To sum up the past 6 weeks or so it is imperative to consider which leads I have begun to follow, where they have led me, and where to from here. Please note, each link present in this post constitutes each of the 8 posts necessary for this assessment.
At first we saw the project best served by an adaption to a dual location comparison. By contrasting Hong Kong and Australia we believed we would be able to come across enough defining factors to gain an understanding of 1. the difference between the two cultures, 2. The effect Television has on this culture, these families and the way they interact and identify with their people and 3. how we can become more active viewers and in so doing, become more active in shaping the social mindset.
While we have not lost this basis, it wad made obvious to us that a study limited to these two locales would simply not cut it. Not only that, a lack of basing this study in history would not allow us to accurately map the now.
So we set about researching leads.
To start, what better place than I Love Lucy. This show is essentially the first popular sitcom, having been translated into 22 languages and shown in over 80 countries worldwide. Its humour is still relevant, and its quirky take on American life still serves a purpose in reaffirming positivity in the American existence. Yet the program still does pose questions of equal rights between men and women, and prompts us to ask whether such a show as this influenced the direction of TV to the gratuitous offerings we see before us today. More on that later.
Could we say I Love Lucy ignited that sense of voyeurism that undoubtedly informed the production of a show such as Sylvania Waters? And hence could be held responsible for a show such as Jersey Shore? I’d hesitate to actually back up either of these, however they do raise an important aspect of TV that is covered in the post ‘Media consumption and its affect on the good old days of TV viewing’; that of the changing ways of TV consumption and the affect this has had on family viewing habits, content produced and heterogeneity within the family.
This post also links into other contemporary examples of reality TV such as The Voice and the Producer vs. Character vs. Audience dilemma and further asks us to question the effect of content dispersion, Transmedia and Multi Channel services evident in shows such as Game of Thrones.
A question to come out of Media Consumption and its affect on the good old days of TV viewing is that of the influence Tv content has had on shaping the family, whereby I question whether TV has influenced families to the point that it has ‘influenced our understanding of ‘family’ through its representation of family and hence altered the way in which we identify accepted or normal practice with regard to family TV consumption’. Following up this theory I look at a few case studies of TV shows that represent family in contentious ways, and go on look at a location specific example of how TV might be used to enforce cultural and national identity.
Regardless, there are still many questions to be answered and much more research to be conducted. Not only is it necessary to decide where influence comes from with regard to Audience, Producer and Character, or at least chart a relationship that can be applied per genre or content, it is also necessary to contrast by country and consider ways in which TV has worked to benefit or hinder a nation.
In so doing, we hope to come across a greater understanding of the television landscape as it exists now.
Word count for 8 posts: 4255 words