Communist Party USA

  Few things signaled the working class more than the sounds of Fred Sanford calling his son a “big dummy” or Ed Norton’s get-rich-quick schemes; we knew exactly what the Jeffersons were moving on up from but still toiled over; we could see, hear, feel, and even smell and taste the Bunkers’ living room. Cue the laugh track. But it wasn’t laughing for us, like it does today during moments of sarcasm and cynicism — it was laughing alongside as a cathartic release when the realism touched too close to home or threatened to knock down our door on any given day. In the history of television, the working class were once portrayed as people with whom we could identify. However, the shift away from representing lower-class conditions gave way to two major factors of the dominant ideology of today: 1) the false notion that representation itself is of utmost importance, and 2) the overt…

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Bingeing on TV’s middle-class ideology