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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering. Most people around the world form their view of USA based on what they see in movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. Even if you don't want to do that, it's inevitable that a lot of what ends up influencing your opinion and view of a foreign country. Just like a lot of Americans and non-Japanese people in general will sub-consciously assume that anime and video games are accurate depictions of Japanese culture and life in Japan, since they've never visited the country and thus that's the main exposure they have to it.

I'd say in Europe we generally view the US as a country of extremes. I feel like a huge chunk of Europeans view Americans as either morbidly obese or super fit and good looking. And also as a place full of adrenaline and excitement for better or worse. I also feel like, to a lot of Europeans, half of USA is full of easy people having sex and a lot of gun violence and the other half is full of super religious nuts and very far-right leaning politicians which make European right-wing politicians seem like left-wingers.

So, since this forum has a lot of Americans and I've never been to your country, I'd like to ask what the biggest differences between life in the US and what you see on TV are. Asides from the obvious things such as not everyone owning a big expensive house, everyone having a very well-paying job and everyone being attractive, of course.
 

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The Empire will Reign again
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Well in fiction you see a bunch of wealthy, healthy, happy 'Muricans and that just isn't the reality. 70% of Americans live on such tight means that they couldn't afford a $500 emergency yet most media show Americans living in mansions. Even when they try to show people struggling it's always unrealistic, take Friends for example, non of them would have been able to afford to live in those million dollar apartments in Manhattan, even with roommates, and only Ross and maybe Chandler would've had anything resembling savings. The episode where Joey lost his insurance and got a hernia and had to get another acting job to get his benefits back in reality would've ended up with him with a $100,000 hospital bill because in the 90's his insurance wouldn't have covered the treatment for his preexisting condition.
 

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Just wondering. Most people around the world form their view of USA based on what they see in movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. Even if you don't want to do that, it's inevitable that a lot of what ends up influencing your opinion and view of a foreign country. Just like a lot of Americans and non-Japanese people in general will sub-consciously assume that anime and video games are accurate depictions of Japanese culture and life in Japan, since they've never visited the country and thus that's the main exposure they have to it.

I'd say in Europe we generally view the US as a country of extremes. I feel like a huge chunk of Europeans view Americans as either morbidly obese or super fit and good looking. And also as a place full of adrenaline and excitement for better or worse. I also feel like, to a lot of Europeans, half of USA is full of easy people having sex and a lot of gun violence and the other half is full of super religious nuts and very far-right leaning politicians which make European right-wing politicians seem like left-wingers.

So, since this forum has a lot of Americans and I've never been to your country, I'd like to ask what the biggest differences between life in the US and what you see on TV are. Asides from the obvious things such as not everyone owning a big expensive house, everyone having a very well-paying job and everyone being attractive, of course.
Don't worry there are a decent amount of americans here that also shape their opinions of their country based on what they are told by mainstream news and entertainment. (Y)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well in fiction you see a bunch of wealthy, healthy, happy 'Muricans and that just isn't the reality. 70% of Americans live on such tight means that they couldn't afford a $500 emergency yet most media show Americans living in mansions. Even when they try to show people struggling it's always unrealistic, take Friends for example, non of them would have been able to afford to live in those million dollar apartments in Manhattan, even with roommates, and only Ross and maybe Chandler would've had anything resembling savings. The episode where Joey lost his insurance and got a hernia and had to get another acting job to get his benefits back in reality would've ended up with him with a $100,000 hospital bill because in the 90's his insurance wouldn't have covered the treatment for his preexisting condition.
First of all, 100,000? A hundred thousand?! o_O

I've never liked Friends. Watched like two episodes and couldn't laugh one single time. So I don't even remember what jobs the characters had or what their homes looked like. But yes, often in American TV shows young professionals live in big stylish condos in NYC or LA even though they seem to work really average jobs. Like, in Sex and the City the main character seems to be pretty wealthy when all she does for a living is writing a newspaper or magazine column or whatever. Hardly a glamorous job that can support such lifestyle.

Don't worry there are a decent amount of americans here that also shape their opinions of their country based on what they are told by mainstream news and entertainment. (Y)
Yeah, that's something humans do everywhere. And tbh, you can't really blame them. Most people are too busy with their own lives, so it's not like it's important for them to know what life is like on the other side of the globe. Everyone is ignorant to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with someone not knowing much or anything as long as they're not malicious about it and are willing to listen and learn.

The mass media is very powerful and influential when it comes to shaping people's minds. Hence why it's such a great propaganda tool and why people in general absorb a lot that they're fed by it.
 

