Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Parks and Recreation Fights Stereotypes by Allowing Them

The hit T.V. show Parks and Recreation has a very diverse set of characters, all of which exhibit common stereotypes often associated with that type of character. However, Parks and Recreation is very different in how they portray these stereotypes. Instead of just throwing them in there as subtle, small pieces of the character, they throw them in our faces in such a way that we have to realize that they're not making fun of the character; they're making fun of the stereotypes.
One really nice example of this is the character Tom Haverford, a Californian man with the complexion of a stereotypical Indian man. One such stereotype that he portrays is that Indians are bad at driving, but the writers represent this stereotype to such an unbelievable extent that we can't believe that their intent was to try to further the stereotype.
One last example is the legendary character Ron Swanson. He is the literal embodiment of all American stereotypes: he'll only eat meat and drink whiskey, he despises organized government, he loves shooting guns, the whole wazoo. The reason that his character works is because of how often these are brought up and the extremeness of how they are presented. He's not just there for people to point at as a stereotypical American man, he's there for people to laugh at and, in turn, laugh at the stereotypes that he brings to the table.
In short, Parks and Recreation is a melting pot of stereotypes, and the result is a well balanced stew of humorous banter and social commentary.

No comments:

Post a Comment