Monday, May 25, 2009

A Theory, But Not A Conspiratorial One

So, based on a few things that came to me this morning upon waking up, I've come up with a theory that I'd like to flesh out and get out there. Pooky thinks I've lost it, but hey! I never had it to begin with! So, here goes:

Most, if not all, popular dramas glorify people working for the government.

Definition of a drama: An hour-long television show that focuses on more serious issues that is scripted. May be based on a "true story," but not a reality show.

Definition of popular: Shows that are high in ratings and DVD sales.

Definition of glorify: Main characters are cast in positive light or so we can identify with them.

Definition of working for the government: People that are either directly under the government or have to deal with it every day. For the latter part, an example would be a main character that works for the government that interacts with the other main characters.

Now, for my examples:

ER: Just finished, I realize, but one of the most popular TV shows of all time. Where do they work? County General.

Law and Order

House: The teaching hospital is run by a university.



The Closer


The Shield

West Wing: If this doesn't glorify government, what does?

Raising the Bar

Burn Notice: Yeah, I know, he used to work for the government. But he's trying to get his job back!

Cold Case


This is just what I could come up with off the top of my head and what Yahoo! says is on tonight. I tried to put Lost on the list, being that whatever organization it is that's mysteriously behind everything (Wiki says it's the DHARMA Intiative) acts like the government, but I don't think it really fits.

What does this all mean? I don't think it's a grand conspiracy, but I do think Hollywood needs to branch out further than "We're doing reality shows now!" The typical liberal view of things is that government is the only thing that can save us from ourselves. By glorifying those who work for it, they can make us forget the horrendous experiences real people have when they actually interact with the government. I.e., when you're dealing with the Post Office, trying to get Medicare to fully reimburse you, dealing with traffic court, or all those poor souls deluded into thinking you get to carry a gun and do cool stuff when you're a Crime Scene Investigator who suddenly realize it takes 15 years of college to get to that point.

Will we ever see the real side of government from Hollywood? Probably not. Any time the main character gets stymied by it, they become a maverick and somehow get the respect of their superiors for "getting the job done." As anyone who has butted heads with bureaucracy can tell you, that's not how it works.

It's all fiction, but I thought I'd make the general populace more aware that what is on TV is not an accurate portrayal of reality. As if you didn't know that already!

No comments:

Post a Comment