Wednesday, September 12, 2018

TV and movies painting poorer picture of rural America

Hollywood used to think of rural America as a source for comedy: funny but savvy hayseeds from "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Green Acres," for example. But these days the narrative has shifted, and rural characters are more likely to be more sinister.

"A review of many current and recent popular television shows and films seems to show that their network sponsors and city-born-and-raised creators frequently see small towns and rural people as racist, ignorant, pathetic, corrupt, or maybe just viciously murderous and criminal," Joe Belden writes for The Daily Yonder. "Examples include critically acclaimed and award-winning TV shows such as 'Ozark', 'Rectify', 'Sharp Objects', and 'Sons of Anarchy' – as well as the Oscar-winning films No Country for Old Men and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In some of these shows, the sensible non-criminals are urban folks temporarily working or stranded in rural places. Or they may have grown up in the small town, are back for a visit, and can’t wait to head back to the big city. A disturbing theme is that 'Rectify', 'Sharp Objects' and Three Billboards all include as a major part of the plot the murder, or rape and murder, of teenaged girls, apparently by local folks in each story." Read more.

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