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Author Topic: Stereotypes in Gilmore Girls  (Read 71830 times)
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atthestars
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« Reply #75 on: May 18, 2006, 09:50:43 am »

It might be because I am not Asian, and I do not have a great understanding of this culture, but I do not see the stereotypes, like many have said on here.

Personally, I have begun to come to the understanding that everyday, someone is going to do or say something I do not like. How I react to their actions is what it ultimately comes down to. There are mean, hurtful, and spiteful people in the world, and if I take everything that people say to heart, I would be depressed! I think there comes a point when you have to listen and try and make sound judgements based on what someone says, and you should try to love and care for people as much as possible. Do your part to be humble and gentle and perhaps it will rub off on others. You cannot change someone's opinions or actions. It is impossible. Just be positive yourself and hope for a difference.

All this to simply say, don't take it so personally. You don't have to watch the show if you don't agree and you are allowed to speak your mind, but don't expect everyone to see it the way you do. Speak your peace and leave it at that.
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« Reply #76 on: May 18, 2006, 12:17:43 pm »

I just discovered this thread, and like a good "orgie", I read all six pages up to this point before posting.

Stereotypes play a huge role in many TV shows. Sometimes, they are exaggerated for comic effect, and sometimes they are shattered for dramatic effect.

Those of you old enough: Think back to All in the Family, the show starring Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, a flaming bigot in a blue collar New York neighborhood in Queens. The show was brilliant to the point of genius (Norman Lear) and was hilarious because it was done with taste. Archie was a bigot, to be sure, but Archie didn't hate anyone. He really believed all Polish people were dumb and all Irish were drunk all the time and all Jews were cheap, and so on. And every time he twanged off on one of these things, the result was it showed how stupid it was. The ep in which Sammy Davis, Jr., somehow ended up in Archie's home and kissed him, right on the face, as he was leaving, was one of the most sidesplitting shots at racial stereotyping ever seen on a TV screen. In that, Sally Struthers (Babette) played Archie's dotter, and Liz Torres (Miss Patti) did a marvelous guest turn as a nurse in an Irish doctor's office.

The best example I can think of as a shattered stereotype is Buffy, in which Joss Whedon made the little bitty blonde girl typical victim into the vampire slayer. This could be the most brilliantly original twist in all television.

Gilmore Girls seems to me to use stereotypes inoffensively and with humor, although I've complained elsewhere it portrays males as either ineffectual oafs or dweeby twerps with a pretty heavy hand. I'm still waiting to see a real man.

To frame myself on this: I'm a white male with a family and I live in Los Angeles. If there's more of a melting pot on the planet than this in the twenty-first century, I have no idea where it is. In the shopping center where I had my business, I was between a Jewish deli and a cigar store owned by a Syrian. They were friends, by the way. The PostNet was owned by a Jew, the dry cleaner was Armenian, and there was a sushi place, owned by Japanese. I bought my business from a cranky old Persian. I could step out my door and hear the jabber of several different languages at any moment. My neighborhood looks like suburban tract houses you'd think would be full of white people, but I have neighbors who are Puerto Rican, Mexican, Korean, and Indian. For good measure, my mother-in-law is Italian, and if there's a bigger bunch of crazies than them, I have no idea who it might be. One of my sons-in-law is a Dane (very stoic) and the other is Irish (more crazies). Myself, I'm half Swede (stoic) and half Scottish-Irish (wild man). You get the idea. I find all this wonderful and fascinating.

What all this looks like to me is, everybody is a stereotype of one kind or another. Mrs. Kim is an American of Korean extraction. Why would anyone be offended by the way she is portrayed? Is it because she is TOO Korean or not Korean ENOUGH? Is she too much of a stereotype or not enough of one? I find her delightful. She's the same fascinating combination of cultures I see in my neighbors and the other millions who live here in LA.

A thing which bothers me about many shows is when they insert carefully mixed-and-matched stereotypes as tokens. A show about four buddies, one WASP, one black, one Asian, and one gay, all of whom make wisecracks about this to each other, is a gag which got old really fast and which I zap off immediately any more. GG is fun and engaging because the stereotypes are well-mixed and not used offensively. The obsessive twerp (Kirk) somehow ticks off the blustering old fuddy-duddy (Taylor) to the bemusement of the gruff but good-hearted hero (Luke) and his perky girlfriend (Lorelai).

The artful blending of stereotypes may be what makes the show so much fun.


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« Reply #77 on: May 18, 2006, 12:36:44 pm »

I think for a character that isn't even in the credits, Mrs. Kim is a very well developed character.  They started with two stereotypes as a starting point.  Korean and Christian.  I'm guessing they didn't really decide on the denomination of Seventh Adventist until later.  But, gradually, Mrs. Kim grew into more.  She's a business woman, and a mother who is strict out of protectiveness of her daughter.  I loved the episode where she grounds Lane, and after a talk with Lorelai, she lets Lane out just to the front of the yard.  Comic way of showing that Mrs. Kim isn't totally bound by the initial stereotype, but can soften.  And, in later seasons, we've seen her soften more, but (for the most part) still stay in character.

If Mrs. Kim or any character that they spent a lot of time on was nothing more than the stereotypes, that would be a problem I think.  Maybe why I don't care for either Taylor or Kirk.  I'm not exactly sure what Kirk is a stereotype of, (maybe Kirk should be a stereotype in itself) but he's annoying.  But, for the most part, the characters all go beyond just one stereotype, into being 3 dimensional.  And, if parts of those dimensions include stereotypes, that's fine by me.  I agree that everyone has stereotypical traits about them.  Stereotypes aren't bad by definition.  It's when that's all that's shown, then it's a problem.
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« Reply #78 on: May 18, 2006, 03:05:56 pm »

i read all the posts, also, before replying, and i think that the stereotypes aren't offending. i'm sorry if asians feel that way, but i think it was rude to make a comment about the jews running hollywood. gilmore girls isn't even about asians or stereotypes or anything like that, its about a mother and a daughter growing up together. plus, you should also take into consideration that lane was based on asp's best friend, so her mother was probably based on a real person, so it isn't really stereotypical.
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« Reply #79 on: May 18, 2006, 04:45:20 pm »

I think the post that started all of this should be ignored.  It was one that seemed to be mainly to be derogatory towards Jewish people.  But, after that, there have been a lot of thoughtful posts.  I can't speak with any authority towards Korean stereotypes, all I can say is neither Lane or Mrs. Kim seem boxed into any narrow personality traits.  They aren't as developed (especially Mrs. Kim) as Lorelai or Rory, but they don't seem flat enough for me to be nothing but stereotypes.
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