PDA

View Full Version : Most Subversive Show on Television ...


Volcana
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:14 PM
... in your country. Or culture. These things are inherently subjective. The most subjective show in China might not even get ratings if translated to the USA. In terms of subverting other cultures toward the USA way of thinking, the most subversive things ever were probably Coca-Cola, blue jeans, MacDonald's and Hollywood movies.

So you see, what I mean by subversive is not directly challenging the values of a culture, but more of a lapping away at the underpinnings OF that culture, altering the foundation while keeping everythign upstairs nice and comfy. 'The L Word', for example, is not subversive. Not enough people see it. 'The West Wing', OTOH, put a human face, and a reasoned human face, on political views both Conservative and Liberal.

But my example of a really subversive TV show I'm saving up til I hear your comments.

controlfreak
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:21 PM
I would say something subversive has to have subversion as its primary motive.

I don't really consider Coca-Cola, blue jeans, MacDonald's or Hollywood to be subversive. These American franchises were primarily intended for the American market. The fact that they went on to take over the world was more like a side-effect, or a logical capitalist development, rather than their initial reason for existing.

Is your TV example going to be South Park?

Dava
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:26 PM
I have to say the Simpsons is the most subversive show I think. it sublty makes continous knocks at US society and culture, while presenting it in a format which can be joined as either a entertaining cartoon, or a visious social satire.

Jane Austens (made in to numerous TV shows) tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the getry class of that time in England, may seem to glamorize thier lifestyle, but actually is subtly making fun of thier dumb ass lifestyles with nothing better to do then make cushions etc, and fall in love with ill suitors. She also calls for an end to slavery, and social reform in subtle ways, yet presents them in the style of a sensual 'female' novel typical of the time.

Volcana
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:33 PM
I would say something subversive has to have subversion as its primary motive. I don't really consider Coca-Cola, blue jeans, MacDonald's or Hollywood to be subversive. These American franchises were primarily intended for the American market.I quite disagree. Often the most innoccuous things have the greatest effect. John Waters has commented that 'Hairspray' was the most subvewrsive thing he ever wrote, and that he certainly never intended it as such.The fact that they went on to take over the world was more like a side-effect, or a logical capitalist development, rather than their initial reason for existing.The fact IS however, 'that they went on to take over the world'. And spread a both sanitized and distorted idea of the USA in the process.Is your TV example going to be South Park?No. Not a errible example, but a rather blatant. Consider where we disagree about what's subversive. My example is pretty clearly NOT intended to be subversive.

Volcana
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:35 PM
Jane AustenA fine choice. Not mine, but well thought. Perhaps more subversive in it's time than now?

controlfreak
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:36 PM
Well, would you agree to the proposition that something which is accidentally subversive has less claim to true subversivity than something which is intentionally subversive?

Edit: by the way, a word I would use in place of 'accidentally subversive' would be 'influential' - which is how I classify Coca-Cola et al.

Tennisballova
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:42 PM
Sex & The City??? Will & Grace?? I'm affraid I don't quite understand the whole thing...

Dava
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:48 PM
Yea Austen is deffo of her time, but sometimes I Cant help but feel that modern TV interpretations leave out all of the subversive nature, and just display it as a Rom-com.

Volcana
Apr 19th, 2006, 03:42 AM
Yea Austen is deffo of her time, but sometimes I Cant help but feel that modern TV interpretations leave out all of the subversive nature, and just display it as a Rom-com.In the USA, people worship wealth so damn much, they can't even SEE how Jane Austen mocks some of the rich. Her critique of the working classes, on the other hand, is brought though rather acidically (sic).

Imagine if Jane Austen had had Donald Trump to write about. Or Paris Hilton. Or Anna Kournikova. Or Serena.

Volcana
Apr 19th, 2006, 03:48 AM
I went to Bartleby, and check their defintion of 'subversive'.


http://www.bartleby.com/61/80/S0858000.html

ADJECTIVE:
Intended or serving to subvert, especially intended to overthrow or undermine an established government: “Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities” (Erica Jong).

I must, using their definition, concede I am mis-using the term. I am specifically interest in subversion of culture, rather than government.

RunDown
Apr 19th, 2006, 04:30 AM
The Cosby Show??

Besides its obvious influence on how Black Americans viewed themselves as well as how they were viewed, I heard it was the number one rated show in S.Africa when they were trying to end apartheid.

Volcana
Apr 20th, 2006, 04:06 AM
The show I was thinking of was 'The Ellen Degeneres Show'.

She's probably themost famous lesbain in America. (With apologies to Rosie O'Donnell.) She who met the President of the United States with her then-partner, came out virtaully on national TV, and now has not just a nationally syndicated network TV show, it's replayed on cable a couple times a day. Her audience is just short of Oprah's, and totally mainstream.

SHE is totally mainstream. And just by being so many people very cool, slightly wierd best friend, she makes being gay more acceptable to more people every day. Deep inthe heart of Jesusland. Hard to get more 'subversive' than that.

wta_zuperfann
Apr 20th, 2006, 04:33 AM
Most subversive?

Fox Network News: nothing but treasonous reich wing propaganda that would make Goebbels and his Nazi machinery proud.

Volcana
Apr 20th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Most subversive?

Fox Network News: nothing but treasonous reich wing propaganda that would make Goebbels and his Nazi machinery proud.At first, I thought this reply absurd. Then I thought about it. And they have done more harm to the values that this country supposedly aspires to that anything else I can think of. They certainly aren't the first, or the only news organization that activley assists the government in lying to the citizenry, but their the best at it. And the perversion that Capitalism = Democracy is an axiom of almost everything they report.

We may have a winner.

Viktymise
Apr 20th, 2006, 06:09 PM
Most things on television can be portrayed as subversive in some ways or other

Volcana
Apr 20th, 2006, 10:34 PM
Most things on television can be portrayed as subversive in some ways or otherI really don't think so. Well, I can only speak to American TV. Most of our stuff is so bland it's made by Gerber. TV works hard to reinforce whatever they think they're viewers already believe.

Jakeev
Apr 20th, 2006, 11:11 PM
We have had what 500-600 reality shows in the States in the past 5 years?

Pick one.

Volcana
Apr 29th, 2006, 04:43 AM
We have had what 500-600 reality shows in the States in the past 5 years?

Pick one.I can't think of one I'd call 'subversive'.

vogus
Apr 29th, 2006, 03:55 PM
most subversive American tv show i've ever seen is the 90s fake sitcom "Married With Children". It deliberately and methodically attacked basic American culture/society/values on multiple levels.