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Posts Tagged ‘TV series’

Buckwild and Downtown Abbey by David Mould

In film, media, society on January 29, 2013 at 18:04

From: Buckwild and Downtown Abbey: TV’s Social Reality by David Mould, The Montreal Review, http://www.themontrealreview.com

It’s a long way-in geographical distance and creative quality-from the down and dirty world of MTV’s reality show hit Buckwild to the rarefied world of U.S. public television’s Downton Abbey, but the two TV series have one thing in common, apart from having their new season premieres within a week in January 2013. Both perpetuate social and class stereotypes.

Buckwild claims to document the lives of young people in Sissonville, a small and economically depressed town in West Virginia, the state where I now live. The criticism of its stereotyping of poor, white Appalachians has been well-meaning, although it has certainly contributed to the show’s notoriety and may even have helped boost its ratings. Reality TV is a proven formula. Although they won’t admit it, viewers like to see people behaving badly.

The social stereotyping in Downton Abbey, first aired on ITV in the U.K. and now on public television’s Masterpiece Classic series, is more subtle and, at least on the surface, less offensive. But both series send a similar message about barriers to social mobility. Whether you’re living on welfare in a broken-down trailer, are a servant in a great English house, or own the house and employ the servants, you’re pretty much stuck where you are. It’s tough to change position on the social and economic ladder.

Read the article

Reposted with permission from: The Montreal Review

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