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Most shows are about upper class people with mundane problems. The only time you see people in shows who aren't upper class is when the show takes place after the Apocalypse.

Even people that should be living a lot poorer are shown to be rather well off.
 

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The Empire will Reign again
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First of all, 100,000? A hundred thousand?! o_O

I've never liked Friends. Watched like two episodes and couldn't laugh one single time. So I don't even remember what jobs the characters had or what their homes looked like. But yes, often in American TV shows young professionals live in big stylish condos in NYC or LA even though they seem to work really average jobs. Like, in Sex and the City the main character seems to be pretty wealthy when all she does for a living is writing a newspaper or magazine column or whatever. Hardly a glamorous job that can support such lifestyle.


Yeah, that's something humans do everywhere. And tbh, you can't really blame them. Most people are too busy with their own lives, so it's not like it's important for them to know what life is like on the other side of the globe. Everyone is ignorant to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with someone not knowing much or anything as long as they're not malicious about it and are willing to listen and learn.

The mass media is very powerful and influential when it comes to shaping people's minds. Hence why it's such a great propaganda tool and why people in general absorb a lot that they're fed by it.
A single ER visit could run you several thousand dollars, hell it costs $3K just to get an ambulance ride, surgery would be multiple 10s of thousands of dollars, plus you have to pay the ER doctor, surgeon and anesthesiologist separately and pay for the hospital stay, so yea. Being uninsured or underinsured will bankrupt you in America, if you're not familiar with the concept of underinsured it's when you have insurance that will only cover your medical costs up to a certain amount, or they won't cover certain treatments that they deem experimental, low efficacy, or unnecessary.

Right wing Americans are frightened of socialized medicine because they believe in "death panels" but don't realize their insurance company can deny them that $300K experimental procedure to treat their rare and aggressive bone cancer, which is the real death panel.
 

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From televisions shows and movies you'd think most Americans are in great shape and eat healthy. Far from the truth when you consider that the US has the highest obesity rates in the world.
 

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Ive heard a fair amount of comments about americans being arrogant and not that pleasant (your women's football team at the world cup certainly fitted this) but I have been to america and met a few americans in this country and never had a problem with them. They seemed like very nice and friendly people who had enthusiasm for life in general.

Thing I generally love about other countries (america being one of them) if that their people generally seem alot more friendly and willing to talk to anyone from my experience. People here generally keep their head to the floor and scowl at strangers. The amount of times Ive said hello or evening to a person walking by and had no response at all, they just don't care to be pleasant. Yet you go to somewhere like france and they are just lovely.
 

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Yeah i've met a few Americans who came to New Zealand for touring purposes and were shockingly more friendly than your average Nz'er, And we have a false reputation of being the most down to earth people in the world or at least something close to that.

Good and bad everywhere I know but some places get a bad rap just because one person being unpleasant sets a precedent for the rest of their country to some bitter people.
 

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Well in fiction you see a bunch of wealthy, healthy, happy 'Muricans and that just isn't the reality. 70% of Americans live on such tight means that they couldn't afford a $500 emergency yet most media show Americans living in mansions. Even when they try to show people struggling it's always unrealistic, take Friends for example, non of them would have been able to afford to live in those million dollar apartments in Manhattan, even with roommates, and only Ross and maybe Chandler would've had anything resembling savings. The episode where Joey lost his insurance and got a hernia and had to get another acting job to get his benefits back in reality would've ended up with him with a $100,000 hospital bill because in the 90's his insurance wouldn't have covered the treatment for his preexisting condition.
Agreed. I watched The American Dream is wealthiness. On real life: that dream is subjective. Not clear and specified.

Agreed with [user]UniversalGleam[/user] too. I thought Americans are arrogant and with God Complex. I've just generalized that idea and I've forgotten particular cases like [User]Kowalki's Killer[/User], [User]birthday_massacre[/User], [user]Twilight Sky[/user], [user]kingnoth1n[/user] and likely other ones.

I want to contribute with some thoughts.

I've watched on Latin American countries thoughts about America as a Devilish Empire. You know, I've heard from guys like The Castros, Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, El Che Guevara. Not only in Latin America. Hollywood is not an exception. On real life: Hollywood and Latin American mandatories lied. The first one tried to clean her image with double standards and the second ones showed 21st Socialism doesn't work.

Fiction: They used to be stupid. Reality: The only stupid there is the stereotype. What about Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, and other geniuses?

