The depiction of working class American’s on television has changed drastically over the past couple of decades. Initially, many television programs focussed on depicting perfect upper-middle class families in suburban houses with stay at moms, that center around the ideal of the “American Dream.” Now a days, we are shown more “real” characters and shows that address serious problems that viewers can relate to. Characters on popular television shows are breaking the mold of formulated characters and scenarios to depict to the audience differences in class.
The popular HBO series Girls has changed the game for television shows and the way twenty-something women who are working for a living are seen on television. Girls is an unapologetic tale that sheds light on a new generation of feminist women and the ups and downs of their chaotic everyday lives that is kind of an alternative version of Sex In The City. Girls breaks the mold of the traditional safe and formulated characters, plot, and themes of a television show that many producers try to stick to in order to please advertisers and minimize risks.
Girls is interesting because it does not follow the typical ideology that society/ the media wants us to believe in/ aspire to be like. Typically, many people assume that life in New York is glamorous and worry free. Shows like Sex and The City construct that ideology that make its viewers buy into the idea that working women in New York live in fancy apartments and have their dream jobs and can sleep with any man they want. Girls shows us a more intimate view of different classes in Brooklyn. The “American Dream” is shown in the series, but it is not the main characters who are living it. The main characters themselves are imagining the “American Dream” and aspiring to work towards obtaining it in some way.
An interesting way that we can see differences in classes through Girls is by looking at the neighborhoods the characters live in. The majority of the characters live in crappy apartments in not the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn. There are some episodes where the characters attend ritzy events at higher class houses/ venues and we really see how different the two groups of people are. This adds to the realistic value of the show.
The way that class is depicted and showcased on Girls is an honest representation of real women going through real life struggles. Because of their class, the main characters do not always have the resources that they need to solve these problems, thus making the characters more relatable and accessible.