If life was as it is in most television, I'd feel much better about signing up for on-campus housing and ignoring that little red "check engine" light in my car that has been blinking for a good half-year now.
Because apparently, no matter where you live, rent costs about the same as an ice cream cone and vehicle repairs are given away like kittens.
Class and finances are largely avoided topics in today's television market. If the skewed reality viewed onscreen is the truth, nearly every person, regardless of occupation, resides on the same baseline of monetary security.
The lack of programs featuring lower-class people is an issue, but not an issue as prominent as the flawed and unrealistic portrayal of the middle class.
For example, how many times have the Dunphys on “Modern Family”gotten away scot-free from a vehicle-totalling, wallet-emptying car crash? Nobody's insurance is that good. Phil Dunphy, the father in the central family of the show, is a real-estate agent.
“Modern Family”launched in 2009. Did he just get lucky or has he sold organs on the black market? How on earth can this family afford the enormous house they live in?
If we accept that human beings are influenced by the media, this kind of representation leads to a host of real-world problems.
“It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia”is a perfect example of a comedy portraying lower-class individuals with more honesty. When something bad happens, the financial ramifications are always a point of focus.
After Dee's apartment burns to the ground in one season finale, she spends the majority of the next season sleeping on Mac and Dennis' couch. In any other show, Rickety Cricket would return to normal after one episode. In “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” he devolves further and further each season.
If life was as it is in television, I would quit college, grab a part-time job, and enjoy the complete lack of responsibility, the ever-flowing fountain of cash and the boundless free time.
But life is not as it is portrayed in TV, so I should probably talk to my financial aid advisor and go get my oil changed.