Stephanie FalconeCOM 410Informal Writing #3                             Children’s Media: Present Meets Past       In this...
moments of self discovery, family problems and lessons learned through high school andcollege. Long story short, Boy Meets...
worldwide phenomenon with copyrighted sayings and popular sayings from the cast in the show.These include “Yea Buddy!”, “G...
Jersey ShoreBoy Meets World
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Past Meets Present by Stephanie Falcone

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Past Meets Present by Stephanie Falcone

  1. 1. Stephanie FalconeCOM 410Informal Writing #3 Children’s Media: Present Meets Past In this day and age, television is flooded with countless reality TV shows. From The RealWorld to the Jersey Shore to the pressure of Keeping Up With The Kardashians… children areexposed to the ugly truth of adulthood. Between the age of 11 and 15, children are drawn towatching these vulgar television programs. From the 90’s to the year 2012, the “child content”believed to be acceptable has changed tremendously. As a child growing up in the 1990s, I havelived through this vast transformation and have become aware of the similarities and differencesin children’s media today. The Jersey Shore is a television series aired on MTV, a teenager’s favorite channel and aparent’s worst nightmare. This American TV series consists of eight housemates, also strangers,who were chosen to live in a house for the summer right on the shore of New Jersey. While all ofage to drink and make poor decisions, MTV records and video tapes their every move to siftthrough and broadcast the juiciest moments for people, mainly teens, to view at home. Alongwith the everyday drama that goes hand in hand with young adults (love, hook ups, friendshipbetrayal), the Jersey Shore caught the eye of teenagers worldwide because of the emphasis onItalian-American stereotypes, and in this case, reality. In August of 2012, the sixth and finalseason of Jersey Shore was aired and declared as the network’s most viewed series telecast ever. Rewinding back to the year 1993, the most popular show to hit the air was a TV seriesnamed Boy Meets World. Unlike the Jersey shore, this program was not manipulative andcrammed with scrutiny. Twenty years ago, ABC network aired television series filled with
  2. 2. moments of self discovery, family problems and lessons learned through high school andcollege. Long story short, Boy Meets World is an American TV sitcom about a boy named CoryMatthews from Philadelphia and his life journey to his wedding day as a grown man in theseventh and final season. Although there are a handful of similarities between Boy Meets Worldand today’s Jersey Shore, the differences between the two series open your eyes to howdrastically children’s media has changed from the past to the present. An important theme in both of these shows is “family”. Family is depicted in variousways throughout, but none the less, family is referred to frequently. This being said, the maincharacters of Jersey Shore all start off as strangers. But, as time passes, and friendships andenemies are made, the Jersey Shore crew realizes they must stick together as a family. Seasonafter season, they laugh and fight and fight some more, and even become sexual partners attimes. When the private lives of these eight young adults are exposed to the world, theyeventually gain a connection so deep, they declare themselves family. On the contrary, in BoyMeets World, family is portrayed as the everyday definition thought by many. Cory Matthewslives in a loving house with his mother and father, younger sister, and older brother. Theydisagree and argue, but by the end of every episode, the family conflict is resolved. In a way,Boy Meets World was a step by step guide for children viewers teaching them how to deal withcertain issues at home. Whether it is sibling fights or disagreements with parents about being“grounded”, Boy Meets World was full of very helpful lessons for children to live by. You cansee as the years have passed, children’s media (teenage level) is no longer for the benefit of thechild, but is solely produced based on what will profit the network most. Furthermore, a large theme in the two shows is stereotypes. Stereotypes, although greatlyfrowned upon, are inevitable and show up practically everywhere. Jersey Shore has created a
  3. 3. worldwide phenomenon with copyrighted sayings and popular sayings from the cast in the show.These include “Yea Buddy!”, “GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry”, and the use of the words guido/guidette, etc. But the issue with this today is that it is negatively impacting the Italian- Americanpeople and culture. For example, the fifth season of Jersey Shore was filmed in Italy whichcaused trouble with U.S. MTV network and trouble amongst the cast with locals. Quite theopposite, Boy Meets World stereotyped an American family by depicting them as full of life andlove and always willing to help one another. Although this may be the case for some families, itis not always so pretty within the household (i.e. divorce, only child). Although both in thewrong for stereotyping, the difference between the two are Boy Meets World produced and airedpositive stereotypes full of hope for children. While Jersey Shore aired a cast of young adultsembarrassing their family names by drinking and getting into trouble constantly. From the 90’s TV series to the reality television of 2012, media has changedmonumentally. Although the slight similarities still appear in both, it is obvious television todayhas a bigger concern than fun and enlightening teenage programs; and that is “how cheap andfast can we produce this thing?”
  4. 4. Jersey ShoreBoy Meets World

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