Siddharth Malhotra | Section MC-8 | 0328/49
Analytical Case Report on This Case Sucks: Beavis, Butt-Head, and TV Content (A)
The Case as it stands:
Beavis and Butt-Head, an animated series, made its debut on MTV in 1992. The show features two uncivilized teen-aged misfits who became a symbol of a heated debate in the USA about violent and inappropriate television shows. The vulgarity, impoliteness, cruelty and pyromania of the featured characters has often been linked to juvenile crudeness, violence and deviant acts performed by teenagers.
Objective of Report:
This is an analytical report on the varied perception of the animated series “Beavis and Butt-Head” aired on MTV and the ensuing debate on the affect of violent and inappropriate television shows being aired on television on youngsters.
Let us review the situation in details
Case Facts about Beavis and Butt-Head:
* The show was half an hour long per episode and debuted in 1992 and the highest rated show on MTV with ratings of 2.4 * Both characters were antisocial non-achievers and loved in a world of broken families and dim prospects. * They lived in southwestern USA and worked at a burger joint – Burger World * They were vulgar, politically incorrect, ignorant, stupid, cruel and pyromaniac.
The show was a runaway popular sensation and its growth was explosive. The show was popular amongst teenagers because it gave the image of someone more “messed” up than themselves and also characters who one could laugh at while they did disorderly acts in a world of prevailing order.
Case facts on the debate over the show’s impact
* The show scared away advertisers like Nestle and AT&T * The show was singled out during congressional hearings for being particularly repugnant * Parents expressed disapproval and a couple of school in Dakota banned clothing bearing likeness to those of the characters. * The show’s producers defended the program as something to which everybody could relate to. * It supposedly gave kids an opportunity to laugh at themselves and teenagers a feeling that there is someone dumber than they are.
Regardless of whether children tried to imitate characters’ actions, Beavis and Butt-Head seemed to symbolize stupidity. The show appealed to youngsters who were constantly reminded of their generations diminished economic prospects and this was an opportunity to laugh at the state of affairs and also draw solace in the fact that their was someone dumber and worse of than they are.
Problem Analysis (Differential Diagnosis)
Let us look at the facts a bit more closely
Fact/Symptom| Inference1| Inference2| Working Hypothesis | People imitated acts of pyromania from the show in real life| The miscreants were pyromaniacs before they started seeing the show and the show just gave them a way to vent out their pyromaniac compulsions.| The resemblance of real life acts to the acts of pyromania shown on the show made people believe that the show was solely responsible in creating such deviants.| The show is not the real cause of pyromania amongst juveniles but just went for suppressed juvenile feeling. The real culprit for criminal behavior is the upbringing.| Many advertisers pulled out their ads during the show| The show was not good for maintaining the brand image of the advertisers.| The advertisers did not see scope for sufficient sales increase due to advertising.| Beavis & Butt-head was indeed a controversial show, which did not suit clean image brands for their sales. | Popularity of the show| The crude disorderly behavior of the show provides respite to people from their already existing lives, which is filled with monotonous orderly reality.| The show appeals to hidden primal instincts of the viewers, which they are not able to express but can, enjoy it in the show.| The uniqueness of the show lies...