Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Veganism on Network Television

This fall or winter, ABC will air a new animated series called The Goode Family. One of the creators is Mike Judge, the guy who brought us King of the Hill.

It's about a vegan family, "obsessed with doing the 'right' thing, whether it's environmentally, politically or socially. Unfortunately, their efforts often have unintended comic consequences." (That's an ABC quote, and damn is it lame as all hell.)

Co-creator/executive producer John Altschuler says in the preview for the series, "It's so hard to be good. You gotta eat the right things. You gotta wear the right things. You gotta buy the right things."

He's right. You do gotta do those things. Or at least you should try to do those things.

Of course, they're going to poke fun at people who try to be responsible citizens of the world. This doesn't bother me too much, as long as they do it intelligently and don't fall into the "crazy hippie" or "miserable vegan" trap. I don't know any crazy or miserable vegans. It feels good to do good. It is hard some times, but it's worth it. I hope that's where they go with the show.

Check out the preview for The Goode Family here.

Even if the show takes the easy route of vegan-bashing now and then, the fact that a vegan family is the subject of a major network sitcom is encouraging. Maybe this means that in a few years when I tell servers at restaurants that I'm vegan I won't have to then explain to them what that means.

But it probably also means that when people think "vegan" they'll think about that wacky Goode Family who are always so high-maintenance, condecending and miserable.

It's a double-edged sword. But at least it's a sword!


mindy said...

I'll definitely be checking this show out - for better or for worse.
Also, I nominated you for Best Parenting Blog over here: http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/49239

Al said...

Wow. Thanks!

Corey Wrenn said...

This is just absolutely awful. The comment about the family feeling "guilty" about being alive and the dog that "craves" meat...this is just horrible. All this does is feed into meat-eating society's need to live a greedy, selfish life with out feeling bad about it. It's our right as an American to guzzle gas and eat meat! And by god, this cartoon shows how caring is comical and deviant!

All this does is marginalize us and make it impossible to take us seriously.

Racist jokes and sexist jokes work to maintain the institutions of racism and sexism by the same mechanisms. If it becomes belittled and humorous, it is no longer a serious, threatening issue.


Al said...

That's certainly a valid way of looking at it.