Behaviors From Television Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Watch at least three different episodes of the same television program. Analyze what behaviors are repeatedly observed, what influence these behaviors may have on individuals who watch the program regularly, what stereotypes are reinforced by the program, and what long-term effects may result from the program. Also examine the advertising content with regard to the target market of the ads (gender, age, socioeconomic status (SES)). Be sure to include SCHOLARLY* research to help make sense of your results (with proper citations).

History of the Simpsons

The Simpsons is a TV sitcom that is full of stereotypes and that has been used for entertainment for years. In fact, it is the longest running sitcom in American history (Susman, 2003). The show is ranked 17th of today's most popular shows and is ranked 25th of all time. The program features the typical American dysfunctional family exaggerated to a comedic extent. There is the idiotic father, the housewife mother, the intelligent daughter, and the delinquent son. There is also an extensive repertoire of stereotyped characters and these were seen on three of the shows that I watched.

Three of these stereotypes are Apu Nahasapeemapetilon the Indonesian convenient store manager, Ned Flanders the happy evangelical Christian, and the Jewish Krusty the Clown, and, as this essay shows, these stereotypes, although innocuous are likely to have an indubious impact on their young viewers.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Apu is the typical Indonesian man who has this typical convenience store. He has a statue of Ganeesha welcoming customers, is the proud father of octuplets, and is product of an arranged marriage.

The show that I watched "Much Apu about Nothing" portrays Apu as an illegal immigrant who is just simply one of the ordinary-run-of -- the mill workers in America who, like all Indonesians, has this small (nothing out of the ordinary) convenience store. He also has a poor memory and is a strict vegetarian.

Even when stereotyped, the show gently digs fun at him and has the tax proctor cut him off form the exam (in that same episode) merely because Apu knows more American history than do the rest of the citizens of Springfield. It is as though Apu has to know his place and keep it as 'typical' Indonesian storeowner. However, Apu did graduate first in his class of seven million at Caltech and he does hold a PHD in computer science. Nonetheless, AP u is placed there in his Kwik-E-Mart greeting his customers with his Geneisha and his "Thank you, come again" obeisance.

Krusty the Clown

Krusty is not the kind of clown that one would typically wish their children to see and to Jewish susceptibilities he may even be disturbing and discomfiting. The episode that I watched was "Like Father, Like Klown" Krusty is a clown for public consumption but behind the scenes he leads a disturbing life of drugs, depression, prostitution, and havoc. Krusty is an unhappy clown, and whilst the programmers possibly want to portray the human side of the individual showing that reality lies behind clowns, the reality and the stereotyping of Krusty may be too much.

In "Like Father, Like Klown," we see Krusty's father who is a rabbi and the pressure that Krusty faces to keep religion. Krusty himself is torn between his religious obligations and his natural tendencies. His father does not wish him to be a clown "This is not a Jewish thing to be" (he erroneously says).

Krusty also manipulates many unorthodox ways of…

Sources Used in Document:


Davis, Brian. (2009, October 12). Ratings: The Great Wife Hope. Message posted to

Graves, SB (1999) Television and Prejudice Reduction: When Does Television as a Vicarious Experience Make a Difference? Journal of Social Issues

Volume 55, Issue 4, pages 707 -- 727,

Susman, Gary. (2003, January 17). Ay, Carumba. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved from,,409190,00.html

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