Family Guy: Undermining Satire Analysis

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The articles, Family Guy: Undermining Satire by Nick Marx and Fox and Friends: Political Talk by Jeffrey P. Jones, are very different articles, however, they both address how television affects culture. These articles, found in the edited novel of “How To Watch Television,” edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell, describe how a cartoon, like Family Guy, or a morning talk show, like Fox and Friends, can influence consumers opinions, actions, and how television producers have to keep audiences attentions. The purpose of this paper is to summarize both of these articles and to create an analysis of Jason Mittell’s book “Television and American Culture.” After reading this paper, the reader may question how they watch television in the future…show more content…
Marx talks about how Family Guy has to battle with the internet and video games to keep their age demographic intrigued. Because of this click culture, Marx implies that Family Guy’s humor may be one way to keep the 18 to 34 age group entertained. However, when it comes to satire Family Guy pushes the boundaries of it. Satire is supposed to be constructive criticism on social issues, however, Marx states that Family Guy does not do this. One example Marx gave was in one episode, Family Guy made a racist joke about how Mexicans live even though it was unrelated to the main joke. This is a direct example of what Marx means by Family Guy is undermining satire. Family Guy may be trying to touch on the horrible living conditions many Mexicans live with, however, that kind of impact was not made by this joke. Seth Macfarlane, the creator of the show, says that the show offends everyone equally which makes it funny. However, Marx talked about by offending everyone real social issues can look less important than they…show more content…
When watching television, many people laugh at jokes and do not think about the context that they are said in. Also, many people believe everything the news stations tell them because the news should be a trustworthy place to find information. These jokes and untrustworthy sources are what shapes people’s opinions on different topics, which affect issues in America. When Fox and Friends attacked President Obama for supposedly being Muslim or was not born in the United States, many people bought into that philosophy and believed Fox and Friends were telling the truth. Also, people were afraid that Family Guy would devalue the meaning of a movie “Precious” by making a poster that said if the voters did not vote for Family Guy, Peter Griffin was dressed like the movies main African American actor, then they would be racist and other prejudice things. Many people can see that as a joke but it can undermine what the movie “Precious” was trying to convey. When watching television, viewers have to realize that what they watch, and what they allow their children to watch, has a big influence on how they perceive the world. For example, Mittell talked about experimental research that suggested there is a connection between children watching violent television and them being aggressive later in life. For teens who watch Family Guy, they may be influenced to say inappropriate and

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