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Class on TV: Plasma TVs vs. Gov't Cheese


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#271

dustylil

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Posted Oct 29, 2011 @ 9:36 PM

I think a lot of the lack of teenagers having part time jobs is mostly practical. There are only so many main locations and sets of characters that you can work into a 30 or even 60 minute time slot. Especially if there's more than one major high school character, there's just not time to fit in an ongoing job story line without giving short shrift to the family or school focus of the show.

Perhaps. But there is no reason why a part-time job could not be briefly referenced. There would be no need to have the job site or any workmates being a part of the show.
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#272

PRgal

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Posted Oct 31, 2011 @ 8:03 PM

Maybe it's my circle of mostly kids with immigrant parents and/or upper middle class private school kids, but I've always found it odd that solidly middle/upper middle class kids had jobs during the school year. Most of my peers only worked in the summer - other than the odd baby sitting job here and there. Working a "real" part time job was often seen as interfering with school.

Edited by PRgal, Oct 31, 2011 @ 8:04 PM.

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#273

Betsyb

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 10:26 AM

Maybe it's my circle of mostly kids with immigrant parents and/or upper middle class private school kids, but I've always found it odd that solidly middle/upper middle class kids had jobs during the school year. Most of my peers only worked in the summer - other than the odd baby sitting job here and there. Working a "real" part time job was often seen as interfering with school.



Interesting. I didn't know anyone when I was in high school who didn't have a part-time job after school and/or weekends. My sister was considered pretty lazy because she didn't get one until she was a senior. She had a lot more after school activities than I did but that was certainly not considered an excuse.

Then again I am sure there were more kids in our high school that didn't end up going to college than in most upper/middle class schools.

Edited by Betsyb, Nov 1, 2011 @ 10:28 AM.

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#274

OSM Mom

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 2:13 PM

I didn't know anyone when I was in high school who didn't have a part-time job after school and/or weekends.


Same here. Hell, I had a full time job on top of school.
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#275

Bastet Esq

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 8:48 PM

When I was in (private, middle/upper middle class) high school, everyone I knew worked each summer, but I can't recall anyone who worked during the school year. This gets me to thinking of the Huxtable kids on The Cosby Show; I don't remember any of them working during the school year - which is relatable to me given the family's socio-economic status and the parents' emphasis on education as the kids' primary responsibility - but I also can't remember any of them mentioning summer jobs during high school, which strikes me as a bit odd. We know Denise didn't even get one the summer she came home from college not intending to go back for her sophomore year, since when Claire asked why she had not put her grand employment plan into action over the summer Denise replied, "Mom, it's my summer vacation." Did Pam - Claire's cousin from the proverbial other side of the tracks who came to live with them during the show's final season - work?

Edited by Bastet Esq, Nov 1, 2011 @ 8:48 PM.

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#276

shemustbefunny

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 10:37 PM

I remember the food stamps episode of Everybody Hates Chris, that was hilarious. None of the moms in the community wanted to be seen using them and were all secretly trying to sell them to each other. That's a plot you don't see everyday.

I'm a Roseanne fiend so I can answer some of those questions: the Connors were never on welfare, or at least never said as much. There were references to collecting unemployment when they were between jobs. In one episode, Dan goes to the bank to get a loan to cover their monthly bills. Later, he decides to accept an interest-free loan from Roseanne's sister Jackie instead. Dan opened a motorcycle shop with a bank loan (putting a second mortgage on their home) and a significant investment from an old friend. Roseanne and Jackie opened their diner with their mother's money.

Becky, the oldest daughter, worked the checkout at the local market and was seen there multiple times. She was also frequently on her way there or just returning from there--like dustylil remarked above, it was no trouble for the writers to remind us that she was working. Darlene, the younger daughter, didn't really work while she was at home. She went to college on a scholarship and worked in a bookstore or something to pay for other expenses. The youngest kid, D.J., was mostly too young to work for the duration of the show, although we did see him helping out at the family restaurant.

I have mentioned this on another thread but one of the aspects of Gilmore Girls that appealed to me was that all the Stars Hollow teenagers we met - Rory, Dean, Lane, and Jess - all had on-going part-time jobs.

Here's my question: when did Rory ever work?
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#277

dustylil

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 10:52 PM

Here's my question: when did Rory ever work?

When she was at her prep school Chilton she worked a couple of afternoons a week at the Independence Inn (where her mother was the manager) and assisted at Inn functions (weddings, retirement parties, etc.).
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#278

Bastet Esq

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 11:34 PM

Darlene, the younger daughter, didn't really work while she was at home. She went to college on a scholarship and worked in a bookstore or something to pay for other expenses.


