October 12, 2012

Democrats like cartoons, Republicans like reality shows.

According to TiVo-based research.
Over all, the Democratic list contained a lot of animated comedies — “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad” — as well as lightly viewed but critically acclaimed sitcoms like “30 Rock” and “Community.”

The Republican list, beyond sports (Nascar was [in addition to golf, big), was populated with a host of reality shows — “The Biggest Loser,” “Survivor,” “American Idol” and “The Amazing Race."...

70 comments:

LarsPorsena said...

What! 'Bar Rescue' didn't make the list?

Andy R. said...

I've watched the five liberal comedies in the quoted excerpt and none of the four conservative shows except maybe an episode or two of survivor.

Askance said...

Reality TV is fascinating because people are fascinating. No matter how weird the premise of a show, or how greatly the cast differs from people we may know in real life, they're still humans -- they're still us. Their behavior tells us about who we are -- individually and collectively.

Scripted TV is entertaining. It is the work of humans, but it's fictionalized. It tells us about who we want to be, who we're afraid we might be and who we think other people are.

Republicans, stereotypically, want to embrace reality, however harsh it may be -- and then work to make the best of it.

Democrats, stereotypically, want to embrace dreams of what could be, however foolish they may seem -- and then work to make them real.

Both are essentially noble, but they're not equivalently practical.

carrie said...

I think that one reason for that is that many conservatives hate all of the recreational sex and other liberal values that are accepted as normal in network sitcoms, dramas and cartoons and the reality shows that conservatives watch don't have that so you can watch them without getting angry or depressed.

carrie said...

I think that one reason for that is that many conservatives hate all of the recreational sex and other liberal values that are accepted as normal in network sitcoms, dramas and cartoons and the reality shows that conservatives watch don't have that so you can watch them without getting angry or depressed.

traditionalguy said...

I like NCIS because Mark Harmon plays a real man on it. That is the only TV show made in the last 40 years that has a good man as a character.

EMD said...

Regular Show is a cartoon. It's pretty awesome. Of course it didn't make the list.

American Dad is pretty lame.

I hate most reality shows but Amazing Race can be compelling.

EMD said...

I loved Community until NBC chose to fire the creator, Dan Harmon.

Haven't watched it since.

TosaGuy said...

"And Republicans tend to watch N.C.A.A. basketball, while Democrats prefer the National Basketball Association."

One side likes a basketball game where the underdog wins enough to keep things interesting.

Meanwhile, the other side likes the type of basketball where the officials are only a step above those of the WWE.

Larry J said...

I watch almost no network programming other than some football. As for reality TV, I like shows like "Dirty Jobs" and "Deadliest Catch" that show people working at interesting jobs.

As for cartoons, my grandkids introduced me to "Phineas and Ferb". It's often funny as hell with a lot of science and humor aimed at adults (but not in a bad way).

EMD said...

As for cartoons, my grandkids introduced me to "Phineas and Ferb". It's often funny as hell with a lot of science and humor aimed at adults (but not in a bad way).

Phineas and Ferb is a fantastic kids show, with great music and humor.

EMD said...

Also NBA = inner cities.

Only suburban whites care about Valpo's chances in the tournament.

Cue Crack ...

YoungHegelian said...

I watch 30 Rock all the time, but it really is too New York showbiz to have broad appeal. Everyone in it is so messed up, but in that NYC normal sort of way.

"Family Guy' & "American Dad" are not just "cartoons". While they're sometimes funny, they're always snarky, mean, and sometimes just obscene. I don't think that it's couth to admit in public that one is a fan, unlike say, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

It says something about modern Democrats that these shows are at the top of their list. And not something good, either.

Geoff Matthews said...

Looks like liberals enjoy Seth McFarlane cartoons, to be more precise.

bagoh20 said...

Well then, my taste is definitely more toward the Dems side. I especially liked that Democratic cartoon that was on all the networks last night.

Nonapod said...

Another very harsh and cynical way to look at it is that liberals tend to be focused on stories or narratives. They prefer abstractions to highly defined situations. They prefer escapism to reality. Conservatives are interested in people, liberals are interested in characters.

Tank said...

Being mostly libertarian, I guess it figures I don't watch any of those shows. And hardly any others.

Nonapod said...

Although to be fair, a lot of the people in reality TV (Honey Boo Boo) come off as more characters than real people to me.

bagoh20 said...

The one thing about reality shows that IS real is the ratio of male to female idiots. The shows that Dems like are overwhelmingly feminist in this regard. They love their men dumb and push them right up the ladder to leadership positions.

Shanna said...

Didn't this come out last year? I remember them mentioning Parks and Rec (which I love). My question last year was...is this adjusted by age?

I do go for NCAA over NBA, so that fits the stereotype. I've also been catching up on Pretty Little Liars, although why that would skew republican I have no idea.

