TV and parables of our time Diane Winston is an instructor and journalist at theUSC. Her classes includes TV and Faith. Religion has a more prominentsubject in TV. Entertainment narratives and storytelling is verypowerful resource to influence the audience perceptions of the world.Actually, Diane thinks that we underestimate that power. She states,“We underestimate the power of entertainment narratives to influencethe way we look at the world” (TV and parables of our time). TV and meaning has grown into a new deeper meaning. Ithas grown into a new level than ever before. Two reasons why it haschanged is due to the advance in technology and responding to hard timesespecially post 9/11. Shows like House, ER, Grey’s Anatomy take onissues of medical ethics. The creator of House, David Shore visitedDiane Winston in her classroom. She states that David has two olderbrothers that are actually Orthodox Rabbis in Israel. David is nostranger to religion. However, he isn’t very religious like some maything. David states that each show has an ethical problem at it’scenter. They present ways to the public to think about issues, medicalissues. The show then provides a clip of House with a central medicalissue. A patient of House wants to just give in and basically die. Theproblem then leads to Chase stating that they should give him a syringewith morphine. Theethical problem is that it is wrong to help a man commit suicide, buthowever, is it? Shouldn’t we help a man who is going to die a painfuldeath end his misery? This is a prime example of how TV has evolved. TV isn’t going to replace literature, Diane states. Twocentral issues has appeared on television recently, mortality andheroes. Shows like the Ghost Whisperer deals with the fear of death.It deals with the hope that something lies beyond death. Diane statesthat post 9/11 has skewed our views of heroes. She states that heroesnow are anti-heroes. We may not like them but we depend on them. Showslike 24 and House depicts that. TV engages us with spiritual moral ethical questions.Questions that people face includes:1. Why are we here?2. What am I doing?3. Who’s important to me?4. Why does it matter?5. What’s going to happen to me after I die?TV entertainment is helping the people deal with those questions throughstorytelling and narratives. One example is in the show Lost. Thecharacters deal with extreme situations with those questions. This new generation of TV shows deals with questions ofidentity and ethics. Diane states that many don’t look at TV this way.However, once they learn about it then they realize that they can seeit. They watch the shows differently after that. They are more open tothe differences and can reach spirituality better. I agree with Diane.I never looked at it this way but once you are aware of it then you willsee it more and more while watching TV. The ethical problem in Housenever appeared to me in a religious context but now I see it. However,now you see it all the time. I think television is a great outlet andI'm not surprised that they display some of the questions that we face.
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