Ideology and American Television: Analysis of Nip/Tuck Essay examples

2304 Words Dec 20th, 2011 10 Pages
Anything Goes as Long as the System Never Changes

Introduction

The best form of fantasy is a depiction of what we covet and cannot attain, as mere viewers. As a result, most television series will depict fantasy as a form of entertainment, and it is usually labeled the “American Dream.” Achieving the American Dream without sacrifice, however, is unrealistic and suggests an ideal in itself. There is always a price to pay to become self-made and successful, and this type of sacrifice becomes be the grounds for a familiar subtext, much like the subtext in the series Nip/Tuck.
Incorporating satirical comedic content and ethical dilemmas, the two surgeons around whom the series revolves, each represent their own ideological delivery
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This aspect of the show, as the unthinkable is eased in to the plot, is what forms the satirical nature of Nip/Tuck. There are often controversial and disturbing themes integrated into the plot, which makes it difficult for the audience to comprehend in which way these themes fit into their own cultural context (Mittell 290).
Conflict and the American man – family and ethics vs. freedom and deviation
In coherence with its ideological representation, both protagonists of Nip/Tuck are male, they are surgeons and, therefore, have to be male. There can be no deviation from the expectations of the viewer, as outrageous as the content of the program may be, the skeletal structure of typical American television ideology remains and gender roles are maintained. Therefor, the ethical questions raised in the plot are often related to the audience only via the male protagonist’s perspective. Both protagonists represent both sides of the American male’s conundrum: Dr. McNamara, who is the devoted family man and Dr. Troy who is the irresponsible, philandering playboy. Both, however, seem to constantly be battling with their life choices, and seem to encompass two radical sides of one male character. Furthermore, as the plot progresses, the ideological standards behind each character are questioned, and

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