Monday, January 24, 2011

Question of the Day #818

I've watched three episodes of Showtime's "Shameless" and I can safely say I'm in love with the series.

Laurie Halse Anderson once said during an interview that the reason she wrote Prom was because all her readers wanted to read a book about "normal kids."

Not rich kids. Not kids with secret super powers. Not prom queens, drag queens or star athletes. Just regular kids.

This show, "Shameless," showcases a family that is anything but normal. The family is made up of six kids, a mother who ran away, an alcoholic father, one gay kid, one kid whose father has yet to be determined, a teenage girl whose boyfriend steals cars for a living, and so much more.

But in all that abnormalcy is normalcy. Like this week, the gas got shut off so everyone (subtly) wore puffy coats in the house. (Who hasn't done that?) Or the week before, when the oldest sister watered down the last drops of milk to make it go farther over her siblings' cereal. And an universal need to be loved twists through each character's storyline.

As messed up as this family is, it is so refreshing to watch a show about people who are not living in Beverly Hills or pimped out cribs or in a town where every resident sucks blood or shape-shifts. (Not that I don't love "True Blood." Just making a point.)

So this begs the question, why, as a society, are we not that interested in storytelling about people who are just like us? Or are we and is Hollywood telling us that we aren't? And what's your favorite story about normal everyday people?



  1. Myself, myy 21 year old daughter, and 24 year old son, are already addicted. For the very reason that it seems so real, so plausible.

  2. We like stories about "other" people so that we can temporarily escape our reality. I would never trade my normal life for the fake lives we see on TV. I love my boring little life. :-)

  3. Hollywood has gotten so over the top with reality tv, plastic surgery, dysfunctional rich people, and stories about real-life people with crazy disorders like hoarding. Actually, I think truth is stranger than fiction. I'd say "Hollywood" has a mixture of both. I'm not sure what my favorite story about normal everyday people is. I'm not sure you could really define "normal." But I think it's healthier to stay away from mass produced entertainment and live from within. There you can only really find truth. (Sorry about my hippy dippy talk!)

  4. Great question.

    I don't have one favourite, but I tend to be drawn toward stories with strong but flawed characters, and general life stories. Think Anne Shirley, Scout Finch, Bridget Jones, Iris Murdoch, etc. There is something that resonates with all of these characters, something that I can relate to.

  5. Like Malcolm in the Middle, a little. This looks fantastic! I adore William H. Macy and if I had Showtime I'd be watching it.
    Ugh, to answer your question, it's because the producers are high class and presume in regular human self-centeredness that we all care about that lifestyle.

  6. Love, love, love Shameless. I was hooked after the first episode. I think we like to watch things about not normal people because it is an escape from our own lives.


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