Day 29 - Core Fantasy, part 2

Popular television shows contain one or a few core fantasies. A core fantasy of Friends, Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, The Big Bang Theory, and many others is that monogamy (via marriage and to a lesser extent parenthood) is the natural state of existence. Anything that strays from monogamy, such as promiscuity, is portrayed as a tragic veering from the natural course. In these shows, about 50% of the characters' dialogue is dedicated to sex. They talk about it openly, how great it was, and how "whatever" they are about the whole thing. Here's where the cleverness of these shows lie. They turn all this open talk and free action into a conflict standing in the way of monogamy. They suggest that casual sex is ok as long as we accept that it's a common mistake that we learn from on our way to never being single ever ever again. They sweeten it up even more by portraying men and women experiencing this struggle in almost identical ways. There's no nuance, no variation. Men and women are identical in their emotions, their needs, and their learning trajectories. At no point does the show grapple with the conflicts that arise when men and women act out their respective stereotypes, something that happens just about everywhere just about at all times. It's irrelevant whether or not these stereotypes should exist or whether they stem from natural or innate differences. They exist, they are related to conflicts, joys, and all manner of human experience. A show that ignores this completely while focusing solely on human relationships? That's a very dedicated brand of entertainment. Pure as heroin. 

Praise the gods of entertainment 


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