Darlene also worked at the Buy 'n Bag where Becky had worked; seeing her there - "doing lousy at a job she hates" - was one of the things that prompted Roseanne to change her mind and allow Darlene to go away to that art school in Chicago.

Roseanne also showed the Conners not making enough to finance Becky's college education (and they had drained whatever was in her college fund in an effort to keep the motorcycle shop afloat), but making too much for her to qualify for need-based grants. And a great episode in which Roseanne, working for a fast-food restaurant, tells her teenage manager who works in order to afford his classic car he can't grasp the concept of doing something you never thought you'd do because there is a mortgage to pay and kids to pay for, and it's the only thing you can do.

As to shows having characters on public assistance, there is a rather offensive episode of Reba in which Van, Cheyenne and later Reba all briefly receive food stamps. The script gives lip service to it being a good program for those who need it, but it also perpetuates the, "hey, this is easy money for lazy people who'd just rather not work" fallacy.
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#279

nicepebbles

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Posted Nov 2, 2011 @ 5:57 PM

Bastet Esq, I don't recall any of the Huxtable children working even during the summer. I vaguely remember Pam having a job. I want to say she was worked a resturant or cafeteria. I'm picturing her in a apron busing tables. I could be mixing her up with something from A Different World.
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#280

Betsyb

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Posted Nov 2, 2011 @ 9:01 PM

I'm a Roseanne fiend so I can answer some of those questions: the Connors were never on welfare, or at least never said as much. There were references to collecting unemployment when they were between jobs. In one episode, Dan goes to the bank to get a loan to cover their monthly bills. Later, he decides to accept an interest-free loan from Roseanne's sister Jackie instead. Dan opened a motorcycle shop with a bank loan (putting a second mortgage on their home) and a significant investment from an old friend. Roseanne and Jackie opened their diner with their mother's money.


All of which makes perfect sense for them. I wouldn't think they would ever go on welfare since usually at least one was working in some capacity and mostly both. But both would have been eligible for unemployment at various times. Where I grew up unemployment was less "humiliating" to collect because it was temporary and it suggested you had once had a job. In my neighborhood "welfare" definitely had a stigma as did food stamps. No show in the history of television has ever reflected my circumstances growing up the way Roseanne did. We were them. Usually lower-middle/working class but poverty was so close you could taste it on occasions where my Dad wasn't working. And often poor financial decisions that led to those bad times.

And it was still funny! Until it got really bad later on. Darlene not working for most of her time at home makes a lot of sense because of her on going depression and as she got out of that a little bit she did get a job. Everyone, except maybe Darlene, pitched in at the Lunchbox once that opened.

As to shows having characters on public assistance, there is a rather offensive episode of Reba in which Van, Cheyenne and later Reba all briefly receive food stamps. The script gives lip service to it being a good program for those who need it, but it also perpetuates the, "hey, this is easy money for lazy people who'd just rather not work" fallacy.


I remember that! I hated that episode. It was really very offensive and one sided. The underlying message was that good people like them would never have to stoop so low. When, at that point, Reba was probably close to the edge financially. Brock couldn't possibly have afforded to keep two families going and her nice lifestyle. And during that episode I don't believe Reba was working.

Edited by Betsyb, Nov 2, 2011 @ 9:03 PM.

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#281

MethodActor05

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Posted Nov 3, 2011 @ 6:47 AM

It used to be quite common for the clothes and type of housing for characters to be in keeping with their income. But in recent decades, not so much.


I thought Medium did a good job, at least for the earlier seasons that I watched, of dressing the DuBois family in a way that made sense for their solidly middle-class family. They weren't lower middle class or upper-middle class, but somewhere in the middle. Alison dressed pretty realistically for her class, and shopped for frozen pizza. You would frequently see her repeat the same clothes. Her hair looked like it had been done at mid-level hair salon. The house was nice, but not opulent and it felt like a standard 1990's track housing house instead of either a McMansion or some "restored" Arts n Crafts bungalow that would likely cost major bucks.Their car wasn't a tricked out SUV. Going out to eat at the mall food court was a big deal for the daughter. They weren't hurting, but they weren't rolling in the dough, either.
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#282

nicepebbles

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 6:37 PM

In the Up All Night thread it was mentioned how much wine one character drinks. If I'm understanding the poster correctly, this is another indicator of the character and her family's economic class. I hadn't paid much attention to the amount of wine being drunk. The comment did get to me thinking about alcohol as it relates to the way class is represented on TV.

