Name: Xiaolin Zheng
Course: Cmns 130
Word count: 1607
Date: March 26, 2012
US sitcoms have played a dominant role globally nowadays from three main aspects which are geographic, cultural, and political aspect. Media policies and regulations play the most important role in the dominance of US sitcoms in Canada and globally. Media policies and regulations are not just technologically decided or economically inevitable, however they are the results of systematic involvements into media systems founded on a complex collection of political principles and objectives. Media policies and regulations are political actions that are intended to promote more broad ways of managing public life. The media policies are designed to protect the citizens, defend national security, and increase competence and capitalize on the flow of market forces.
What makes the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally? According to Brophy’s study showed that the characteristic of Canada‘s communications environment is its proximity to the US have made a massive penetration of US products and ideas into Canada in many ways (Lorimer, Gasher, and Skinner, 2008). From the geographic aspect, the proximity of Canada to the United States makes a very good condition for the US culture to permeate through Canada. That’s why the United States can very easy and fast to spread culture to Canada. The influence of the US controls the trend of pop culture. We found it from our daily life such as what we wear, what we listen to, and what we watch. Like MacGregor said that from film, to music, to literature, America’s influence wash into Canada like an unstoppable wave (MacGregor, 2010, para. 35). This situation provides Canadian audiences more choices for entertainment programs. On the other hand, this causes competition in Canadian media industry which can make better quality of TV programs. But it also brings crisis to Canadian media industry, and this is what pluralists concern about. Therefore, they aim to make regulations to protect Canada’s media industry.
From the cultural aspect of why the US sitcoms is popular in Canada and globally. Basically, there are some similarities of Canadian culture and the US culture such as both multi-ethnic, multi-racial societies, and share a common language. Therefore, people from these two countries tend to watch the same movies and TV shows, listen to same music. That’s why US sitcoms can easily spread to Canada. And Canadian can get the humor of the US sitcoms. Moreover, one important factor is creativity which makes the dominance of US sitcoms globally. We found creativities from stories and characters. For example, one of my favorite TV shows “The Big Bang Theory” has been very popular in Canada and globally. It’s also the first time a TV series has posted an average audience above four million viewers in Canadian primetime since electronic records began in 1994(Vlessing, 2011). And the creativity of the story and characters like the combination of four nerds and a babe make this show achieved success. Like Mitz discussed that there are several different forms of situation comedy, but the one thing in common is that they make people feel good and happy (Mitz, 1980).
Media policies have enabled the US sitcoms to dominate in Canada and globally. There are two political perspectives that give contrasting explanations of media policies and regulations which are pluralism and neo-liberalism. According to Brophy’s study showed the definition(as cited in Grossberg, 2006, p. 16) that pluralism is often deployed by participants to describe and justify existing media policy arrangements, while neo-liberalism is more likely to be used in a way that critiques, rather than defends, the current terms and...