Trying to ease the pain – Courtney Green

It was difficult for me to think of a topic to write about for this week’s blog assignment. Sitcoms aren’t my first (or second for that matter) choice when it comes to television shows so I was originally at a loss when searching for some type of inspiration. So, I decided to let my search of articles dictate what I chose to write about. That’s when I came across this article discussing how sitcoms are now trying to help men, specifically White men, ease the pain of this world of growing diversity by reassuring them they still have a place in society. Albeit, their current place is no longer one of unlimited control like it once was.

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For instance, The New York Times articles highlights several sitcoms that work to find a new rhythm for White men but the examination of Kevin Can Wait stuck out to me the most. The show centers around Kevin the title character who is a retired police officer whose dreams of a peaceful retirement are altered when he learns that his daughter is planning on dropping out of college to support her fiancé. Of course I don’t know the intentions of the writers without a doubt but what I took away from this was that it might be unusual for shows to depict a man who was once in a position of power and respect but content to now live in the domestic sphere. In order to ease this disruption Kevin is once again placed in this position of the provider and all is right with the world.

If the observations made in this article are valid I really don’t know how to process this information. On the one hand sitcoms are and have been for some time, a comedic avenue to express issues and the changing climate of society, however, is it necessary for us to coddle White men as a result of the increasing amount of diverse in America? I can’t say that I have the definite answer but I do think sitcoms should focus on inclusivity without there being a caveat.

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(Still from Kevin Can Wait, Season 1, Trailer, 2016.)

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4 Responses to Trying to ease the pain – Courtney Green

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I agree. It is not necessary to coddle the white man or make him feel secure in his position. Placing Kevin in the position of provider makes him appear to be a man with his heart in the right place, while in actuality, places him back in the position of power and control.
    – Karoline Summerville

  2. mediaphiles says:

    The NYT article you included in your post is fascinating. I find it problematic that producers/writers/networks/”the powers that be” feel the need to mitigate higher levels of inclusiveness in television with increased attention on straight white men. What?! I’m just not buying into the thought that white men are in desperate need of any kind of compensation (both on TV and off) just because television is FINALLY beginning to do a better job in representation. Of course these men still deserve a seat at the table, but I don’t feel like that seat is being threatened in a way that warrants an overcompensating response.

    -Callie Sartain

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that was a very interesting article you found. This show to me doesn’t seem like something I would watch. I feel like producers are going in the wrong direction if their goal is to make sure white men have enough sitcoms. I think the majority of people aren’t even interested in these sitcoms anymore. Especially since they are so predictable, and for me especially boring. I’m interested to see how long this show lasts – Katie Thevenow

  4. marymdalton says:

    I haven’t watched this one, either, for the reasons Katie mentions…just not that interested. Yet, on the other hand, this idea of coddling white males makes it culturally significant, probably in a way unintended!

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