends. This supplies humour to viewers through slapsticks and puns relating to Junior. Stupid he may be, family values can force Junior to stand up to what he believes is right, like loyalty to his sister Claire in situations. Even though Junior is presented as the very stupid kid in the family, he is liked and believed acceptable because he shows some rather admirable values in rare cases, like explained before, the ‘big brother protect baby sister’ kind of thing, where viewers believe its right because loyalty among family is one of the dominant ideologies presented.
Claire, being the middle kid, is presented as the obvious and exaggerated version of a stereotypical female daughter with typical problems like boys, sex and clothes which can attract female teenagers facing her problems. Some episodes show that Claire is fiercely proud of her parents, especially her dad, when problems are confronted. Many teenagers face issues like pregnancy today, scared of what would happen in the future, scared of facing their parents, so this show this encourages teenagers to talk to their parents even though they may be angry, but still loving.
Katie is what you would call ‘daddy’s little angel’ where issues with Claire and Junior just doesn’t happen with Katie. She’s innocent, cute, sweet and doesn’t give mummy and daddy any headaches. She’s there for amusement,
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American culture, Fox animation, The Simpsons, Homer Simpson
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