Cal Tzedek: on the pop culture front

Saturday, December 18, 2004

on the pop culture front

Bitch magazine's latest issue has a great little piece on the "Annals of TV Judaism," by B. Helen Carnhoops. The main concept here is the "coded Jew"- think George Costanza on Seinfeld; I mean, is that man not a walking Jewish stereotype? Yet, supposedly, not Jewish. Willow Rosenberg from Buffy is called out as one of the first "uncoded Jews" on TV- openly Jewish, yet not a stereotype. The piece also reports that

"Several network executives famously fabricated an audience-research study revealing that viewers were open to all characters save those who were Jewish, had mustaches, or were from New York" Hence the rise of "coding"-- shows get to exploit all those wacky Jewish traits, yet not have to expose their viewers to any actual (fictional) Jews.

(mustaches?)


-Lisa

Comments:
I think George's Jewishness is strongly implied if not actually stated. In one episode, George's mother stated that she would never buy a German car, which is a common sentiment among World War II era Jews. Then, of course, George's father celebrates Festivus. Festivus cannot be equated with Hanukkah, but it does underline that George's father does not celebrate Christmas.
 
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