Media Analysis on two TV shows related to family ideals

Choose and watch one show (1 episode) from Group A + one show (2 episodes) from Group B:
Group A – Dramas (1 episode) Group B – Comedies (2 episodes/~45 min.)
The Fosters (Netflix, Prime; 2013-18)
This is Us (NBC, Hulu; 2016-present)
Queen Sugar (Hulu; 2016-present)
Friday Night Lights (NBC, Hulu, 2006-11)
Modern Family (ABC, Hulu; 2009-present)
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, Hulu; 2015-present)
Black-ish (ABC, Hulu; 2014-present)
Master of None (Netflix; 2015-17)
Grace and Frankie (Netflix; 2015-present)
Before you select and watch the shows, you should research their background online. You can
choose ANY episode, but be sure to read about the shows, characters, and overall storylines.
*** Note – the TV dramas deal with serious topics, including death, conflict, and other tragic
events (often in the first episode to set up the story). Later episodes may deal with other
aspects of relationships, communication, etc. Be sure to read summaries of the shows and
episodes — choose shows and episodes that you feel comfortable analyzing and that provide
sufficient material to address the specific questions about family structure, gender, social class,
and race-ethnicity. Feel free to contact Dr. Cox or Keelyn if you have any questions.
Your analysis should be based on the specific episodes that you watched (not the whole
season or other episodes that you have seen). If you are unfamiliar with the show, read about it
first. You should provide specific examples from the episodes to support your points. Your
essay should be a critical analysis of the shows, not simply summaries.
Specific questions to address in your essay:
a. Briefly identify and describe your two selected shows. Discuss how each show portrays
families and their structures – i.e., ‘nuclear family’ as ideal? Are other family structures
presented in positive, negative, or neutral ways?
b. Compare and contrast how the shows portray issues of gender. To what extent are
gender roles presented as traditional or egalitarian? In what ways are gender
expectations discussed or reinforced? Be sure to provide specific examples.
c. Compare and contrast how the shows portray race-ethnicity and social class. How
diverse, inclusive, and realistic are these portrayals? – compare with information in the
textbook on American families. To what extent are these portrayals positive, negative,
or neutral (i.e., do they reinforce positive or negative stereotypes)? What particular
groups or experiences are emphasized, and what is missed?
d. How are the shows’ depictions different in the drama compared to the comedy? How
might these shows influence their audiences?
*** Note that production and broadcast dates vary – you should take into account the time
period of the production (when it was made and released) and the time period portrayed in the
shows (i.e., in the present or set in an earlier era). You should discuss the historical context and
its relation to the images of families, gender, race-ethnicity, and social class.
Overall Guidelines:
Your critiques should be based on the episodes you watched for this assignment (not the whole
series). Be sure to provide specific examples from the episodes to support your points, but do
not include a detailed synopsis or detailed descriptions of all of the characters.
For each part, be sure to answer each question or prompt. And be sure to clearly connect
your observations with course materials (provide in-text citations). The relevance and
insightfulness of these connections will be an important component of your grade. For the
textbook, please include the specific page numbers in the in-text citations.
Format Guidelines:
 Your work should be double-spaced with 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages,
in Word (.doc, .docx, or .pdf).
 On top of the first page, include your name, course, date, and title (Take-Home
Assignment – Media Analysis). DO NOT include a separate cover page.
 Use APA style for in-text citations and Bibliography.
 Use in-text citations in your essay when you refer to a source or include a verbatim
quote (in parentheses, with author, date, and page number).
 Your paper should be ~4-5 pages (no more than 5 pages!).
 Your work should be structured and organized as an essay – answer each question in a
separate paragraph. Do not write your whole paper in a single paragraph.
See link below for helpful tips:
 On a separate page at the end, include a bibliography in APA format. Include your TV
shows, the textbook, and any other relevant course material. See (“Quick Answers”) for reference and format information.
 All material must be your own – verbatim quotes should be used sparingly and clearly
attributed with in-text citations and full bibliographic information in the reference list.
NO MATERIAL may be copied-pasted from the internet.

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