Wednesday, March 26, 2014

AR-EN: Drama and absence (con't)


[A Notebook on popular culture, Alyssa Rosenberg & Emily Nussbaum]   

Last week, a group of us focused on Maureen Ryan's article "Who Creates Drama at HBO? Very Few Women or People of Color." We'll concentrate on it a little more this week. Ryan notes that: 
Audiences can and should take individual writers to task for problems they perceive in a given show. But as long as this debate is limited to individual dramas, and doesn't consider the entities that commission and distribute them, the conversation is likely to go around in circles indefinitely.
Ryan points out that half-hour shows that do have a little more diversity are not unimportant. However, the hour-long dramas constitute "the prime real estate of TV culture," and those shows "not only capture the public imagination, but often cement or increase the power of the people who make them."

What particular aspect of Ryan's article drew your attention or got you thinking the most? Why or how so?

9 comments:

Jacqueline C. said...

In Ryan's article, I found it interesting how he compared half-hour long and an hour long shows. I wouldn't have thought one to have more importance than the other. I think that it depends on the content being discussed whether or not the message reaches and sticks with the audience despite the time limit. If a person finds a topic thought-provoking, it will make them question things and view the message from different perspectives.

Kayleigh E. said...

I agree that the hour long prime time slot does affect the way society perceives our country. With no diversity in the creators of these shows, it holds us back in terms of equality. We have come a long way with equality but we are not 100% yet. Maybe this is one of the many reasons why.

Jessica H. said...

In Ryan's article, I found it interesting how he discussed that women and people of color do not hold the same positions or roles as white men. This poses at major issue because other people can be at the forefront in TV dramas. It also shows that a major station as HBO could change the direction of television and how people perceive the topic.

Ashya Ford said...

I was mostly drawn to the simple statistics. Back at home, HBO is one of the channels we rarely watch simply because their shows always seemed to be lacking something; and prior to reading this article, I just figured that the shows weren't good, but now I can see the reasons.Comparing the shows on HBO to shows written by females, you can see how the focus of the show really narrows in on either one specific gender or one specific person. On the flip side, most of the shows on ABC are more diverse and seem to do a better job of representing everyone, even the smaller roles.

Jenee' B. said...

The fact that the diversity of characters in HBO shows actually reflected the diversity of those who created the shows was what drew my attention. I was not very surprised by the lack of women or non-white writers, but I was somewhat surprised that Ryan found that the women in most shows were portrayed in only a few stereotypical ways. I would have just expected most show writers to be able to create women characters that are actually realistic. However, the lack of screen time for non-white characters was not surprising at all. I was already aware that this is an on going problem in pop culture.

Kiara Gay said...

What I found most interesting about the article was not something that the author actually addressed but something he did not mention. The article is focused around the fact that people of color and woman have not made many shows for HBO, but he does not address whether or not the issue is with colored people and women actually writting scripts and HBO not accepting it, or if they aren't even trying to write scripts and get their shows acknowledged. If white people and are the only ones trying to get their shows acknowledged by HBO, then of course the only shows on HBO will be written by white people.

Anonymous said...

When Ryan pointed out the fact that the number of hour long shows created by women or people of color were very few and far between, I thought this was very interesting. The majority of the shows on HBO were created by white males. I found this to be interesting because it is very difficult to relate or create women characters or diverse characters when you have no experience or input from those groups. Perhaps if HBO had more women characters that were actually created by women, the characters might have more positive roles.

Jac`quelene G.

Hilary Conrad said...

The article states "about 30.5 percent of TV staff writers are women, and about 15.6 percent of TV writers are people of color." Even though these numbers are very low, the article says that it is higher than it was in the past. I think we need to focus on how we can motivate minorities to have an interest in these positions and to step up to the plate to take these positions.

Jasmine said...

The statistics that Ryan brought to light are what I found most interesting. I assumed series writing was white male dominated like many other careers in this country but I would have never guessed it was as large of a gap as it was. One hour series are what people get addicted to in this country so it is crucial for the writers of these programs to become more diverse. How can these series truly capture different things about America if the writers don't come from just one primary point of view. It was good to read that they are making efforts to broaden their horizons though. I just hope they actually follow through and expand the diversity of the writers.