Example Of Essay On Appealing To Audience: The Analysis Of “Two Broke Girls”

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Art, Beauty, Experience, Aesthetics, Audience, Media, Appeal, Public Relations

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2023/04/10

Appealing to Audience: The Analysis of “Two Broke Girls”

Introduction
For the last several years the television has been on the rise creating a product that can easily compete with the big screen movies. The quality of the TV shows increased exponentially and, in the result, it became easier to target the audience in every segment. At the same time, the competition became severe in this sector and the media majors try hard to stay relevant. Nowadays, it is possible to find a TV show that appeals to all categories of viewers from cultural as well as social perspectives. The studios realized that a smart targeting of “their” audience will generate high profits and make the product stay on the TV screen longer.
Therefore, modern day shows become more and more sophisticated in terms of methods of conveying the message and means for attracting the viewers. At the same time, appealing only to a narrow-range audience does not guarantee the love of the viewers and, consequently, decrease the chances to earn money on such product. In the result, the shows are designed in a way to appeal to as many viewers as possible, which means to make the product entertaining, relevant, and meaningful for the target audience.
Being dependent on the point of view of the audience, the show survives only in the case when the ratings are high or at least when the product has a vast army of fans. One of such example is “Community” that has been renewed for the last couple of seasons despite the low ratings only due to the devoted fans and critical acclaim (Mollow, 2014). Oppositely, such shows as “American Idol” and “Bachelor” despite their low rating and poor quality still got renewed because they attract a colossal amount of viewers (Harnick, 2014). There is also a wide array of TV shows that are extremely popular and have high quality. The examples like “The Walking Dead”, “Games of Thrones” and “Mad Men” serve as the best examples of this statement. At the same time, the majority of these shows are dramas, while it is more problematic to create a sitcom that will be both appealing and funny.
The major problem here is the concept of comedy in general. Humor is an individual thing, where one joke may seem hilarious to one individual and inappropriate to others. It is more difficult to find a balance between the funny and the ridiculous, so as to remain appealing to the target audience and try to be on point. While it is easy to present an example of a high-quality drama, it is hard to find as many examples of sitcoms. The best illustrations of the TV comedies are “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, and “Modern Family”.
However, each of them demonstrated low ratings for the last years of their streaming. Last several years the sitcoms experienced certain innovations when several well-recognized comedians create the shows on the basis of their real-life experience, like “Louie” with Louis C.K and “Inside Amy Schumer” with Amy Schumer in the center of attention. According to the ratings and the attention of the audience, this format gained popularity among the viewers (RJ, 2015). At this point, it is possible to imply that the studios have to create chemistry between the TV product and its target audience in order to gain success, where the main factor is relevant and appealing content. At the same time, the sitcom is a difficult product to create where there is a need to attract a specific social class, as there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into account.

