Culture in American Television

How much of what is portrayed in our top ranking shows is factually accurate? Friends is one of the most enduring, popular American comedies still watched at home and abroad to this day. What cultural notions or ideals exist that may represent or misrepresent Americans?

  • Good topic. When I read this I immediately thought of Modern Family. I became a viewer after it had been own for a few seasons, and I think the show does a fantastic job of depicting numerous issues: divorce, balancing motherhood and work, a gay couple, adoption, remarriage to the younger woman, etc. I would say Modern Family is a good representation of America. – danielle577 9 years ago
  • It could also be interesting to touch on how a lot of American television is viewed in other countries and how these shows are portraying American values/culture to foreign audiences. – Marcie Waters 9 years ago
  • This sounds be great, I think it would also be great to point out how American shows represent other cultures, and if their accuracy, or lack thereof, helps or hurts American views on other places as well as other places views on Americans. – Austin Bender 9 years ago
  • Seinfeld came to mind when I first read this as well because it's really focused on the personalities instilled in characters and how we perceive them and how we react to who they are and how they act towards one another and other people in the show. – scole 8 years ago
  • One recurring theme in American TV, especially shows like Friends and Sex and the City, is that these types of shows portray American women as exercising sexual freedom that isn't commonly seen in TV shows from Eastern countries. Women talking, sharing and engaging in many sexual encounters isn't seen as much in series from the East. That would be one huge difference for sure. I don't think I can judge though how accurately that represents or misrepresents American culture. Whoever writes on this topic could take a look at how the single life is portrayed in sitcoms and romantic relationships and compare to how these types of romantic relationships may represent Americans. Even though the show was called Friends, it was about living the single life, finding yourself and finding love in your 20s. – Munjeera 8 years ago

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