Another thing: I thought Republicans and Democrats are historical enemies. Fake: They act differently. They think equal though. Reality: This is a fake rivalry. That country always has been governed by one monocratic political system this and pretending to be bipartisan.Thank you [User]Miss Sally[/User] & [User]Virus21[/User]

One more reality: mono-partisan democratic Political System is NOT The People.


Confession: I got relatives working in the USA. The mostly have their documents. In addition, I know a couple of men (an aunt's former husband and his son) who are good people and breaking with the previously told stereotype. Also, my house was used as Inn for a Christian Gospel Choir girls.

Lesson learned: World Broadcasting Media emulate reality. Not live it, though.

Thanks [user]Cowabunga[/user] for this thread.
God may forgive America, God may forgive me. We don't know what we do.
 

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It's a lot harder to make it in the real world than it is on TV. Whether it's the star football player who gets good grade while working a job or the person with a super nice place to live with an average job everything is tougher in the real world. For the most part TV and movie characters are living above their means or living lives that people can't live.
 

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Thing I generally love about other countries (america being one of them) if that their people generally seem alot more friendly and willing to talk to anyone from my experience. People here generally keep their head to the floor and scowl at strangers. The amount of times Ive said hello or evening to a person walking by and had no response at all, they just don't care to be pleasant. Yet you go to somewhere like france and they are just lovely.
Whereabouts are you from? In my experience that's way more common in the south than in the North, Wales and Scotland. I've had little old ladies come and chat to me at bus stops like I'm a long time friend plenty of times up north haha.
 

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I don't want strangers talking to me.
 

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Families like the Huxtables and The Brady Bunch are pure fiction. Even rich suburban families have problems.
My dad told me growing up his brothers and sisters all wished they were in the Brady family. :laugh:

I think the closest you'll see to poor Americans in a sitcom is Malcolm in the middle. That show did a pretty good job of showing a struggling family. Minus the whacky stuff it's pretty good with it's display.

Another fictional thing would be the rainbow collection of friends. I've rarely seen it and usually it's just acquaintances of all these tokens gathered together in this special bond of friendship. :laugh:
 

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my mother's friend, originally from scotland married a rich Texan & has turned into the stereotypical "real housewives of dallas" loudmouth. however i know most americans are not like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A single ER visit could run you several thousand dollars, hell it costs $3K just to get an ambulance ride, surgery would be multiple 10s of thousands of dollars, plus you have to pay the ER doctor, surgeon and anesthesiologist separately and pay for the hospital stay, so yea. Being uninsured or underinsured will bankrupt you in America, if you're not familiar with the concept of underinsured it's when you have insurance that will only cover your medical costs up to a certain amount, or they won't cover certain treatments that they deem experimental, low efficacy, or unnecessary.

Right wing Americans are frightened of socialized medicine because they believe in "death panels" but don't realize their insurance company can deny them that $300K experimental procedure to treat their rare and aggressive bone cancer, which is the real death panel.
You pay for ambulance rides? and 3k?! Damn.

Tbh public healthcare is a European invention. I'm not sure if it's common in countries outside of the Old Continent.

From televisions shows and movies you'd think most Americans are in great shape and eat healthy. Far from the truth when you consider that the US has the highest obesity rates in the world.
I was gonna say that that probably applies to every country in the world(actors and celebs generally being fit and good looking), but then I remembered that on British TV shows, for example, you see a lot of average or even ugly looking people. No one in Black Adder, Fawlty Towers, Black Books, Mr. Bean, etc. looked like models or people with above average looks. Meanwhile, on American TV series actors are often young, very good looking and very well dressed.

It's a lot harder to make it in the real world than it is on TV. Whether it's the star football player who gets good grade while working a job or the person with a super nice place to live with an average job everything is tougher in the real world. For the most part TV and movie characters are living above their means or living lives that people can't live.
Since you've mentioned the football player, I've always found it funny how HS is portrayed on American TV. With the cliques being very well defined and characters being extreme stereotypes.

My dad told me growing up his brothers and sisters all wished they were in the Brady family. :laugh:

I think the closest you'll see to poor Americans in a sitcom is Malcolm in the middle. That show did a pretty good job of showing a struggling family. Minus the whacky stuff it's pretty good with it's display.

Another fictional thing would be the rainbow collection of friends. I've rarely seen it and usually it's just acquaintances of all these tokens gathered together in this special bond of friendship. :laugh:
Malcolm in the Middle was a fun series.

You mean those friend groups with a black guy, a white girl, an Asian girl, a white guy in a wheelchair and an Indian guy? Yeah, they don't look very realistic lol
 
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