Custom «Analysis of a Television Show: "Second Wedding"» Sample Essay
TV shows often portray and strengthen the stereotypes while the audience accepts them. However, there are shows, which try to make fun of the gender or age stereotypes in order to mock them and make the audience see how ridiculous they are. A good example is a show called Rob, where a relationship between a young couple and conservative minority parents is comically portrayed. The show ridicules the age and cultural stereotypes when portraying comical parents in order to show how the stereotypes define the perceptions of some people. For the purposes of this paper an episode called Second Wedding was watched and its content, language, and characters’ actions were analyzed to prove the claim about humor and prejudices.
The show centers on a young man Rob who is a white American who has married a beautiful Mexican American woman in a tiny private ceremony (“Rob…”). Therefore, the couple has never had a big wedding. The first analyzed episode is about Rob meeting the parents of his young wife and hearing them complain about the wedding situation. The parents of Rob’s wife Maggie want to throw a big wedding for the couple, because they think the first wedding does not count since it was too small and did not meet the expectations of a stereotypical Mexican American family. Although the father agrees with his wife that the couple needs to have a big second wedding, his secretly tells Rob it is impossible, since he has spent all of the money saved for the wedding on something else. Therefore, although he pretends to support his wife completely and disapproves the tiny wedding his daughter had, Maggie’s father Fernando is actually afraid to tell her the truth and reveal his true feelings and stance on the wedding. Instead of being honest, Fernando uses Rob and tells him to prevent the wedding in any way possible because of his situation. With the comical premise, the show makes fun of the stereotypes regarding the parents and cultural differences and explains how the cultural prejudices and age stereotypes influence the life of an average family and the communication within. In a way, a show is similar to other series, such as Still Standing, because they also rely on comical situations between children and parents (“New Movie…”). However, Rob is different since it also adds cultural stereotypes to defining the parents and makes the main characters a generation older, while still speaking about the same issues and problems. This way, the audience gets a feeling that the age does not matter when it comes to dealing and communicating with the parents, since there will always be misunderstandings and clash of generations about social and family roles.
The show is filled with stereotypes, which affect the audience’s perception of both the parents and the young couple. For example, the episode opens with gender jokes, which strengthen the stereotypes toward women. In the very beginning, Rob is very impatient because it takes a long time for his wife to get dressed for the wedding they are about to attend. She changes many times, so Rob gets very annoyed. The show presents the viewers with sexist jokes about women always changing their minds and men having to put up with it. Further, the show introduces the viewers to Maggie’s parents, Fernando and Rosa. The parents are portrayed in a very stereotypical way, so the audience gets to see a typical Mexican American family with all of the exaggerated prejudices. The parents represent stereotypical traditional roles. The mother Rosa is very emotional and demanding. She controls her husband and always makes the decisions for the two. She is also overbearing and depends too much on the opinion of others. That is why she pressures her daughter into acting the way she wants her to. The mother is very aggressive in what she does and demands and she talks a lot with very strong emotions. She is also very direct and not afraid to speak her mind to the point of being rude and not respecting personal space. Fernando, on the other hand, keeps his emotions to himself and appears a bit afraid of his wife since he cannot say what he really thinks and believes in. He also appears passive and weak, but because of it he chooses not to fight with his wife and follow her commands instead. Even when Rosa’s commands become violent like when she hits Fernando’s arm, the viewers just see it as another example of stereotypes when demanding wife was influencing a passive husband. When Fernando tries to protest, like when he asks his wife for a reason her brother is still staying with them, Rosa does not appear affected by the question and the protest remains unanswered.
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Rosa and Fernando are presented as overbearing parents who care deeply for their daughter to the point that it may be even strange. The show describes the parents as people who have a hard time accepting the fact that their daughter is an adult, so they try to spend as much time with her as possible. When Rob remarks that the family communicates a lot, he highlights that it is unusual for the majority of Americans to have such strong bonds with their parents. Therefore, the family of Mexican Americans is shown as a stereotypical clan with very strong ties, where the parents love for their children but try to control them at the same time and also get involved in their personal matters. The viewers get to see Rosa complain to her daughter about the lack of a proper wedding. When the younger couple tries to protest and explain that they have had a joyous wedding, the mother explains that from the moment a child is born Mexican parents want to organize a big wedding and invite many guests. This is explained as a tradition, but also as a stereotype among Mexican Americans. In the show, the mother is not concerned with her daughter’s desires and openly disregards the criticisms of her son-in-law as she believes she is right in wanting to throw a big celebration. For the parents, demanding a party despite the children’s wishes is normal and they perceive it as a correct behavior towards children. This is a stereotype, which strengthens the idea that, despite constantly communicating with the younger generation, the mother and the father do not hear them and are unable to accept the fact that the newlyweds can make decisions on their own.
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However, one notable thing about the stereotypes and the way they are exaggerated in the series is the fact that those prejudices and cliché regarding the parents are comical and funny. The series’ creators are trying to make fun of the stereotypes and prejudices and they ridicule the traditional set of behaviors. It is difficult to predict whether it is done intentionally, because there is always a possibility that the creators have been using clichés to make the show simpler and understandable for the audience. However, the obviousness of the prejudices and parenting stereotypes makes them noticeable and allows the audience to realize how wrong it is to follow such beliefs. The jokes allow the public to see that the parenting skills and traditional relations between Mexican Americans are not necessarily structure like the series portray, because the show is there to make fun over the exaggerated occurrences, not the real life. The viewers see themselves when they think of the stereotypes. They realize that they often fall victims of prejudiced, thinking especially about the parents. When comparing the jokes in the series and the real lives of parents and children, it is easy to see that the series simply plays on exaggerated and fictionalized expectations and assumptions, while real-life parents are very different from what is portrayed on TV. Thus, the cultural stereotypes and the stereotypes about parents are being treated with humor and the absurdity of the exaggerations, since they are very unrealistic (Belkin).
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Although Rob TV series got canceled in 2012, the same year the show started, the program managed to make the audience think about some important topics such, as cultural stereotypes in terms of parenting, the role of humor in battling them, and the way stereotypes define people’s expectations and approaches to others. The show gives the viewers a look into the life of a Mexican American family with a white member, and just like the majority of the viewers is white, they feel the same way as the main character does in the episode. They have to deal with cultural stereotypes and laugh at biased jokes targeting the parents and their children, but as they do it they realize that those are stereotypes, which are disconnected from reality. The humor enables proving the absurdity of some stereotypes and beliefs and the audience gets to realize that the jokes about parents and their approach to the children are funny only because it is something that is very unlikely to happen in real life.
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