Marxism and Sitcoms?


Maddy Eldredge

When I first saw the title of day 4’s sakai site, I kind of chuckled to myself. The idea that Marxism could be connected to sitcom seemed far fetched. Kohl’s chapter, however, changed my mind. I was really interested in this view of sitcoms and how they are produced. I never thought of writers as “blue collar” workers, nor had I thought that the media speaks the voice of the ruling class. Yes, I’ve known that the media portrays expectations and stereotypes that have caused many issues in society, but I had never thought about where these expectations were coming from. Though I agree with most of what Kohl says, there were some parts of his argument that I found harder to buy into. I understand that the upper class controls what goes on TV and these shows, but I think that for the most part, the producers try to portray what the common populace will want to see and portray it how they think the common populace will want it to be portrayed. They would have to do this or else the shows wouldn’t do well. Yes, this seems odd especially if we consider that the people writing the shows are considered part of the “blue collar class” and the common populace, so they would/should know better than the higher ups. One modern example of this was something I saw just last week. I read an article about how a modern sitcom, Bob’s Burgers, was meant to be about cannibalism. However when the writer brought it to the network, they made him take out the cannibalism because they thought it might be too dark for the network. They also changed the animation and one of the central characters. The higher ups do decide what is portrayed and what we see, but they definitely aim for what they think the common populace will want to see/watch.

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One Response to Marxism and Sitcoms?

  1. marymdalton says:

    Thoughtful response. That’s an important function of academic writing — and your own essays for this class — to help people interrogate their preconceptions and to challenge things we tacitly accept!

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