Norman Lear: Love him or Hate him

By: Kim Bowen

In this week a chapter that I found extremely interesting was the Norman Lear chapter and the many shows he made in order to break down the barriers of society’s notions of things such as African Americans, women, families, etc.  Some of the shows that were mentioned in this chapter somewhat surprised me as I never noticed the messages before since I had been watching them since I was a child.

For example, the show Good Times, has been something near and dear to my heart, but to see that Norman Lear was using the character J.J. as someone who is making fun of the stereotype of blackness. It makes sense why so many of the characters had left when the show could have gone on for much longer. Even though many of his works were very controversial and brought light to a lot of issues Lear had definitely lost his way in the industry. Playing on the audiences reactions and how they love blacks making fun of their own race was a little too far. Especially since this is during a time when there is less tension but more of society judging certain races because of stereotyping. It just goes to show how someone can get lost on a mission while trying to please the masses and instead giving into the masses on what they want to see. Norman Lear is a great example of this, but not the last unfortunately.

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One Response to Norman Lear: Love him or Hate him

  1. marymdalton says:

    Excellent post! Yes, these shows — and the competing messages — are VERY complex.

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