TV shows are probably the primary source of entertainment for the average American. Most of them run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with reruns starting at 5 p.m. We watch them because they give us something to do, a way to relax, something to help pass the time. We all watch different shows, some people like "Married...with Children", some are repulsed with it, but like to watch "Home Improvement", what draws particular crowds to certain shows? How do these shows portray the average American, or do they portray average Americans at all? These are questions many writers have attempted to answer, at least one column in almost every newspaper is dedicated to this topic. I think the people like to see shows that portray them, or what they\'d like to be.
"Married...with Children" runs on Fox 29 on Mondays at 8:30 p.m., it has been on air for a long time, and has passed its 200th episode last season. The main characters of the show is women\'s shoe salesman Al Bundy, his wife Peg, dorky son Bud, and slutty daughter Kelly. Al loves to watch TV, bowl with his buddies, drink and go to the "nudy bar". Marcie and Jefferson, are the Bundy\'s neighbors and also take an active part in the show. Most shows consist of Al going somewhere or doing something and everyone else making fun of him when he fails miserably. Al is someone you can hardly call a father to his kids, he\'s doesn\'t take care of them and he does absolutely nothing father-like for them or with them. Al is constantly complaining about his marriage, he says that if he was sober that night, none of this would have happened. He calls his children accidents and the only good memory he has, is of him being a great high school football player, which he would take to the next level had all his dreams not been crushed by Peg. The only living thing Al really likes on the show is his dog, Buck, to which he can relate as they are both dirty and nasty. Every show it is the same kind of thing, over and over again. Peg is trying to convince Al to have sex, Al blames Peg for his failure in life, Kelly is screwing some guy in the back seat of a car, and Bud is looking at "nudy magazines". Last Monday, the 27, Al decided to join the Army Reserve in order to escape his family. John Ozersky writes in his article entitled "TV’s Anti-Families: Married...With Malaise", "These shows portray a downfall of Dad, but no rise of Mom. By presenting unhappy families to viewers, the viewers tend to feel better about themselves, on the contrary, the viewer\'s expectations in their own lives decrease as a result of this. By making our problems "all right by comparison", the series trivializes them, rather than taking them seriously. The dysfunctional TV family aids advertisers in their perennial quest for credibility by creating a supersaturated atmosphere of irony, which atrophies our ability to believe in anything" (Ozersky 215). But the reason people watch the show is simple, it portrays our worst fears in a way we can laugh at them, and who wouldn\'t want to laugh at their fear, an "in your face, I’m not as bad as you" kind of laugh. My dad wouldn’t let me watch this show until I was 14 years-old, because he thought it would give me the wrong idea about real family life.
Another show about family life is "Home Improvement". It portrays a traditional family, Tim and Jill are a married couple and they have three kids of different ages. Tim and Jill always argue about something, if it isn’t about what Tim did, or about what Jill did, it’s about what their kids did. The kids are also constantly fighting, the two bigger brothers always picking on the smaller one. It is a funny and entertaining version of the upper-middle class family. The role of the father in this show is clear, he is manly, he grunts, he works with power tools, and he can’t stand when someone besides him has the power. This is shown in the episode