So today I was watching some TV after going to the gym and doing some errands. I flipped from King of Queens to Everybody Loves Raymond to Home Improvement. At the end of all this channel swapping I felt depressed, depressed for me and for all women. The women presented in these and many other shows are constantly irritated by their lives, jobs and especially their husbands. These women seem to have a continual roll in their eyes and a groan on their mouths.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Its interesting because if you think of the history of TV it used to be the other way around. For instance, in I Love Lucy Ricky was the man with the constant eye roll. When did things change?
The thing that gets me is why would anyone want to stay in a marriage or live a life they are perpetually annoyed with? I like my life and if something is annoying me it is usually my own pride that is to blame, more than anything else. Of course, I live alone so maybe I don’t have as much potential to be annoyed as others….
What say you my married friends? Do you find yourself continually annoyed with those you live with? Do these images of nagging women make you more or less likely to imitate their behavior?
I guess part of it comes from the comic standby of needing a ‘straight character’. Not straight in the sense of sexuality but just in the sense of comic timing. If everyone is crazy, off the wall, it isn’t funny but if one character is normal in contrast to the crazy it is more humorous. This can be seen in all of the famous comic duos such as Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy. I guess you have to have one character to the be the idiot for most humor to work but why does it always have to be the man? Couldn’t it be a little bit of both?
A show like the Big Bang Theory allows all of its character to be smart, stupid, crazy, funny and ridiculous at moments. The men and women are the butt of equal jokes. One of my favorite shows, the Middle, does a pretty good job with an even keeled humor between the sexes and spares the constantly annoyed wife routine. (Most of the real humor in that show involves the kids).
Arrested Development created great humor by having a straight man (Michael Bluth played by Jason Bateman) surrounded by both male and female idiots and wackos. That approach works well too.
The funny thing is that I rarely notice this behavior with one viewing. Its only when I have a day of leisure and watch a number of episodes in a row that it starts to bother me. I wonder if as a society we cumulatively view episode after episode if the annoyed women can be damaging.
Maybe I’m just reading too much into all this? Some might say- “it’s just entertainment, no big deal? It doesn’t impact my marriage/life?”.
That may be true but the subtle messaging the media gives us can be important. It can cause women to expect men to behave like animals and then encourage men to then behave like animals. Most of us after all are what others expect us to be.
I would think viewing such programs would make women more prone to fault finding and feel validated in their anger and irritations. Things that should just be ignored are played out on TV to a comic benefit, creating a subtle approval of such behavior.
I live alone so I am free from annoying people most of the time (one of the great advantages of my lifestyle!). Still, I hope when I get married I am not perpetually annoyed by those I live with. What kind of life is that? Why not find something you like if you are so annoyed?
Reality TV isn’t much better. In fact it is worse! Instead of fictionalized harping of wives towards their husbands we get ‘real life examples’ of a Jon and Kate Goslin or Bruce and Kris Jenner hating on each other. (Not to mention the scores of ‘real housewives’ who mostly complain despite all their opulence). I don’t really watch much reality tv but it can get depressing real quick!
Of course, you can always turn the TV off and pick up a book, which I did today. (Although the annoyed wife is certainly prevalent throughout modern literature as well!).
That’s my soapbox for the day! 🙂
What do you think about all the annoyed woman on TV? Do you think it has damaging effects for men, women and relationships? (or maybe you are all just annoyed with me 🙂 Sorry!)