Nonapod said...

When it comes to reality shows, I like the working situation ones (like Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, American Chopper, IRT) and find the contest/game ones tedious (Survivor, Amazing Race, American Idol).

And I love Parks & Rec. It's pretty much the only sitcom I care for on TV at them moment.

edutcher said...

Watch the History channels, the Military channel, and the Westerns channel.

Reality shows are almost as boring as porn.

And there haven't been any good cartoons since George of the Jungle.

I guess that makes me a Federalist.

Or a Jacobin.

AJ Lynch said...

Democrats like cartoons? May explain their choice in VP.

AJ Lynch said...

I love 30 Rock, Curb Appeal, House Hunters, Love it or List It, The Simpsons in its first 20 years, I Should Not Be Alive and Alaskan State Troopers. Also a fan of the NFL, MLB, and NCAA March Madness and a lot of college football. Oh and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders reality show.

AJ Lynch said...

Almost forgot - Shameless, Weeds, the AMC Zombie show, Spartacus are real good too. Jeez I watch a lot of TV.

AJ Lynch said...

Lastly, HBO and Bill Maher blow.

The Crack Emcee said...

Over all, the Democratic list contained a lot of animated comedies — “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad” — as well as lightly viewed but critically acclaimed sitcoms like “30 Rock” and “Community.”

Basically, liberals like shows with liberal views scripted in and conservatives like reality.

Fancy that,...

Quaestor said...

I must an outlier on the conservative spectrum. I like cartoons -- well, some cartoons, oldies like Warner's Looney-Toons from the 1950s and "Rocky and Bullwinkle", and a few latter-day saints like "The Simpsons" (though that show has royally sucked for about the last six seasons), the ever-excellent "South Park", the mind-blowing "Venture Brothers" and occasionally I like "Metalocalypse" (a word I can read but cannot decide how to pronounce). Seth MacFarlane's cartoon empire is to me simultaneously boring and repulsive, which is a singular, if dubious, accomplishment.

I despise all "reality" shows except for "Mythbusters", the only "reality" show about reality, which I watch whenever the opportunity arises.

weinish said...

Let me tell you something...

I'm a hard-nosed liberal. Don't watch a lot of TV. I carry my "Wire" credentials wherever I go. Like me some cartoons. More so Aqua Teen and Metalocolypse.

With all that said:

BAR RESCUE IS PHENOMENAL.

Yeah, it's repetitive, and the guy Jon Taffer a big of a jackass, but that show is fantastic.

Quaestor said...

weinish wrote:
Let me tell you something... I'm a hard-nosed liberal...

A rather lonely category, is it not?

Thorley Winston said...

Mostly agree with Quaestor: I’m fine with cartoons that cater to a more adult audience like Adult Swim, most anime (that isn’t based on a card game) or some of the DCAU cartoons that are written by fans of the original. I just got done finishing Avatar the Last Airbender which my friend’s ten year old persuaded me to try and found myself in disbelief that something that well written was on Nickelodeon.


I gave up on seeing anything worthwhile from Seth McFarlaine last year. It’s all pretty much toilet humor and how gross can we be on a network television show which really doesn’t interest me.




AprilApple said...

I have some liberal friends who love "the family guy". I tried to watch it. I think it's just awful.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - I don't watch too much TV, except for sports, the news, or "Shark Tank," and only when my roommate has them on. I find it all too mindless, compelling me to relentlessly mock the never-ending series of PSA-type statements - especially those coming from commercials - until I can no longer stand to bear another "green" or "health" indoctrination session and retreat to my room.

I'm currently watching the James Burke series "Connections" on DVD. I've been mixing it up with my usual selection of Nazi documentaries and films - lightened up with "fun" stuff like "Inglorious Basterds" - and reality-based excisions into art and culture, with an emphasis on music.

Figures, don't it?

VekTor said...

I find it interesting that the side which likes to call itself "reality-based" shows their preferences in entertainment to be completely inverted from that.

madAsHell said...

Of course, this is some weird sub-set that actually watches TV....regardless of political convictions!!

Michael K said...

I used to watch Law & Order before Jerry Orbach died. My secretaries talked me into watching "Northern Exposure" when it was on 20 years ago. I started to watch and it got cancelled. Now I watch sports, mostly football, and Pawn Stars on History Channel. Otherwise, I read.

ricpic said...

Family Guy leans left but gets in jabs at PC pieties as well. American Dad is a cruder thoroughly anti-traditional values show.

ALP said...

Over all, the Democratic list contained a lot of animated comedies — “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad”
********************
Oh for fuck's sake! I am one of the biggest "Family Guy" fans on the face of the earth, in addition to animation in general. Cleveland and AD fall behind "South Park" and many, many others..."Squidbillies" anyone? I lie awake nights wondering what my favorite Family Guy episode is in case I am asked. Its a tough call. I've got it narrowed down to three episodes.

