Supporting the Protagonists

I’ve always heard people say…”Taking a television/film class will ruin some of your favorite shows”. Although, the reading for this class hasn’t completely ruined shows for me, it has definitely made me watch with open eyes. It’s really hard to find and watch a television show and not be critical of it. There are so many shows out there that perpetuate such ugly stereotypes. The formula for characters within television shows doesn’t seem to have changed all that much. Yes, some things have changed in terms of women being in leading roles, and African American’s having starring positions that disregard some stereotypes, but in watching TV I see these side-kicks, and lesser characters who are often heavily stereotyped. This discovery brings me to think that I really don’t know if television or movies have been progressive enough with the supporting characters.

For example, in the ABC show Once Upon A Time, there are loads of white characters, but then we are introduced to the Evil Queen’s magic mirror. Of course he is middle eastern (A GENIE), and abiding by every wish of his white queen’s desires. There is so much going on here that would be interesting to look into. Of course, yes it is suppose to be fantasy and play off of the Disney movies and stories, but it doesn’t mean that Disney got it right. A lot of these old Disney stories have weird stuff and stereotypes going on in them.


America has truly come along way in terms of diversity, but when watching TV shows, it is sometimes difficult to see this change because of the remaining racial, gendered, classist, stereotypical representations in the supporting characters.These characters often get overlooked!

Sorry this post is so ramble-y, when watching television I can’t help but question and critique what is going on. -Katie Nelson

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5 Responses to Supporting the Protagonists

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I like how your review relates the show to American ideals and society. The issue of diversity was an interesting topic to bring up, especially with the genie in a popular, seemingly ideologically neutral show.
    -Maddie Dickens

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree. It’s a good thing that TV is becoming more diverse, but so many stereotypes persist that we have to eliminate them before diversity can even be a true reality.


  3. mediaphiles says:

    I think your last point it important about diversity represented in TV shows. Now, there are so many different TV shows, its hard to keep up with all of them, and some seem to do a better job than others at reflecting how our society has evolved in terms of diversity, but I think it is a very valid point that you make that it is sometimes not as clearly seen in certain TV shows.

  4. mediaphiles says:

    If the show is playing off of Disney, then is it ok to alter that? Disney is such a huge icon in the world that if the show states they are playing off of Disney and then change things so that the average viewer cannot recognize it, then nobody will believe them because it will seem like they lied to get viewers. If they had said it would be loosely played off of Disney stories, then changing certain aspects of it would be fine and the complaints would be negligible It seems as though the show is backed into the Disney corner and cannot alter much based off of the language they used to describe the show.

    – turner arrington

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