The suburbs under fire?

Take a random group of social outcasts, and thrust them into an extremely wealthy suburb and you’ve got yourself a hit TV series.
Supporting points of data:
1. The Sopranos: The mafia in the suburbs.
2. The Riches: Gypsies in the suburbs.
3. Weeds: Potheads and dealers in the suburbs.
4. Desperate Housewives: Horny middle aged women in the suburbs.
5. Six Feet Under: Undertakers in the suburbs.
6. Big Love: Polygamists in the suburbs.
What’s going on here?

6 thoughts on “The suburbs under fire?

  1. I think it has to do with peoples perception of the suburbs. weird things are suspected to happen in cities, so when you see them happen they are not out of the ordinary. But when some one in the suburbs is the leader of a mafia family, who is growing pot while banging his neighbor and her sister, while a gay undertaker is videotaping from the bushes, people love it. If this same thing happened in LA, it wouldn’t even make the cover of the paper.

  2. So you’re saying these shows exploit an availability bias. You’re empirical claim is that the burbs are boring and these shows jazz it up a bit while appealing to people’s desire to have a close proximate symbol to identify with.
    I think it’s reasonable but I think there’s also some derogatory commentary going on here. I think it’s also hip to smash on the suburbs. For some reason people are willing to believe that the super rich are heartless, drugged up, unstable, and eccentric loons. Maybe we’re willing to believe it because it’s true, or maybe we just like to poke fun???

  3. I think you are right, it is hip to smash the suburbs. But just like it is hip to smash the suburbs, it is hip to smash whatever is getting ready to leave it’s pinical of popularity or already has left it’s pinical of popularity. You see this happen all the time with stars in hollywood. One minute it is cool to like them, the next you are an idiot for liking them. Same with cloths, music, and every aspect of life.
    I have also seen how people react when they have a lot of money. Most of the time when wealthy give to charity, they will give a man 100 fish, but will not take the time to teach him how.
    I don’t know about you but I love to poke fun, at myself most, second my family, and third people who are not like me. Maybe the latter first, but in or around that order.
    As far as these shows being hits, don’t you think it plays on some kind of role play that the viewers wish they could be a part of therefor feel they relate too? Being a suburbanite has to be one of the most boring things on the face of the planet. you do the same things over and over and over with no break so you end up wishing for something to happen.
    Think about the comercials you would see (since HBO has no comercials) durring these shows. Who do they taylor to? Middle class people who live in the suburbs. You never see a person from the ghetto in there apartment over looking crack dealers trying to sell dish washinhg liquid.
    Or maybe it is a scam by the government to try and get people to commit crimes by subliminal messages so they can raise taxes to hire more “Security Officers”.
    Think of the most popular shows on TV.
    The Wire
    All violent crime shows. Or maybe this is why crime is so hig now?

  4. For some reason people are willing to believe that the super rich are heartless, drugged up, unstable, and eccentric loons.

    The only Burb shows I’ve seen are Veronica Mars and Curb Your Enthusiasm (unless you also count Ducktales) — but heartless, drugged up, unstable, and eccentric certainly describes the super rich in VM. Then again, that show was canceled.

    As for CYE, Larry may be eccentric, but the reactionary nuts tend to be everyone else.

    Three of the shows you cite (four if you count CYE are on HBO), one on Showtime, one on FX, one on ABC; do you think there’s a reason 83% (or 86% [or 88%]) of the shows are on cable?

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