An American Family vs. Keeping Up with the Kardashians

An American Family vs. Keeping Up with the Kardashians Although these two shows depict different time periods, they can arguably be a model for American culture or possibly a gauge in the temperature of what American culture looks like. In American Family there is a scene where one of the young men is talking about California and how he feels about it. Just the use of his language or the words in which he chooses gives the audience an idea of the language that was used during that time period.
Another example of this is when the family visits the art gallery. In the television show Keeping Up With the Kardashians although they are rich, they also give a gauge of American culture through the way in which they talk as well as the activities in which they go about on a daily basis. These two shows are very different but are somewhat based upon the same premise of being a reality show. An American Family was a 12 episode series that chronicled the lives of the Loud family of Santa Barbra, California (Ruoff, 1998).
While Keeping Up with the Kardashians has run for 6 seasons so far since it began in 2007. This show is presented to viewers as reality TV but as mentioned in a prior class it is more or less a sitcom and not capturing the family in a documentary style the way in which An American Family is. An American Family challenged traditional forms of documentaries and violated viewers expectations of what a documentary was supposed to be about (Ruoff, 1998). The way in which this show is shot and edited also gives is more of a narrative feel than a documentary style.

I would argue that the way the it is broken into different episodes especially the time period of the 1970’s would make it seem more of a narrative as during that time there weren’t many shows to compare its different, documentary style to. The show is centered on the upcoming divorce of the mother and father and this seems to drive the story line as well. Although again it is not a sitcom, the narrative of the story seems a bit tampered with, as it is known that the parents will be divorcing very soon.
Capturing the moments that lead up to the divorce can be considered to surround a narrative structure. Keeping Up with the Kardashians being based about the life of the Kardashian family with ongoing events that take place is nothing like An American Family. Although many Americans in 1973 may have been able to identify with the characters in An American Family it did not have a crazed pop culture appeal the way in which Keeping Up with the Kardashians does. This show has become somewhat of a brand but its realness or reality is questionable.
Most of the happenings of the family are devised plans to collect audiences and maintain the following that they have. They typical sitcom structure of the show also gives away the reality part of the show. There is no truth or cinema verite in this show it’s all just basically pre-planned by the producers. Their extravagant lifestyles and events don’t even compare to the simplistic structure of the Loud family about to split because of the divorce. These shows are very different but on the surface seem alike because essentially the viewer is following the lives of a family.


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