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Author Topic: Stereotypes in Gilmore Girls  (Read 78962 times)
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Dani257
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« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2005, 06:21:09 pm »

How is the rabbi over-religious?  The only scene that I remember him in was when he and the minister were mocking Taylor.
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« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2005, 12:59:43 am »

Well, I agree with some of the things stated here. I believe that the "main plot" at the show is the conflict among generations and backgrounds. i also agree that the characters are exxagerated to the edge, but none of them is completely evil. When it comes to Ms Kim, I believe that the main conflict there is not only the "Korean culture" but also the religious "fundamentalism"(maybe that's not the appropiate word but I can't find another).
It reminds me another TV show, Dawson's creek, because one of the main characters (Jen), a New York teenager, had to live with her sooo religious, nearly intolerant grandmother, who was always judging her but at the same time (throughout the seasons) they get to understand each other.
When it comes to black people, i also agree when Cooperboom! said that it was weird that in other series sited in a big multi-cultural city like New York there were no black characters. I'd like to add that I believe that getting a "forced" black character (or hispanic, or jew, or  native american...) to be "politically correct" isn't the best thing to do: there are lots of movies that want to "teach morals" and show how tolerant is the USA (or how it should be). And i think that GG is, to some extent, making fun of that.
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« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2005, 01:52:17 am »

...and I'm the most likely to take offense to such talk out of probably everyone on this board. 
I am not trying to offend, but, I find your statement rather arrogant. Why would you think such a thing?  That you of all the individuals from all the different cultures on the board would be 'most likely to take offense'?   Huh
Lis, I think Krisleigh just meant that she takes offense with stuff easily, not that she had more of a reason to.

Still, a bit of an arrogant statement. Many indivuals take offense easily...to single one's self out as being more 'tolerant' than someone else...? I am a bit offended by that.  But, I am sure Krisleigh didn't mean any offense to the rest of us.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 01:54:11 am by Lis » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2005, 03:12:03 am »

i want to say something about mrs. kim. i dont see why is bad to be religious? ok, with lanes mother that is very extreme case, but there are people who are religious in normal way, if i can use that words. i am religious too(not as extremly like mrs kim, i listen rock, do all the stuffs, but also i am trying to keep my faith, if you know what i am trying to say)
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« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2005, 03:58:13 am »

i want to say something about mrs. kim. i dont see why is bad to be religious? ok, with lanes mother that is very extreme case, but there are people who are religious in normal way, if i can use that words. i am religious too(not as extremly like mrs kim, i listen rock, do all the stuffs, but also i am trying to keep my faith, if you know what i am trying to say)

I do not think anyone is trying to say Mrs Kim is bad because she is very religious; or that being religious is necessarily bad.

I think in Gilmore Girls, Mrs. Kim is portrayed as an overprotective mother in contrast to Lorelai, who is not.  However, in Gilmore Girls the show that is "an equal opportunity mocker",  Mrs Kim is used to make mockery of several things (as is each character in their own way)....in Mrs. Kim's case she is overprotective, and zealous about her vegetarianism as well as her Christianity....Gilmore Girls uses exaggeration to make fun of the characteristics about us all. Each character, from Taylor, to Kirk, to Emily & Richard, etc...even Sookie, Jackson, Luke, Lorelei and Rory...everyone on Gilmore Girls is exagerated beyond real life to allow for comedy.  We all have quirks and many of us fall into stereotypical behavior at times. 

Well, I agree with some of the things stated here. I believe that the "main plot" at the show is the conflict among generations and backgrounds. I also agree that the characters are exagerated to the edge, but none of them is completely evil.
Well said.
When it comes to Ms Kim, I believe that the main conflict there is not only the "Korean culture" but also the religious "fundamentalism"(maybe that's not the appropiate word but I can't find another).

I do not believe that Gilmore Girls is necessarily signalling out the Korean Culture to make fun of.  Many cultures prefer their children not marry out side of their own culture or religion or race.  This is cross-cultural issue.  I have several high school friends who always bemoaned the fact their parents would not let them date who they wanted to...one was Jewish and was only allowed to date Orthodox Jewish boys, one was Korean and was expected to date only Koreans and it is true that they were  thrilled when she married a Korean doctor!  A Chinese friend married a Japanese man and her parents almost disowned her, but, eventually came to accept it. And, Indian/Pakastani families prefer to arrange the marriages of their children - sometimes not allowing them to meet until a few days before the wedding. I think Gilmore Girls only mirrors, in an exagerated way, what already exists in reality.   Is that not what art is intended to do - imitate life...and draw our attentions to the strenghts and weaknesses in us all.

