Family Television Review
US entertainment media is filled with a number of famous entertainment programs many of which cater to the niche of sitcom category genre. Almost all of them comprise of a unique element in which the importance of the social institution of family has been accentuated with the multiple dimensions and aspects that it introduces.
Many of these programs try to project a humorous situation in which the problems and complications of a family are introduced and discussed. During the course of this discussion we will be enlightening the multiple aspects of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond which was one of the famous television sitcoms of American media from September 13, 1996 to May 16, 2005.
The crux of the story of the situational comedy revolves around the character of Raymond Barone who is a sportswriter in a newspaper. He is easygoing and a carefree type of a person handling a family with her daughter Ally and two identical twin sons Michael and Geoffrey.
Because of his indifferent type of attitude towards family matters and his habit of handling things in a rather humorous way, he constantly experiences marital disagreements with his wife Debra. The sitcom emphasizes pre-dominantly upon the issues that are normally encountered by a family in different circumstances especially when the in-laws of your wife live across the street and constantly exasperate your wife with their uninvited and unwelcomed presence at any time of the day. (Ray and Tom, 2004)
Even though the plot of the sitcom is primarily humorous, it does simultaneously have an element of gravity with it which comes into play especially when Raymond’s wife Debra endures the obnoxious presence of his father in law Frank whose tone is extremely bitter and critical even when talking to his very own son. In addition to this the various and diverse perspectives of human disposition are also clearly and comprehensibly manifested in the sitcom with instincts and characterstics like envy and jealousy especially between Raymond and his nemesis brother Robert who are constantly at loggerheads with each other and always find petty reason to fight one another like kids, the reason being that Robert envies Raymond for being more successful and prosperous in life and on top of that getting more share of the love and affection of their mother.
A similar relationship dominated by envy is also demonstrated between the feelings that Debra and Marie- an insulting and highly manipulative sort of woman who constantly antagonizes Debra and pampers Raymond thus finding and availing every possible way through which she can sow the seeds of disbelief and mistrust between the couple.
The sitcom to a large extent does satisfy the view in believing the fact that in a family there are people of different nature and metal temperament and without the presence of all these elements the presence and existence of a family would have been incomplete.
Furthermore another important issue that this sitcom highlights may not particularly relate or define the organization of an institution like family but does inform and educates us a lot about human nature which ultimately and overwhelmingly contributes in providing a stable and structured form to a group of people who can then to referred to as a family.
Despite of all the differences and grievances that they have in life and irrespective of all the fights that they have they still share a common bond of feeling the pain that is felt by everyone even if a single member of the family gets hurt.
As far as the question whether the sitcom has played an important role in developing a positive or negative impact about the institution of family, I would rather say that the impact has been positive as well as negative. Positive in the way that Raymond despite of all the domestic and professional complications that he encounters in the form of the envy shown by his brother along with the intolerable behavior manifested by his father, but instead of all these problems he endeavors his level best to make his family as peaceful as possible.
Secondly, in the negative sense is the attitude of Raymond towards the handling of problems and issues that he encounters in life. His indifferent and carefree perception towards his family issue further leads to deterioration of a problem that exists either in its embryonic.
It is therefore the fact that he usually undergoes fights and disputes with his wife even on petty matters like for instance even the priorities that they have when watching television. As a result of these fights the differences between the couple experiences and undergoes corrosion and a direct effect of this is felt on the development of children.