Modern Day Law
At first glance of this assignment I noticed that I would be required to be engaged in a mass amount of television viewing and thought to myself that Professor Radican must have read my thoughts and was sympathetic to my daily dose of television needs. After reviewing the requirements of the assignment, I found that this was not the case. Television to me is a "magic box", a conduit to the outside world, accessing hundreds and hundreds of programs all ranging from the refined and intellectually stimulating to the far end of the spectrum of grotesque absurdity. I loved them all. My mission if I chose to except it and get a grade was to locate both similarities and the differences in the languages of a couple different shows. I had to describe the genre of the show's language and create a barometer that illustrates a scale of transactional, expressive, and/or poetic verbiage. For a grade I will do almost anything.
I have always considered myself as somewhat of a television connoisseur and would perceive this type of assignment as elementary, however this was far from the truth. I labored for days, channel surfing through programs second by second, never stopping for more than a minute or so to get some more popcorn. Eventually I would find a station that appealed to me, however it seemed to lack the language that intrigued me or did not demonstrate the transactional, expressive, and/or poetic language that I was searching for. Finally, after a seemingly endless and treacherous search my quest was over and I had reached Mecca. There in front of me was the Emmy winning program, The Sopranos, which depicts the lives of modern day New Jersey Mafia family struggling with the ties of the "old world traditions" brought over by their forefathers and modern day customs and practices found here in the United States.
Set in the present day in New Jersey, the Soprano family is composed of the traditional two parents and two children, situated in the suburbs. The father, a Mafia boss attends regular therapy sessions with a psychiatrist in an attempt to "fit" in with his neighbors and their successful legitimate endeavors. His wife struggles to tolerate "Old World stigmas" (i.e. infidelity, male chauvinism, single income) and modern day socially accepted beliefs.
Topics typically include child psychology and development, relationships, marriage counseling, and loyalty. This shows in my humble opinions has successfully bridged the gap between the young viewers of today and the more mature audience of yesteryears through its use of transactional, expressive, and/or poetic language styles and speech communities. Each show is richly rooted and submersed in East Coast slang and criminal dialects, while each of the characters attempt to immolate their more refined and cultural neighbors. I found the episodes that I watched very expressive and dramatic, while maintaining a sense of credibility. In addition, I found that it was...