And I hate what the Democratic party has become - switched to independent years ago.

Good god. Sometimes I yearn for the old days of no digital media, when getting words into print took a lot more effort so you might have thought about the quality of what you were trying to say in the first place.

YoungHegelian said...

@ricpic,

It is often the lefties who take the hardest swipes at PC pieties.

You better have sterling liberal credentials before you can get away with this.

gregq said...

With "reality shows" you don't have to put up with script-writers BS left-wing view of the world.

O2BNAZ said...

All the cartoons are fox network shows... guess the funny's on the Dems

Freeman Hunt said...

Ugh! Just turn it off.

Thorley Winston said...


It is often the lefties who take the hardest swipes at PC pieties.


More like they’re usually guilty of whatever it is they accuse others of thinking, saying or doing.



Quaestor said...

YoungHegelian wrote:
You better have sterling liberal credentials before you can get away with this.

Thanks for the amusing link. I must imagine that somewhere, in some vast lake of molten brimstone Redd Foxx is bobbing up and down doing his Alec Baldwin.

Paddy O said...

Castle is very popular in this household (2 conservatives).

Also, The Middle. Parks & Recreation.

My wife independently likes the cooking competition shows, while I watch Dr. Who and Copper.

I've been intrigued with the new show The Last Resort too.

Both the standard netword reality shows and cartoons tend not to get watched around here.

EMD said...

Family Guy is a pale imitation of what The Simpsons used to be.

South Park has been and can still be great.

King of the Hill was one of the best animated shows ever. Bobby Hill is a more realistic portrayal of a tween kid than anything with real humans on it.

EMD said...

I also like Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and Homeland.

I'm kind of all over the place.

Paddy O said...

Oh, and New Girl is sometimes good. Had a little anti-Obama in there a couple of weeks ago.

Bender said...

I must an outlier on the conservative spectrum.

You and me both, as if you couldn't already tell from my handle.

But it is odd that liberals would like Seth McFarlane cartoons. Although he probably leans a bit left, he also routinely rips liberals, maybe not as much as South Park, but true just the same. He also routinely shows the biggest most pompous ass to be Brian, the leftist dog.

Brian Griffin: How can you not like me?
Glen Quagmire: Okay, I'll tell you. You are the worst person I know. You constantly hit on your best friend's wife. The man pays for your food and rescued you from certain death, and this is how you repay him? And to add insult to injury, you defecate all over his yard. And you're such a sponge. You pay for nothing. You always say, "Oh, I'll get you later" but later never comes! And what really bothers me is you pretend you're this deep guy who loves women for their souls when all you do is date bimbos. Yeah, I date women for their bodies but at least I'm honest about it. I don't buy them a copy of Catcher in the Rye and then lecture them with some seventh grade interpretation of how Holden Caulfield is some profound, intellectual. He wasn't! He was a spoiled brat! And that's why you like him so much - he's you! God, you're pretentious! And you delude yourself by thinking you're some great writer, even though you're terrible! You know, I should have known Cheryl Tiegs didn't write me that note. She would have known there's no "a" in the word "definite." And I think what I hate most about you is your textbook liberal agenda, how we should "legalize pot, man," how big business is crushing the underclass, how homelessness is the biggest tragedy in America. Well, what have YOU done to help? I work down at the soup kitchen, Brian. Never seen YOU down there! You wanna help? Grab a ladle! And by the way, driving a Prius doesn't make you Jesus Christ! Oh, wait! You don't believe in Jesus Christ or any religion for that matter, because "religion is for idiots!" Well, who the hell are you to talk down to anyone? You failed college twice, which isn't nearly as bad as your failure as a father! How's that son of yours you never see? But you know what? I could forgive all of that, all of it, if you weren't such a bore! That's the worst of it, Brian. You're just a big, sad, alcoholic bore.

Nora said...

So, is it official that Republicans are reality based community?

The division is fascinating: dysfunctional family comedies on one side and competitions and challenges on the other.

I guess psychologists will explain it by the inherent superiority of liberal brain any moment now.

Sorun said...

Does this help explain Biden's "animation" last night.

but I am a robot said...

I consider myself a fan of some of those "liberal" shows. And the prime-time reality TV mostly annoys the shit out of me.

@Bender: Never heard that quote before, but I'm happy to hear that Quagmire agrees with me about Brian.

rasqual said...

The post headline: A distinction without a difference.

Shana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shana said...

NCAA basketball and football. Parks and Rec and The Office. New Girl is my hypocritical, guilty pleasure. Covert Affairs, Last Resort, and Revolution (also loved Jericho and Firefly back in the day, so I figure Last Resort and/or Revolution will get canceled after one season). I have also enjoyed Castle and Psych in the past but they seem to be past their prime. Not big on cartoons or reality shows unless it is Bugs Bunny or Wipeout. I also enjoy Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and the new Upstairs, Downstairs.

