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