Does TV Affect American Culture Essay

Does TV Affect American Culture Essay

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     Does Television Shows Reflect American Culture?

There are many movies and television shows that reflect American culture. A show or movie must address some current societal problem or trend in order to truly reflect American life; murder, rape, racism, and, on a less serious note, parties, shopping, and sports are topics that deserve serious consideration by the public and the media. The show Beverly Hills 90210 attempts to be an accurate portrayal of the life of a typical well-off American teenager growing up in the 80's and 90's. The producers of the show attempt to integrate many real life situations in to the show. By doing this they are suggesting to the audience, which happens to be geared toward teenagers and young adults, that what the characters do in the show is the ideal way to deal with these types of situations. Many aspects of American culture are represented on the television show Beverly Hills 90210, or just 90210 as it is commonly referred to. During the first year or so of Beverly Hills 90210 it dealt with the subject of murder/homicide. One of David's best friends was playing with a gun that he had acquired during a summer vacation to the mid-West. The friend shot himself by accident; what followed was a time of mourning for David and a recollection of many fond memories of the times they shared together. This episode's tragedy brought the characters in the show closer together. Many innocent children, and sometimes adults, are killed accidentally playing with guns, or by drive-by shootings. This is a major problem in the United States and the show is trying to get the message out that it is not a safe thing to do. It also raises the question as to why access of guns is so readily available to anyone. Every night on the news, someone can see many incidents in which there are suffering resulting from guns. Furthermore, the availability of guns makes the public scared. Children have images of adults using guns for hunting or game. In the adolescents' mind it appears that guns are not a bad item to own, when in reality guns are extremely dangerous weapons. Beverly Hills 90210 makes a strong attempt to impress upon its viewers that these accidents can be precautions. The show sends a message to the younger generation, which are becoming more and more violent, to stay away from things that result in violence like...


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...s right in with the materialistic values promoted by our society in print, in television, in commercials, in movies - in other words, in all aspects of the media. All economic echelons of society in the United States are encouraged to purchase name brand clothing and other apparel. The"American Dream" of shopping and credit cards is a reality in the show. The setting of the show is Beverly Hills, California, the home of all the popular trends and famous stars. This location, along with rich parents, provides for the perfect situation to make them look like rich brats. Although Beverly Hills 90210 is not a perfect reflection of American culture, it does lend itself to the stereotype of having a huge wardrobe and living the "American Dream". In the ten years during which 90210 has been on the air, the show has dealt with many topics. From the Persian Gulf War and high school, to AIDS and the Internet, the show has reflected many aspects of American culture. Beverly Hills 90210 sends a message to the viewers to make the best of one's life. Hopefully many of the viewers will be able to attain the "American Dream" that is the essence of American culture.

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