Australian Sitcoms ??“ Are They a Good Role Model
Sitcoms are very popular in Australia but do they make the bad role models for our current generation
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The 1980??™s are considered the ???decade of the Sitcom??™. Situation comedy, usually know as ???Sitcoms??™ originated from radio. Sitcoms are now established as effective mass entertainment throughout the world.
The three sitcoms, My Wife and Kids, Kath and Kim and The Simpson have all stood out over the years. The Simpsons had its debut on the December 17, 1989 and My Wife and Kids ran from March 28, 2001until May 17, 2005 where it was officially cancelled. Kath and Kim was first aired on May 16, 2002 and is going for another season. The question is do we agree that sitcoms are a good model for our current generation
My Wife and Kids is a situation comedy that uses deadpan, parody, caustic and some sarcasm humour. The show was officially cancelled after five seasons because the executives said the show was ???played out???. The show appealed to almost everyone because it showed problems that everyday families have. The sitcom focused on the upper middle class Kyle family and their problems, but was centred on the father. The family always paid out each other. In one episode Michael, the father, suggested that Junior (his son) should name his baby after him. Junior replies, ???Why would I name it ???Dad??™??? The jokes came from the silly things Junior said and everyone poked fun at him, especially Michael. This made the father an unacceptable role model because he made fun of his own children and children would then copy the poor behaviour.
The Simpsons is an animation comedy and the longest-running sitcom in US history. The sitcom uses crudity, sexism, contradictions, some puns/double-entendre humour and physical abuse though speech and physical actions. The show is about a dysfunctional family and the strange situations the family and the town, Springfield finds themselves in. ???I??™m Bart Simpson, who the Hell are you??? and ???Eat my shorts???, are sayings that Bart Simpson (the son and brother in the family) repetitively uses in episodes. When Homer comes home from work, he sits on the couch, watches television and drinks a can of beer (Duff), whilst Marge cooks in the kitchen. This is put across as how life should be ??“ stereotyping the roles of husband and wife and is a good example of sexism. As well as being a lazy father and husband, Homer is often a bad father. He always forgets the baby (Maggie), strangles Bart and doesn??™t know
anything about his kids, sometimes even forgetting
their names. The way the comedy is stereotyped is what makes it appealing to the audience.
Through its popularity, children may be influenced by the violence used in the sitcom and how love and affection is overrated.
Kath and Kim is a situation comedy that uses deadpan humour, a form of comedy that is presented without showing a change in emotion or facial expression. It also uses sarcasm, parody and caustic. This comedy is centred on the mother, Kath and daughter, Kim but it also stars Kath??™s better half, Kim??™s husband and Sharon, Kim??™s ???second best friend??™. Kath is very nasty and hypocritical to Kim. In one episode Kath said, ???Kim you??™re fat.???
The sitcom illustrates that Kath is a bad mother and shows no warmth or care to Kim, maybe this is why she has a low self esteem.
Audiences worldwide tune in every night to watch their favourite sitcom. For the 400TH episode 9.8 million viewers tuned to watch the 24 minutes of The Simpsons but the best rating of the show was the Season Finale which, in 2003, recorded 13.4 million viewers. This shows that sitcoms are still effective mass entertainment because people enjoy the exaggeration of daily life and it is made funny though the participants and the audience reaction.
Many Australians love sitcoms and find them amusing and entertaining but don??™t realise that it may be a bad role model for children. These sitcoms have used a lack of love, care and concern and do not show how families are supposed to feel affection for each other.