Analysis

It is possible to claim that “Two Broke Girls” attained its objective to appeal to the middle-class viewers, as the show has a high rating and remains popular for several seasons. At the beginning of its journey, a lot of critics, as well as the viewers, were quite skeptical about the destiny of this product and the ability to attract the audience (Metacritic, 2011). However, against all odds, the show survived and had been renewed for the 5th season already. It has to be noted that sitcoms tend to be criticized by the critics the most due to the choices made by the creators regarding humor and topics touched in the show. “Two Broke Girls” is not exclusion from the rules and, according to modern day critics, the show tends to be racially inappropriate and unappealing (Medendorp, 2015). However, the show is still popular among the viewers, and it still attracts the audience.
It is possible to imply that the main trump card of the show is its plot and the questions raised in it. While it is difficult noticing it at first, “Two Broke Girls” appeal to the middle class more than to the other socio-economic classes of the American population. The plot involves two girls, who are totally opposite to each other regarding culture and social background. While Max is poor and has been raised in the economic scrutiny, Caroline is a typical representative of the upper class. The only reason they meet is the loss of Caroline’s father of his fortune. The sitcom plays around a humorous concept, which is, in this case, is the clash of classes and an unlikely friendship between the rich and the poor. At the same time, “Two Broke Girls” try to ruin the cliché where the wealthy individuals are mean-spirited and useless in the difficult situations and a person from a humble background is one-dimensionally kind and modest. Soon enough, Max and Caroline realize that they both have their merits that can help them to start up a cupcake business and to raise some cash.
The show is not only about the need to generate financial gains, but it is also about the concept of social classes and multiculturalism. After watching the show and analyzing its plot, it is possible to imply that “Two Broke Girls” raise the question of the disappearance of the middle class. The show appeals to this social cluster and at the same time reveal an issue in the modern U.S. First of all; both heroines are from lower and higher social classes, where they try to get in the middle by launching their small business. While “Two Broke Girls” is a comedy, it is possible to see the point when the girls encounter with various obstacles in the way to their success. As both of them work as waitresses, their salary is low and in order to save money for a start-up they Max and Caroline have to work harder.
Simultaneously, the show encapsulates the idea of American Dream that is more relatable for the middle class than the other social clusters. According to scholars, the idea of American Dream is characteristic for middle class cluster of the society (Muller, 2013). There is a concept behind it claiming that every person, despite its background, has a chance to gain success through hard work. From one point of view, it is possible to perceive it as a mockery of such, quite often, illusive idea. Froth the other hand, there is a sad point when the main characters are struggling to attain their dreams no matter how they try. Most of the time, Max and Caroline are getting in class wars with the wealthy ones raising an issue of the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Simultaneously, “Two Broke Girls” involve the representatives from the middle class into the show, as an owner of a baking business in the 4th season. Therefore, in order to appeal to the audience, the show uses an appealing ideology, which in this case is the concept of American Dream. Additionally, the show is quite entertaining for the audience.
It is important to appeal to one of the theoretical concepts in order to show how “Two Broke Girls” managed to survive in the TV jungle. First of all, it is necessary to notice that entertainment is first and foremost a social construct that roots in the necessity of individuals to feel emotional relief from the daily routine. Additionally, it was noted that entertainment has the goal to distract the public from the political and economic issues (Shusterman, 1997). The studios exploit this need and use entertainment as the method of keeping the attention of the viewers by implementing relevant and appealing ideas into the plot. Still, the main notion of entertainment stems from the human nature and the desire to receive emotional satisfaction. Therefore, TV shows serve as the stress-release tools as well as the method of escaping the reality.
The rise of entertainment industry serves as an indicator of increased stress among the population. Here, “Two Broke Girls” get the chance to appeal to the middle class as well. For instance, according to researchers, persons who experience stress more often are the representatives of the middle class. Thus, the jokes involving two girls search for the American Dream shows the sad truth in a humorous way serving as a stress release for people of this socio-economic class and fulfilling the goals of the entertainment in general. Some experts see entertainment as the mean of social control used by the wealthy classes; yet, the others simply claim that the need to be entertained is hidden in every human’s nature, and it is not constructive to add to it an additional meaning (Shusterman, 1997).
It is even possible to see this principle in action on the example of the contemporary news channels. One event may be illustrated in several channels in a different perspective. Moreover, scholars claim that “the boundary between the entertainment and news is blurring, particularly in the television medium” (Winch, 1997). Media today does not hide the information, it tends to convey it through different perspectives and make the viewers follow a certain agenda. The TV shows have the similar ability, namely to choose the methods of illustrating the message using particular perspective or ideology. “Two Broke Girls” convey the social, economic, racial, and cultural conundrums occurring in the contemporary America, which has to appeal to the modern audience.
The flowering of entertainment and reveals several implications. Firstly, according to scholars, “in order to address certain groups of people with the product of entertainment, it is important to take into account their social characteristics, like motives, social rank, values, and rules” (Muller, 2013). Also, the piece of entertainment has to obtain a recognized problem relevant in a particular class or by a group of people who are related to a subculture.