When it comes to black people, i also agree when Cooperboom! said that it was weird that in other series sited in a big multi-cultural city like New York there were no black characters. I'd like to add that I believe that getting a "forced" black character (or hispanic, or jew, or native american...) to be "politically correct" isn't the best thing to do: there are lots of movies that want to "teach morals" and show how tolerant is the USA (or how it should be). And i think that GG is, to some extent, making fun of that.

There are now (finally) several shows produced about different cultures beyond white middle class america. Some depict  black american families or hispanic families. Some of these have no major actors from other races and that is okay too.  Not every show should necessarily have all cultures and races represented just to be politically correct. The problem is when one culture/race/religion is always depicted in a negative manner.  I do not think Gilmore Girls does this.

 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 04:12:09 am by Lis » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2005, 08:08:27 pm »


BUT, I have been bothered for some time by the portrayal of Koreans on the show. Why does Mrs. Kim speak with such an exaggerated accent? I have never heard her speak out of character but I would be willing to bet that she sounds nothing like that in real life. The Korean exchange student (sorry- her name escapes me at the moment) also had an exaggerated accent. These things bother me- like Mrs. Kim wouldn't be 'Korean' enough without the accent.

I just wanted to address the accent thing really quickly.  My grandmother is from El Salvador, she came to the United States almost 60 years ago (when she was 21), and she still has a really thick Spanish accent.  I think this stems from the fact that she is part of a very active Hispanic church in Memphis and still speaks Spanish regularly, so she hasn't lost that accent.  So I'm not so sure you can say definitively that Mrs. Kim's accent is exaggerated unless you've heard her speak in a context outside the show.  I'm not sure what my point is except that I don't think Mrs. Kim's accent is necessarily a problem in the depiction of her character. 
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« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2005, 08:33:00 pm »

Interesting, Emily Kuroda, who plays Mrs. Kim, said that her accent isn't Korean, but a "goofy mom" accent.  I don't know if that's true or not.  But, she said she specifically auditioned with an accent, and they told her don't do it that way. 

Would Mrs. Kim have lost her accent?  I assume she came to the states as an adult or at least a teenager. 
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« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2005, 08:48:19 pm »

Hmm, that is interesting that they told her not audition with the accent. 

And I don't know if she would have lost her accent or not.  If my grandmother hasn't lost hers after 60 years, it's definitely possible that she wouldn't have.  I think a lot of it depends on whether or not you keep using your first language, and as connected as Mrs. Kim is to her heritage, I know she still speaks Korean. 
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« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2005, 09:00:24 pm »

This is a very interesting thread.  Many people have said many things that I happen to agree with, so I won't bother to repeat.  The only "new" things I have to add are:

I am half asian and I never noticed anything offensive in the portrayal of any of the Korean characters on the show.  Granted, my asian half isn't Korean, but I still wanted to say that as a sort-of-member of the asian community, this has never offended me.

I think a lot of the stereotypes that the Kims may have aren't specific to Koreans at all.  Lis mentioned several other ethnic groups that share some of the same stereotypes, so I won't get into that aspect.  But in addition to the idea that the Kims simply represent some non-race-specific stereotypes, there is another angle to think about.  I think the Kims represent the issues of a first-generation and second-generation household (note: I might be wrong with my terminalogy, because I never remember how it goes, but I am using 1st-gen to mean a person who was born outside the US and then moved to the US, and 2nd-gen is a person born in the US whose parents are 1st-gen).

Several of my friends and I are 2nd-gen (well, technically I might be 2.5-gen since my mom is 1st and my dad is 2nd, but anyways), and though we are different races, we've all had struggles similar to those depicted by the Kims.  My mom has a thick enough accent that my friends would tease me about it (not in a mean way), even though she had lived in the US for about 25 years and was an interpreter/translator for at least 15 of those years, so she was fluent in English.  I've had friends whose parents planned on arranging their marriage.  I've had friends that weren't allowed to date outside their race.  Heck, my own father was disowned by his white parents because he married an asian.  Not only have I never met them, but my grandmother was going to visit a friend of hers when I happened to be over playing with their daughter and she made a point of not coming over, even though she could have met me anonymously.

So yeah, that's all I had to add Smiley
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 09:05:38 pm by nikki » Logged



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« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2005, 03:54:46 am »

...I think a lot of the stereotypes that the Kims may have aren't specific to Koreans at all.  Lis mentioned several other ethnic groups that share some of the same stereotypes, so I won't get into that aspect.  But in addition to the idea that the Kims simply represent some non-race-specific stereotypes, there is another angle to think about.  I think the Kims represent the issues of a first-generation and second-generation household (note: I might be wrong with my terminalogy, because I never remember how it goes, but I am using 1st-gen to mean a person who was born outside the US and then moved to the US, and 2nd-gen is a person born in the US whose parents are 1st-gen).

