movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Tue Dec 27 2016, 04:46pm | 2 comments
Signs point to yes:
American anti-intellectualism is a lot deeper than TV sitcoms; like poor female representation in films, the rubbish on TV happens in part because there’s a segment of the market that wants it.
It’s been my experience that anti-intellectualism tends to be in the eye of the beholder. For example, Good Will Hunting hardly portrays the pursuit of knowledge as something worth doing for its own sake yet it is rarely seen as being anti-intellectual. And Frasier has its more educated characters ridiculed as often as Ross on Friends or the young scientists on The Big Bang Theory yet I rarely hear that show being described as “anti-intellectual.”
Then again, Cheers once received the same type of criticism that Friends received in this post and yet that show was a critical darling. More to the point, one of the commentators on the original site noted that everyone — even not-so-bright Joey — gets ridiculed on Friends and anyway, Ross is not so much being ridiculed because he’s educated, he’s ridiculed because he’s so pompous about it. Just like Sheldon Cooper on TBBT isn’t ridiculed by his friends because he’s smart — he’s ridiculed because he tends to be so obnoxious about it.
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