What we see on TV, in film, adverts, and music videos frames the ways we think about romance, coupledom, and the world.
Isabelle Cassar Fiott interviewed Prof. Brenda Murphy
about how non-mainstream couples find an unexpectedly welcoming space in sitcoms. A sitcom fan herself, Murphy found ample instances of positive coupledom portrayal and diverse representation in terms of age, sexuality, and race as well as differently abled characters. Her findings became the basis of a book chapter Framing Couples: stereotypes, romance and idealized romance in the media.
Through Murphy isn’t sure why sitcoms better represent people across all boards, she has identified one possible reason: ‘One of the main variables around wellbeing is humour. The wellbeing and feel-good factor which surrounds the genre is infectious, so if you’re going to do good comedy, it makes sense to be as inclusive as possible.’