Several of my friends and I are 2nd-gen (well, technically I might be 2.5-gen since my mom is 1st and my dad is 2nd, but anyways), and though we are different races, we've all had struggles similar to those depicted by the Kims.  My mom has a thick enough accent that my friends would tease me about it (not in a mean way), even though she had lived in the  US for about 25 years and was an interpreter/translator for at least 15 of those years, so she was fluent in English.  ...

I liked your additional points. I understood your terms of 1st gen and 2nd gen. Though perhaps, those born in the US are the 1st generation Americans; but, I could be wrong...but, your points were well made. (pretty stick).

I was thinking exactly the same thing about accents. It is nearly impossible for someone to lose a foreign accent unless they learn to speak the language as a young child or at least by teenage years with immersion learning.

In rare cases, someone can lose an accent or fake an accent, but mostly unless you are going for example from British to Aussie or American...or Spanish to Mexican...it is very difficult to lose an accent.

I speak multiple languages all w/ a Norte American accent. When not surrounded by other Americans, I can minimize my accent when speaking my first foreign language French, but, it takes concentration and I was exposed to it rather young.  There is still an accent, but, not placeable.   Sad   

The stereotypical exception to accents perhaps goes to the dutch population - but, although a stereotype, the whole population seems to be multi-lingual specialists! Although, they start learning language much earlier than we do in the US.  (The whole culture is truly amazing and shows what a global outlook on the world can accomplish.  They might  have accents to Americans, but, as they likely learn to speak English from the Brits, I would guess their accent is British).  Come to think of it, differences in accent exist between the northern and southern portion of my state! 

So, I agree. It is not really mocking for Mrs Kim to have an accent. But, rather realistic and part of the portrayal of the relationship between a foreign-born mother and her American born daughter.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 04:04:13 am by roryg fan » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2005, 06:59:14 am »

Well, I agree with most of the new post. I'd like to add something:
my family is very mixed: spanish people in South Americas, guarani indians in Buenos Aires, slovenian in Argentina, argentinians in the US... and my city has lots of comunities of immigrants: jews from all over the world, germans, italians, spaniards, chinese, armenian, szlovakian, peruvians or bolivian or brazilian that, though latin america, are very different... and then I know how hard it it to keep one's culture and language when someone lives in a foreign (and totally different) country and culture and language... I think Ms Kim also shows that (and what happens when the next generation is not so fixed to the "original" culture)

When it comes to the religious aspect, when I was in high school I had a friend, "native" just like me, but whose family belonged to an evangelic church (nothing against specific church, maybe it was just a strict family): they din't let her come to my birthday party, to school parties, to date (anyone till 18), to go to the movies... and it was really hard because I didn't particularly make "wild parties" but when she came she was afraid of eating burgers... so I understand what happens to Lane. Is exagerated, but real =(
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« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2005, 09:09:14 am »

Well, Lane is based on Helen Pai, one of the producers.  So, I guess Mrs. Kim is like her mother?  And, I wonder how much of Mrs. Kim is lifted from real life, and how much is exaggerated. 
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« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2005, 04:32:26 pm »

How is wierd' when an asian comes on screen, i dotn notice a difference at all! or maybe i dont see what u are trying to get
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« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2005, 05:13:26 pm »

The thing with Lane is that she, herself, does not "act Korean".  She comes from a family (really just her mom I guess, since this is not a thread about Mysterious Missing Mr. Kim) that is very strict and adheres firmly to Korean beliefs.  (Or at least what I assume to be Korean beliefs.  I really wouldn't know, and I'm not going to act like a cultural expert.)  But Lane is not even remotely similar to her mom in that respect.  Using that logic...it seems to me that Mrs. Kim is considered an oddball in the town.  SHE is the crazy one, the eccentric one, the one everyone's scared of...not Lane.  Mrs. Kim is so odd simply because of the way she acts, not her skin color or her accent.  Yes, she's a little intense because of her religious...persistence...but that's not about her ethnicity.

My best friend is part Vietnamese, part Chinese, and part "some-other-type-of-Asian" (her words, not mine---she doesn't know exactly what because her father was adopted) and she is "normal".  Her grandparents are a little crazy and have very strong accents, but the only way you can tell she's so culturally diverse is in her physical features.  I feel like Lane is the same way.  Looks a little different, but completely fits in.  For that reason, I don't think Koreans or Asians or anyone else is persecuted in any way on the show.
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« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2005, 01:14:39 pm »

I agree with the humancoffeepot.  If the show persecuted anyone rather than mock everyone (tongue in cheek), it would not be popular or have lasted this long.
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