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Are There Any More TV Shows Where Families Are Poor Or of Modest Means?

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Are There Any More TV Shows Where Families Are Poor Or of Modest Means?

Old 11-14-02, 04:42 PM
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Are There Any More TV Shows Where Families Are Poor Or of Modest Means?

I remember in the 70's and maybe somewhat into the early 80's, there used to be shows which tried to depict real life (which included poor people or people of modest means) and their issues. "Good Times", "Alice", "One Day At A Time", "All In The Family", probably more which I can't remember now.

Then, it seems like into the late 80's and early 90's, most of that was replaced with the upper middle class family or people who had everything and only superficial problems from week to week ("Family Ties", "The Cosby Show", "The Nanny", etc.) The only 2 which might have stood out were "Roseanne" and "Married With Children" which was really a satire anyway.

Now most shows depict people with modest jobs, but living in places which in real life they could never afford ("Friends" is a good example of this). You don't see anyone living in the projects or crappy rental houses on those shows (even though with their jobs, that's most likely what they could afford).

My question is, why are the networks gravitating away from depicting the real lives of most Americans and instead showing the Olsen twins jetsetting around Europe? Because that's what viewers want - to forget about their day to day issues and escape? Or because that's what the network execs want?
Old 11-14-02, 04:47 PM
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Because TV is a fantasy escape for most viewers.

King of Queens is along the lines of a real life couple at least monetarily speaking - of course I often wonder how many hot women are married to overweight UPS delivery men.
Old 11-14-02, 05:25 PM
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The early seasons of The Simpsons were depicted as a family of limited funds. A recent episode featuring Homer as a "prank monkey" for Mr. Burns also explored the Simpsons' poor wealth.
Old 11-14-02, 05:54 PM
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I always thought Roseanne was a fairly realistic show at least in terms of how the family dealt with money, or I should say, the lack of it.

I agree though that many shows depict the characters as living in situations (houses, apts., cars, clothes, etc) that should be way beyond their means.

One of my favorite recently cancelled shows, "Once and Again" I felt was guilty of this.

All the characters, (especially the main ones) lived in these HUGE houses in great neighborhoods, yet had marginal jobs and limited visible means of support.
Old 11-14-02, 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
Because TV is a fantasy escape for most viewers.

King of Queens is along the lines of a real life couple at least monetarily speaking - of course I often wonder how many hot women are married to overweight UPS delivery men.
That's because he works for IPS
Old 11-14-02, 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
Because TV is a fantasy escape for most viewers.

King of Queens is along the lines of a real life couple at least monetarily speaking - of course I often wonder how many hot women are married to overweight UPS delivery men.
True. I thought of that when I first swa that show with Courtney Thorne Smith and Jim Belushi.
Ya, that would happen in real life.
Old 11-15-02, 02:46 AM
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How about in NYPD Blue, where most of the cops live in trashy apartments?
Old 11-15-02, 04:18 AM
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Old 11-15-02, 07:18 AM
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Old 11-15-02, 06:46 PM
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Old 11-15-02, 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Phil L.
One of my favorite recently cancelled shows, "Once and Again" I felt was guilty of this.

All the characters, (especially the main ones) lived in these HUGE houses in great neighborhoods, yet had marginal jobs and limited visible means of support.
This could all be a perspective thing. The Mannings lived in Oak Park, IL, if I'm not mistaken. A house like that wouldn't be out of reach of a two income family. If you're in LA and you see that house and neighborhood, it'd take two really healthy incomes to afford such a house.
Old 11-16-02, 02:08 AM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
Because TV is a fantasy escape for most viewers.

King of Queens is along the lines of a real life couple at least monetarily speaking - of course I often wonder how many hot women are married to overweight UPS delivery men.
well, look at Shannon Elizabeth and her husband. She's a nice looking female, while he's... probably a really, really, really nice guy.
Old 11-17-02, 12:35 PM
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"Gilmore Girls" has always puzzled me - those two characters spend a lot of money. They eat at a diner everyday, splurge on take out and junk food, seem drive a lot, and wear expensive clothes. The income made from managing an inn cannot possibly cover all of that and the bills and whatnot. Plus, it's so unrealistic to eat all that crap and not gain weight, unless there is a Stars Hollow gym somewhere.

And that is when I have to remind myself that it is just a TV show.

"The Drew Carey" show seems fairly realistic. Most characters have blue-collar lives to match their blue-collar jobs.
Old 11-17-02, 08:35 PM
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I think Roseanne is an excellent one
Old 11-17-02, 09:00 PM
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Malcolm in the middle.

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