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Postmodernism and its emotional impact: The American T.V. Show, ‘Family Guy, as a Politically Incorrect Document

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Postmodernism is a movement that grew out of modernism. Movements in art, literature, and cinema focused on a particular stance. The visual artists who created entertainment focused on expressing the creator herself/himself beginning from German expressionism to modernism, surrealism, cubism, etc. These art movements played an important part in what an artist (literature, art, and visual) portrayed to his or her audience. As perspectives played an important part, an understanding of what the artist needed to portray was critical. Modernism dealt with this portrayal, which came about due to the changes taking place in society. In terms of the industry, where the overall product dealt with features like individualism, experimentation and absurdity, modernism dealt with a need to overthrow past notions of what painting, literature, and the visual arts needed to be. “After World War II, the focus moved from Europe to the United States, and abstract expressionism (led by Jackson Pollock) continued the movement’s momentum, followed by movements such as geometric abstractions, minimalism, process art, pop art, and pop music.”

Postmodernism helped do away with these shortcomings. An understanding of postmodernism is explored in this paper. The main point which sets it apart is concepts like pastiche, intersexuality, and spectacle. Concerning pop culture, an understanding of referencing is a constant trait used by postmodern art. Postmodern television and the central part of this study applied to the popular animated American TV show, ‘family guy’ is a postmodern show in its truest form, while attempting to use certain aspects of postmodernism tropes to help emphasize that visual art can be considered a historical document while doing an in-depth analysis of the visual text of ‘family guy by itself, several other research papers were used to help further put in stone that ‘family guy’ is a true representation of postmodern television. It is divided into two phases of data collection: context analysis, which involves a qualitative study. The second being in-depth interviews (also qualitative) which in itself helps give a subjective view of participants between the ages of 20 and 28. These comprise students who are familiar with the show and the concepts of the show. All of them, both frequent viewers of the show and those also politically informed of world politics, helped further emphasize the concept of the paper, which was the idea of how a television show in all its absurd narrative and pastiche functions as a historical document. The purpose of this study, along with the results for this research, is to help bring about the comprehension of how postmodern shows are influenced by other past events, figures of history, etc.; this understanding can explain how a television show like ‘family guy could be considered a historical document – by its narrative, by the cultural references connected to these said events, and also with the help of paintings, which the makers of the show use to design the episode of the show, and which reflect and refer to the actual historical figures. Historiography is being proven to be biased in more ways than one, which leads us to an understanding of a different narrative depending on one’s own opinions of history and historical documents as we know it.


Tyron Tyson Smith, Ajit Duara. Postmodernism and its emotional impact: The American T.V. Show, ‘Family Guy, as a Politically Incorrect Document. Cardiometry; Issue 23; August 2022; p.226-235; DOI: 10.18137/cardiometry.2022.23.226235; Available from:

Ключевые слова

Emotions,  Postmodernism,  Art,  Television,  Pastiche,  Pop-culture,  Political incorrectness,  History,  Historical document,  Historiography
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