Putting Hope To Bed - Raising Hope - Previously.TV (via sc0rnflakess)
It was also riotously funny at it’s high points and always clever and enjoyable at its lowest.
Eh… I have to disagree with this assessment, at least in terms of the time frame. There have been a number of major network sitcoms centered on working-class characters post-1980: Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, Married With Children, Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, 2 Broke Girls, The Middle, just to name a few. If you want to include shows on the non-major networks like the CW, or cable shows, then that list gets a whole lot longer.
That’s not to say that I’m a fan of all the shows I listed… in fact, I only like two of them (you can figure that out on your own). I just think it’s kind of disingenuous when media critics bemoan the lack of working class shows on TV and then write article after article praising shows about fucked-up rich white people like Arrested Development or Mad Men (both of which I like, incidentally). What they’re really saying is there aren’t any working class shows that also appeal to their personal aesthetic preferences.
2 Broke Girls and the Simpson hardly portray a realistic working class experience. Malcolm in the Middle, Raising Hope, Grace Under Fire, Roseanne, Married with Children, The Middle, and My Name is Earl make up a fairly small number of tv shows when you look at the overall figures. The working class experience is even further underrepresented when you start looking at working class people of color.
I guess what I’m driving at is that this sort of analysis presents a false dichotomy between the current media landscape and some imagined golden age of working class sitcoms. I mean, yeah, All in the Family was great, but even when Norman Lear’s socially-conscious sitcom empire was at its height, the vast majority of TV programming was still about (white) upper middle-class people or young urban professionals, or took place in a setting where those sorts of issues weren’t ever really addressed.
I just think it’s kind of silly for the author to pinpoint a date when the media decided to stop telling working-class stories, especially one that predates a show like Roseanne by nearly a decade.