Shanna said...

Put me down for Sherlock too. I've never heard of bar rescue, but that's probably because I don't have cable.

Eric said...

Reality TV is fascinating because people are fascinating.

My problem with reality TV is so much of it is obviously scripted.

I'm pretty much done with American TV, myself, preferring Korean dramas and Japanese animation.

ALP said...

RE: Revolution

I almost got sucked into that one, but still getting over the disappointment that is the "Lost" finale, and overall "Oprah - New Agey" turn that show took. The reviews warned me off. Too bad as a lot of my TV drama watching bookends the modern era:

"Hell on Wheel" + "Copper"

Then

"Walking Dead"

Skipping over our modern era and strait to TEOTWAWKI.

I'm sorry - 15 years without electricity and NO ONE has revived the steam engine? I love me some post-apocalyptic drama, but NO STEAM ENGINES?

ALP said...

That should read:

Skipping over our modern era and **straight** to TEOTWAWKI.

Only on a blog run by a law school grad would I fix spelling like that!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I suppose I don't belong commenting here, as I don't watch much TV at all, but I dislike reality TV, and like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Mythbusters. I suppose they all have something in common, in that occasionally things get blown up.

Julie C said...

I'm a conservative and I love Family Guy, although I rarely tell anyone that. I am both fascinated and repelled by Seth McFarlane. Simpsons jumped the shark a while back, although the Treehouse of Horror episodes are usually fun.

Walking Dead is great. Husband enjoys Amazing Race. I love Mad Men and Game of Thrones.

LarsPorsena said...

What! No Walter White love?
No 'Breaking Bad' fans?

Clyde said...

Well, we saw half of Barack and Stimpy last night...

I think that must have been the "Space Madness" episode!

kcom said...

"I'm kind of all over the place."

You don't know all over the place. :)

I actually tell my friend I don't go below channel 38 on our Comcast (meaning I miss all the major networks ABC, NBC, etc.). But above that I bounce around a lot, although I avoid most reality shows and definitely the American Idol type ones.

I watch/have watched Burn Notice (and other USA shows), half the shows on the Disney Channel (but avoid the other half), The First 48, Longmire, Haven, The Glades, The History Channel before it stopped being about History, Mythbusters, World's Dumbest Criminals, Jewelry Television, Bunheads, Turner Classic Movies, not much sports except the Tour de France, South Park, My Cat from Hell, The Closer, House and NCIS in reruns (because marathons are good company when working, see below). My specialty is watching only the first season of shows that later become super-popular, like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I get the gist of it, and then move on before they turn into soap operas.

The TV tends to be my companion when I'm up late working on computer stuff, especially programming. It's an additional input, not the sole focus of my attention.

elkh1 said...

I like cartoons because I can't stand the brainless big mouth "stars". I have never watched a "reality" show. I never voted Democrat.

William said...

Perhaps that's the cause of my deep malaise. I have conservative instincts but liberal entertainment tastes......I think a conservative can watch South Park and The Simpsons without doing too much harm to his views. 30 Rock is funny, but it's as much an infomercial for Democrat values as a Letterman monologue. I watch it, but I feel dirty and used afterwards......Dirty Jobs was pretty good, but that's the only reality show I ever saw that had any basis to reality. The other shows all feature amateurs playing to the camera. Amateurs can sometimes project a layer of phoniness that's truly off putting.

TmjUtah said...

I can't stand 99% of the reality shows.

They all devolve to contrived drama fests.

BTW, traditionalguy at 1:42pm noted that Mark Harmon's character on NCIS is a "real man". I agree.

We've watched that show since season one. I thought last season's domestic terrorist story arc was a tad PC until I reflected that they've dealt with Islamists, Russians, Norks, African expats fighting tribal wars on US turf, CIA/FBI/NCIS moles... so I cut them some slack.

Oh, and I watch Dirty Jobs. Someday Mike Rowe is going to come out to Utah and lay out a building or parking garage with me...

Alan said...

I saw the headline and thought it was another post about the VP debate.

LilyBart said...

...and then move on before they turn into soap operas.

This is SO true, and they always turn into soap operas. Why? Is this a common trap the writers fall into? Do the actors insist on 'exploring' their characters? Do most of the people actually like the soap opera thing?

Paul said...

"Democrats like cartoons, Republicans like reality shows."

Yea, Dem's always thought the Three Stogies was a reality show.

Cartoons? Color me shocked... NOT! That sounds like a liberal. Big dreamer with little idea about how it works in the real world. They as the big 'why' and 'why not' but never the 'how are you going to pay for it'.