Most of the time it seems middle class to lower class is shown drinking beer and certain types of hard liquor. The bars they drink in are definitely of a certain type. Usually upper middle class and higher folks drink wine and certain types of hard liquor. Stuff that you know costs a pretty penny. The bars they frequent are definitely of a certain type.

I do think these depictions are based in reality. I just don't know that it's a reality that is as common as it used to be. I mean one can go to certain supermarkets and drug stores and get some type of alcohol that has name reconigition inexpensively. So it's not just the comfortable/well-to-do that can pop open a bottle of wine every night for instance.
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#283

taiko

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 10:32 PM

wrong thread opps

Edited by taiko, Feb 14, 2012 @ 10:33 PM.

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#284

SnarkySheep

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

Money is a topic that's often been discussed on Bones, chiefly between Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth...she admits to having more than she knows what to do with, thanks to a combination of having had several New York Times List-bestselling novels and her career as a much-demanded forensic anthropologist working for the Jeffersonian (aka Smithsonian) and consultant for the FBI.

Okay, I can see that. But seriously, how is Booth supposedly so "poor"? I understand that he's paying child support to his ex, which can be a drain on resources, whereas Brennan only has herself to support. But the man's an FBI agent, not up there, but certainly somewhere respectable, as we see him out in the field giving orders to many underlings; and also he's had a respectable military career (just a season back, we learned that he was such an awesome sniper that the Army came to beg him to go to Iraq for a special assignment training the newbies). So, with all this going for him, we are supposed to believe Booth is so poor he's living in a crappy apartment above a liquor store? Sure, right.
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#285

magicdog

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 5:40 AM

how is Booth supposedly so "poor"? I understand that he's paying child support to his ex, which can be a drain on resources, whereas Brennan only has herself to support. But the man's an FBI agent, not up there, but certainly somewhere respectable, as we see him out in the field giving orders to many underlings; and also he's had a respectable military career (just a season back, we learned that he was such an awesome sniper that the Army came to beg him to go to Iraq for a special assignment training the newbies). So, with all this going for him, we are supposed to believe Booth is so poor he's living in a crappy apartment above a liquor store?



Bear with me as I haevn't watched in a while so I may not be using all the facts in my analysis.

Booth is supposed to be about 40 right? That would mean he's been an agent for about 10-12 years, presumably after he got out of the Army. Was it ever mentioned how long Booth was in the military? It's not like he'd be getting a pension as if he'd been in for 20 years or so (unless he was serving in the reserves all that time) so he'd likely only have the money he makes as an agent.

As far as how much Booth would be making - he could be making a decent salary despite having to pay child support based on this:


In 2003 FBI agents entered Federal service at a base salary of $39,115, yet earned about $48,890 a year with availability pay. They can advance to nonsupervisory assignments at a base salary of $61,251, which is worth $76,560 with availability pay. FBI supervisory, management, and executive positions pay a base salary of about $72,381 or $85,140 a year, respectively, and equaled $90,480 or $106,430 per year including availability pay.



I can see Booth in the 75K range but he's not in an executive position so I don't think he's getting six figures. Then of course he lives in a highly taxed area (Washington DC) and rent being what it is there, it's possible he's getting by. Or perhaps he chooses to live frugally since it's just him living alone.
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#286

ceindreadh

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 7:04 PM

I can see Booth in the 75K range but he's not in an executive position so I don't think he's getting six figures. Then of course he lives in a highly taxed area (Washington DC) and rent being what it is there, it's possible he's getting by. Or perhaps he chooses to live frugally since it's just him living alone.


And since he has a young kid, maybe he's putting all his extra cash into a college fund.
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#287

ElymianDucat

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Posted Feb 20, 2012 @ 8:52 PM

"I don't need this! My man got two jobs." IMO she worked because she thought she should not because she needed to. IMO she needed to so maybe Julius wouldn't have to work two jobs. Or if he still needed to work two jobs, she could still work so things would be easier.

I got the impression that she got those jobs so she could have money of her own. IIRC, Julius was extremely cheap and kept track of every last cent. He was quite insane about it. So instead of arguing with him every time she wanted to buy something, she worked to have her own money.
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#288

nicepebbles

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Posted Feb 21, 2012 @ 9:58 PM

I think I might've written the part in quotes ElymianDucate. I can't remember. Anyway, I never got the impression she worked for her own money. IIRC, Julius usually complained about giving up money but gave it up when it came to his wife and daughter.

