TV shows push the limit

By Jasmine King

Contributing Writer

In recent years, TV shows and movies have become an outlet for many producers and/or directors to illustrate their frustration with current events. Between reality TV shows and the dramas that air every night on FOX and ABC, it is no wonder that our nation’s “right to free speech” now has a negative context. The producers and directors frame their shows to expose the truths about today’s society, but in some cases they go too far, over-dramatizing and even poking fun at serious situations to make them seem less important.

In almost every show on television, there is at least one controversial subject, like rape, abortion, the death penalty, illegal drug use and the list goes on and on. We tell more about a person from his or her actions than from his or her words. In viewing these television shows, it is no wonder the world believes that if it is shown on TV, then it must be okay to do in real life. For example, in “Glee,” Quinn was determined to destroy the reputation of the woman who adopted her child in order to regain custody of the child. I was outraged by this episode, not only because she framed Rachel’s mother, but also because there were no true consequences shown of her actions. Without showing the consequences, TV is teaching citizens that it is okay to do acts like this, because there are no repercussions in the next episode.

Controversial issues have been seen in shows like “Glee” and the infamous “Family Guy.” Both of these shows touch upon controversial subjects in every episode and yet, they continue to be aired each week. Don’t get me wrong, I watch both shows. However, there is a point where the producers should draw the line in terms of what to show in each episode and how far to take it. For example, the University claims to be working on the issue of gender stereotypes, but how can we (as a University and a nation) say we are not condoning the seriousness of women’s rights when even our TV shows make jokes about it? To give “Family Guy” credit, the newer episodes have been more conscientious in terms of portraying more serious subjects, but after all, it is comedy. In the latest season, there is an episode in which Glenn Quagmire’s sister is being physically abused and although this is a very serious matter, the producers utilize comedy in subtle ways that do not take away from the real issue at hand. This is one of the most serious “Family Guy” episodes, as it illustrates the life of an abused woman, and I give credit to the makers of “Family Guy” for having the guts to take on such a hushed issue.

Our country does not want to see an abused woman or a child being neglected when we come home at night; we want to be humored, even at the expense of our morals. Humor has become a way of dealing with the things we cannot resolve. Thus, if we are making fun of the subject, at least we are acknowledging it is there.

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