Try not to take TV stereotypes too seriously

It is not a huge secret that I have worshipped at TV’s altar since the late 1950s. It has been a part of my life since my pre-school days and I am still an unapologetic fan of television in an era when it’s hipper to say that you don’t watch TV.

It is not a huge secret that I have worshipped at TV’s altar since the late 1950s. It has been a part of my life since my pre-school days and I am still an unapologetic fan of television in an era when it’s hipper to say that you don’t watch TV.

I have defended television and criticized television because it is open to both philosophies every day of the week, but I will always love TV.

The front page article in the Saturday Advocate presented a college instructor’s opinion about the CSI crime drama program that has been on the air waves for many years.

I’ll be honest; I have never watched this program or any crime drama variation on the CSI formula. Hour-long crime detective dramas have never been my strong suit, with the huge exception of The Rockford Files.

I understand the picture painted by the RDC instructor, but I am uncertain whether her assessment is worthy of a lengthy research paper dedicated to stereotypes in TV.

Ironically enough, this opinion comes from a guy who did a lengthy final exam paper on The Flintstones in university.

I took an option with a visiting professor whose educational background included a teaching gig at Berkeley in his resume. That California campus has always been considered a free-spirited university and my professor was no exception to the rule.

The final exam in his class was composed of two parts: devise a topic and defend it. Equal weight was given to both for a final mark.

I chose to defend my topic that The Flintstones were a good representation of the social mores presented by early 1960s television.

I included gender stereotype examples such as Wilma Flintstone’s housewife role and Fred’s blundering alpha male role in the show. I also noted that Fred and Wilma were not allowed to share a bed even though they were legally married at the time.

Something must have happened in their cave because eventually Wilma and Fred begat Pebbles, although the term “pregnant” was also a no-go in ’60s TV.

I passed the course with the Berkeley guy, but even he wondered about the subject matter.

I read the Advocate piece about CSI and I wondered whether Carlen Lavigne had taken TV too seriously in her paper.

I wrote my final exam on The Flintstones with more than a few grains of salt in the equation. I simply wanted to challenge myself with a topic of my own design that attached an academic pose to a simple situation comedy.

For me, the premise of serious academic analysis for a lightweight TV show was funnier than many of the Flintstone episodes because I was a Flintstones fan for all the right reasons: pure entertainment.

Television is first and foremost an entertainment medium. The fact that CSI follows a tried and true model of presentation will likely never change and we should not be alarmed at that fact.

It never occurred to me to care whether Jerome Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster were more than just friends when I was a kid and I am not particularly interested in the private lives of today’s TV characters.

TV has always been a make-believe world and I accepted that fact a long time ago.

Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at

Just Posted

Small aircraft short on fuel touches down on Calgary street

CALGARY — A small aircraft carrying six people has made an emergency… Continue reading

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents like Toronto van attack

TORONTO — Mass-casualty disasters like Monday’s deadly van attack that sent 10… Continue reading

Chinese automaker plans electric car production in SAfrica

BEIJING — A state-owned Chinese automaker announced plans Wednesday to produce electric… Continue reading

International probe shuts down cyberattack provider

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — In a major hit against cybercriminals, an international… Continue reading

Rental agencies struggle with screenings as security concerns rise

Monday’s deadly rental van rampage in Toronto shows how quickly a vehicle… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta’s revenue shortage discussed during event at Red Deer College

Albertans need to be taxed more so public services, like schools and… Continue reading

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Jurors at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial are poised… Continue reading

B.C. researchers get patent to develop potential vaccine for syphilis

VANCOUVER — Researchers at the University of Victoria have been granted a… Continue reading

Mane Event rides into Red Deer

A weekend for the horses comes to Red Deer, as the Westerner… Continue reading

Edmonton retiree robbed of $210K in silver bars police investigating

EDMONTON — Police are hoping that they can provide a silver lining… Continue reading

Cause of plane crash that killed former Alberta premier Jim Prentice to be released

The findings of investigation into the plane crash that killed four set to be released.

MPAA head says theatres will survive rise of streaming sites

LAS VEGAS — Two film industry leaders told theatre owners Tuesday that… Continue reading

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Preventing people from using vehicles as deadly weapons is a difficult task… Continue reading

These presidential presents are a little peculiar

What kind of gift do you give the leader of the free… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month