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November 11, 2010
Hollywood: Republicans Want 'Breeder' TV Shows
The entertainment industry reviles conservatives. When a million conservatives gathered on the Washington Mall and recites the Declaration of Independence, leftists portrayed them as a mob of unruly radicals. Didn't leftists even burn Sarah Palin's church?
To find a similar disdain for millions of Americans, one must look back to the bad old days of institutionalized racism directed at blacks in the media. But history now is repeating itself in the entertainment industry.
In the early 1970s, Hollywood realized there might be a lucrative market for black television shows. Back then, screenwriters must have thought all black men were pimps. Costumes for black characters on those shows included such stereotypes as velvet suits, big hats, and gold chains.
Now Hollywood is eager to cash in on another lucrative demographic: conservatives. But most Hollywood writers are leftists, so here come the stereotypes again. This time, instead of velvet suits on men, it's Sarah Palin in a hunting outfit. And conservative characters are accessorized not with floppy hats and gold chains, but with kids. One such show is called 17 Kids & Counting. Hollywood insiders apparently refer to the genre condescendingly as "breeder" shows (a term popular in certain homosexual circles), and are working on many more. (Makes one wonder whether Hollywood, in similar condescending fashion, referred to the early black programs as "watermelon" shows)
TV market researchers also seem to be busy trying to figure out what else those toothless, gun-totin', circus freak conservatives like to watch. The Hollywood Reporter recently highlighted the results of a study conducted by media research company Experian Simmons. Republicans watch Glenn Beck and Democrats prefer Keith Olbermann.
Duh. No surprises there, but the researchers also seem to have discovered what any conservative could have told them: Republicans identify with winners and Democrats identify with losers:
The story also included the research firm's list of the top 15 shows that Republicans and Democrats each watch. Perhaps the most fascinating listing was the CBS hit sitcom Two and a Half Men, because more Republicans than Democrats watch it. Dismiss that as a statistical artifact, but it also might provide profound insight for the Hollywood suits -- assuming they really want to understand modern conservatives.
Here's why: Two and a Half Men is far from a breeder show. Its main characters prefer one-night stands and they'd rather drink than hunt. They enter churches only to attend funerals. The show essentially is a remake of The Odd Couple, but with more and better-developed supporting characters -- and funnier lines.
In the remake, the Felix character from the Odd Couple is called Alan, and the Oscar character is Alan's brother Charlie. As with the original characters, Alan is an effeminate control freak and Charlie is a carefree rogue. Ironically, the writers probably think they are mocking Republicans with Alan's prudish behavior while showing how cool Democrats like Charlie are. What they don't realize though, is that Republicans are far more likely to identify with the Charlie character because he's a winner and Alan is a perpetual loser. Alan probably reminds conservatives of former president Jimmy Carter.
Regular watchers learn that the Charlie character also is a self-reliant, bourbon drinking, cigar smoking, sports loving, big-car driving, freedom loving optimist. The last Democrat president like that was John Kennedy. Now those tend to be Republican traits.
Hollywood obviously doesn't get it, but in recent decades, the Republican Party has become more libertarian while the Democratic Party has become more authoritarian. Few Republicans still cajole their neighbors to attend church, but many Democrats now pester their neighbors to worship with them at their leftist cult services on Earth Day. And the Tea Party movement is focused almost entirely on fiscal issues, not moral ones.
Perhaps the best way to convince Hollywood writers of this dramatic reversal of ideologies might be to pose some realistic lines for Republican and Democrat TV characters. For instance, modern Republicans are more likely to say things like:
Mind your own business, you busybody!
Leave us alone, bureaucrats!
Buzz off, you control freak!
Let me help you get a job so you no longer have to rely on welfare...
That is libertarian, not fascist, rhetoric. In stark contrast, here are some typical lines for modern Democrat characters:
People shouldn't be allowed to drive cars like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to use light bulbs like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to eat things like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to say things like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to think like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to listen to radio stations like that.
People shouldn't be allowed to watch TV shows like that...
Oops, now it's getting close to home, eh writers? Today's Democrats don't sound much like their forefather, Thomas Jefferson, do they? Who are the fascists now?