Another factor that has contributed to the success of the “Two Broke Girls” is the experience they propose for the audience. Of course, through the five seasons the main characters encounter with an enormous number of obstacles and problems, yet still the show reflects the experience a typical middle-class representative might have had before fulfilling her/his American Dream. Experience is one of the most valuable treasures a person might have. It is believed that a person can discover the truth and to perform a thought process only through experience. Entering experience machine, a lot of TV shows propose, is possible when the target is to learn the world and to create a basis of knowledge and information that can be processed.
Experience is essential for understanding cause and effect relations and improving the mistakes in future. It is considered that true being can be understood only through experience, as the lack of it can lead to an inability to perform in certain realms, so as lack of possibility to live life in general. Here, “Two Broke Girls” propose an experience of a failure that can lead to the positive outcomes, like finding a good friend, being able to survive and succeed, as well as to find their place in this world.
When analyzing such product as a TV show, it is also important to mention the concept of aesthetic experience. Every human being lives in a world of meaning. Every part of a person’s daily activity is a compound of an individual’s life. Filling human’s life such activities result in experience. Recollecting the notion of experience, it is crucial to admit that people often put different meaning in this concept. Someone considers experience conclusions made from mistakes in the past, the others – practice in a particular activity. When aesthetic experience comes to mind, it is obvious that almost everyone can recollect an experienced feeling of aesthetic pleasure of beautiful object or a piece of art. The perception of something endowed with ideal forms can give a visual satisfaction almost for every person. However, nowadays some scholars admit that the views of aesthetic experience have drastically changed, or even disappeared at all due to huge alterations in the epoch, culture, and art.
In this case, the show has to appeal to the aesthetics similar to the middle-class viewers. It is possible to notice that the apartment Max and Caroline rent, while not being luxurious, is quite aesthetically pleasing. The clothes both women wear also resemble the same pattern. The scrutiny Caroline gets herself into is usually linked to her upper-class habits that are no longer valid in the community she finds herself in. While the showrunners make Max illustrate a person from the lower social class, she does not appeal to as a broke person. In this way, the creators of the show try to appeal the audience through the similar aesthetic experience and their perception of beauty and art. However, the theoretical domain behind this notion has been changing throughout the centuries.
Since the very beginning of establishing of arts, philosophers and psychologists became particularly interested like art, its interpretation and comprehension by people, and the psychology of an artist. One of the first philosophers who investigated this question was Plato (Shaw, 2006). To his point of view, aesthetic experience is the interpretation of the concepts of good in nature. As the philosopher stated, aesthetic experience if the reflection of an object or a scene of nature which have ideal form. There are various examples to illustrate his point of view. A comprehension of a beautiful face or flower can result in an aesthetical experience for an individual. Plato’s conception made an equivalent of aesthetic experience the ideal and the perception of which was the only way to lead to this notion (Shaw, 2006).
A long time has passed until the notion of aesthetic experience became the center of serious debates in the sphere of psychology. In eighteens century, David Hume and Immanuel Kant began to explain the concept of aesthetic experience in psychological terms (Trullinger, 2013). Previous interpretation of this term through the prism of the good and the beauty was substituted by the psychological process where an individual’s experience of the surrounding world is endowed with aesthetic features, qualities, and values. “Once modern science and philosophy had destroyed the classical, medieval, and Renaissance faith that properties like beauty were objective features of the world, modern aesthetics turned to subjective experience to explain and ground them” (Shusterman, 1997, p. 29). Subjectivity will become the main principle in the works of both Hume and Kant.
It is easy to give an example illustrating this principle. Every woman throughout her life observes multiple kinds of men with various physical appearances. However, she always knows how an ideal man has to look like, according to the aesthetic experience accepted in her social class. According to Kantian philosophy, aesthetic experience is the inner model of perception of beauty based on the universally approved ideals (Trullinger, 2013). He had the goal to form a theory that could include both rational and judgemental elements. In “Two Broke Girls” the men both characters are attracted to resemble the characteristics of the middle-class representatives. Specifically, in the second season, Caroline and Max tend to like the same man, who owns his own small business, who believes in hard work and likes going to the gym. While the characteristic features illustrated in the show are quite clichéd, the message is quite clear at this point.
At the same time, nowadays, reviewing the situation in the art environment and societal attitudes, one can say that classic model of aesthetic experience does not work to extend as it was before the modern age. The understanding of art and its incarnation has changed drastically in the modern days. Contemporary art in some cases does not seek aesthetical core to fill the objects, but rather endows them with social, political, or individual meaning. So as “Two Broke Girls” that concentrates its attention on the clash of classes, cultures, and races, rather than on aesthetics. In some cases, modern art has the purpose to terrify or to go beyond marginalization though such objects will still be called art.
While “Two Broke Girls” does not try to become a representative of high art, it sill conveys the aesthetics of social class it tries to appeal. The concept that art can have any form, expression, or type is the most common in the contemporary world. As the frames of the art were eliminated, it is rather difficult to use the model proposed by scholars as it will be understood as too judgmental and even inappropriate. Aesthetic experience is an inner feeling though the beauty of ugliness or plain objects that do not bear any specific aesthetics has difficulties to provoke any positive feelings or pleasure.