I think if you're husband has to work two jobs to keep the family going, then as a wife you should working regularly (part-time, full-time, whatever), too, if you're not home taking care of the kids. Maybe Julius wouldn't have been so insane about it if they had more coming into the household.
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#289

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

Anyway, I never got the impression she worked for her own money. IIRC, Julius usually complained about giving up money but gave it up when it came to his wife and daughter.


While she would get upset and quit very often, we did see her work on and off all of the time. She also helped managed the upstairs apartment they owned. And she kept an incredibely clean home, cooked well but very cheaply, made clothes and everything last as long they could and would mend until she couldn't anymore. She would only occassionally be tricked into buying nice things for the kids (as Julius would too). And she was uber-vigilant that her kids wouldn't turn to drugs or crime and be educated (which is a full time job when you live in an area surronded by that). Did Chris Rock drop out of school? Yes. But he is also an incredibely intelligent person who is constantly seeking to futher his knowledge base in many ways and puts a huge emphasis on family. That was partly because he was raised by such a vigilant woman who devoted her time to raising her kids right in less than perfect circumstances. So, I think she more than did her part considering how hard she worked to make the home run well and on a tight budget.

Edited by Cherith, Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:06 PM.

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#290

shemustbefunny

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Posted Mar 1, 2012 @ 3:23 PM

Even if Chris's TV mom was a bit selfish and immature about working, can't we excuse that as TV showing us a different viewpoint that totally exists out there in the world? I hate that Claire Dunphy from Modern Family doesn't work--I think it's the stupidest thing ever--but I think it's an accurate representation of that type of person living in those circumstances. We're really not meant to agree with characters' choices all the time.
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#291

MethodActor05

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Posted Mar 1, 2012 @ 5:59 PM

2 Broke Girls. I love it's realistic depiction of poverty, and all the self-congratulatory patting on the back that the writers do about it.
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#292

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

Going back to the discussion of Booth on Bones being not as well off as he should be, he had a gambling problem to the point that he is/was in Gamblers Anonymous, so he could have racked up huge amounts of debt that would definately impact his standard of living.
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#293

possibilities

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Posted Mar 16, 2012 @ 11:48 PM

The Wire showed lots of people on assistance. It wasn't just about poverty due to drug addiction, either. There were working poor, who were not involved in the drug world at all.

I think the problem is that in the USA, there is a lot of denial about poverty. In reality, most people on food stamps are working-- but jobs don't pay enough to live on. But there is so much stigma on anyone receiving assistance, and the assistance is so mind-bogglingly low (and so degrading), that any realistic portrayal would not be believed. We have too much mythology about being the land of opportunity.

I know lots of people who receive food stamps and/or SSI and/or other forms of assistance, and I have never met a single person who is not in that position who doesn't carry huge misconceptions about it, and the people who receive it. It's so deep-seated that even when you introduce them to people in that position, they literally do not believe what they are being told or shown. It's rather amazing to confront how big a gap exists between belief and reality on this issue. I don't think people want to know the truth about it.
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#294

taiko

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Posted Mar 18, 2013 @ 7:48 PM

I was watching a 1973 episode of Emergency and the station fire fighters were teasing Gage about not being able to take a girl out for for burgers $ 8.42. I as thinking you can still do that 30 years later

Edited by taiko, Mar 18, 2013 @ 7:50 PM.

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#295

SnarkySheep

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

Going back to the discussion of Booth on Bones being not as well off as he should be, he had a gambling problem to the point that he is/was in Gamblers Anonymous, so he could have racked up huge amounts of debt that would definately impact his standard of living.

He could, but I don't think he did. I seem to recall a time when someone mentioned his gambling, and Booth got all defensive about it, claiming that "it's not a problem if you tend to WIN." So that would suggest not.
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#296

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 5:56 PM

I don't get all the discussion. The show has always presented Booth and being comfortable financially. He just isn't flashy. He's never in debt or can't afford something, he just lives simply and probably doesn't invest his money like most people of his class do. He just has less than a scientist/best-selling writer.
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#297

callie lee 29

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Posted Dec 12, 2013 @ 10:02 PM

I can't figure out which thread this belongs in so this was the closest guess... there's an article on bankrate.com that looked at 6 different tv homes and said whether or not it's likely the characters would live there or not, price-wise. And except for one (2 Broke Girls) all of them were realistic, or so the article argues.

 

http://www.bankrate....eal-life-1.aspx


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