Conclusion

Considering such tendencies, today’s community does not have valuable knowledge to develop taste and increase the level of aesthetic experience. Forgetting about the notions of what was considered a good taste and the principles of aesthetics society loses the concept of sensing and knowing the beauty and the ability to have an aesthetic experience. This is one of the main reasons why this field has to be introduced at a wider level. However, there are reasons why art became so minimalistic and marginalized.
There are certain views in society stating that every human being has a feature of being creative, thus, all kinds of art have the right to exist and to be expressed in any art form, even if the meaning of the object is controversial. As community fails to determine some specific ideals of aesthetic experience, the value of a good taste fails. Moreover, universally accepted terms of aesthetic beauties can be even criticized as it leads to the judgment and prejudice. The standards of beauty of physical appearance are criticized the most almost all over the world. The same things are with the art.
Almost everyone can remember the mottoes of the modernists who claimed that the ideals of classics are dead and inappropriate in the modern society. “Modernism taught us to prize the difficult, the discomforting and the edifying instead of the lovely or attractive; the broader, more brutal aesthetics of modernism signal the moment when it became possible to divorce art and beauty from one another” (Winston, 2008, p. 73). However, nowadays one can suggest that there are the reasons for trivializing of the notion of aesthetic experience, and the field itself. The art of almost every form experiences stagnation and even degradation. The reasons are multiple, from the previously mentioned concepts of the blurred lines determining the artists and arts, to the concepts of individuality of every art form despite aesthetics of an art object.
“Two Broke Girls” took the liberty to convey an image of the middle class and to illustrate the ideology as well as aesthetics and experience of its representatives in order to become a stress release and to promote a message. Specifically, the show reveals the conflict in the modern American society, where the ideas of hard work and American Dream lose its strengths and relevance. Also, the show tries to appeal to the middle class and succeeds in this purpose.
As the means of communication and transferring information became more available and easier to maintain, the activities like reading or even observing art objects are substituted by different social networks, including Instagram where people share their pictures. In spite of modern criticism of the sitcoms and shows raising controversial topics, one has to admit that comedy “without teeth” will be boring and unappealing as well. Spreading the frames of boundaries that framed the field of aesthetics of the society, “Two Broke Girls” represent a classic concept of the modern entertainment. Art itself is becoming more versatile stepped on the path of marginalization and trivialization. As recently the definition of art and artist is significantly different from the past time, the TV show does not have to convey the aesthetics of high art forms, it has to appeal to the audience. Therefore, “Two Broke Girls” embody all elements of the modern middle class and remain relatable for its representatives due to the ideological and aesthetical experience proposed by this show.

References

Harnick, C. 2014. Bachelor and 2 More Shows Renewed by ABC. E Online. Available at: <http://www.eonline.com/news/540489/bachelor-and-2-more-shows-renewed-by-abc> [Accessed 03 January 2015]
Medendorp, L. 2015. '2 Broke Girls' Is on the Way to Comedy Bankruptcy. Pop Matters. Available at: < http://www.popmatters.com/review/196304-2-broke-girls-the-complete-fourth-season/> [Accessed 03 January 2015]
Metcritic. 2011. 2 Broke Girls: Season 1. Available at: < http://www.metacritic.com/tv/2-broke-girls> [Accessed 03 January 2015]
Mollow, T. 2014. ‘Community’ Canceled by NBC After 5 Seasons of Critical Acclaim, Low Ratings. The Wrap. Available at: < http://www.thewrap.com/community-canceled-nbc-5-seasons-critical-acclaim-low-ratings/> [Accessed 03 January 2015]
Muller, J. 2013. Mechanisms of Trust: News Media in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes. Hamburg: Campus Verlag.
RJ, D. 2015. 'Louie' and 'Inside Amy Schumer' deconstruct sexism, masculinity, and the midlife crisis. Daily Cos. Available at: <http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/5/11/1384038/--Louie-and-Inside-Amy-Schumer-deconstruct-sexism-masculinity-and-the-midlife-crisis [Accessed 03 January 2015]
Shaw, M. M. 2006. Madness and Politeia: Aesthetic Disruption in Foucault and Plato. Philosophy Today, 50, pp. 12-19. 
Shusterman, R. 1997. The End of Aesthetic Experience. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 55(1), pp. 29-41.
Trullinger, J. S. 2013. Kant's Two Touchstones for Conviction: The Incommunicable Dimension of Moral Faith. The Review of Metaphysics, 67(2), pp. 369-378. 
Winch, S. P. 1997. Mapping the Cultural Space of Journalism: How Journalists Distinguish News from Entertainment. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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