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To wonder why US dramas fetishise workolism?...

(138 Posts)
coconuttella Sun 25-Jun-17 15:39:37

... Grey's Anatomy, West Wing, Suits... I could go on, but all seem to worship at the altar of the all-consuming career.

coconuttella Sun 25-Jun-17 15:41:40

I mean "Workaholism"....

Groupie123 Sun 25-Jun-17 15:42:43

Suits and West Wing (in terms of work culture) fits my career in banking perfectly. I guess they're looking at careers at a senior level.

RaspberryBeretHoopla Sun 25-Jun-17 15:44:14

It's the Puritanical work ethic. You don't work hard, you are worthless.

FlyingElbows Sun 25-Jun-17 15:44:21

Because you can't make an interesting drama out of happy people with a nice work/life balance!

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Sun 25-Jun-17 15:44:56

It'd be pretty boring tv if we see them sitting around binge watching Netflix and eating crisps or grocery shopping or laying in bed playing candy crush grin

BayLeaves Sun 25-Jun-17 15:48:10

Crazy isn't it, lots of TV shows and movies are like that. They never seem to be at home. And another thing: when people have babies their lives and plot lines seem to continue exactly as they did before, rather than their whole world being turned upside down! Who takes care of the babies?! I don't get it!

On the flip side I've noticed a lot of rom coms where work is hardly mentioned, the main characters seem to be on an endless holiday from work, and yet live in amazing luxurious apartments and have plenty of cash for shopping sprees, makeovers and meals out etc.

Loopytiles Sun 25-Jun-17 15:49:18

Good Wife too. What annoys me is when couples with DC work all the time and the DC never appear or seem to have any issues.

BayLeaves Sun 25-Jun-17 15:50:15

Carrie from Homeland and Kim from Better Call Saul are also workaholics...

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sun 25-Jun-17 15:51:17

My BIL (from the US) says it's normal in many parts of the US. Often people only get a couple of weeks leave a year and may not always even take that sad

BaffledMummy Sun 25-Jun-17 15:52:20

I worked in New York for years (financial services)....its really not out of the ordinary to work that much (hence why I came back to Blighty!). Not sure it 'fetishises' workaholism rather than reflect the reality for many.

Groupie123 Sun 25-Jun-17 15:52:27

12 weeks unpaid mat leave in the states. Women often can't afford to reduce hours/stay at home.

Saiman Sun 25-Jun-17 15:54:03

To be fair a lot of people do work like that.

The programmes are based around a place of work. So it makes its easier for their lives to revolve around work.

We were watching suits the other night and i commented that at least theor houses always look like show homes. Mine would if we were never here.

Again pregnancy is just a story line. If the action is all around work, they will continue that. If its leaf characters that are having a baby they arent going to write them out of the show for a year while taking MAT/PAT leave.

user1497888420 Sun 25-Jun-17 15:54:16

I work with people in the US a lot. It's not fetishised, it's a representation of how they actually work(!)

It's the consequence of workers having very few rights, they have hardly any of the protections we have (let alone compared to Continental Europeans).

I don't know anyone in the US that has taken a two week holiday for example, it's basically unthinkable to them...totally normal to get emails from them at all times of night/early morning their time. It's crazy and why we should be wary of anything that erodes workers rights here.

YesMadamDeputySpeaker Sun 25-Jun-17 15:56:48

I am a self-confessed workaholic, and therefore I tend not to watch programmes featuring similar characters.
I prefer light, frothy sitcoms to unwind where the characters never seem to work, as BayLeaves mentioned!

coconuttella Sun 25-Jun-17 16:03:52

If it's actually like that in the States, how do people ever spend their money...
They're always at work!

Saiman Sun 25-Jun-17 16:06:51

In New York your rent will take care of a lot of it.

I assume you spend it like the rest of us. Internet shopping. I do most of mine on there anyway.

I work at the office 8.00-4.30pm. Then work a couple of hours at home after the kids are in bed.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sun 25-Jun-17 16:07:05

I guess you spend it on paying to get the things done that you would do yourself if you weren't working so obsessively maybe?

FlipFlopsReady Sun 25-Jun-17 16:08:05

Grey's Anatomy is sort of realistic (never ending plane, train, automobile and natural disasters aside) for the length of time they spend at work.... that's the whole point of a hospital based drama.

Crunchymum Sun 25-Jun-17 16:10:33

Americans spend all their money on childcare!! And many that I know drop a lot of cash on caterers as they don't have time to cook.

GetAHaircutCarl Sun 25-Jun-17 16:11:01

Because it's drama based around workplace.

If the characters just go home and watch telly after a nice home made meal there is no ... drama.

Every scene ( except establishing shots etc) has the be based around conflict. Inner conflict. External conflict. The more conflict the better.

That's why we watch and read and listen to drama - to see characters battling through that conflict.

CaoNiMartacus Sun 25-Jun-17 16:14:28

Because the purpose of American popular culture is to inculcate new workers for the capitalist machine?

Scaredycat3000 Sun 25-Jun-17 16:20:44

It's their culture, the American dream work hard and succeed. If you haven't succeeded you should have worked harder. I believe taxes are similar levels as in the UK but you then have to pay for health insurance on top. And poor tax is particularly bad there.

expatinscotland Sun 25-Jun-17 16:20:56

I used to work 50-60 hours a week in the US, pretty standard, IME.

TheDogAteMyGoatskinVellum Sun 25-Jun-17 16:22:25

They do work more in the US. Get about half the annual leave we do iirc. It's fucked up, I'd never consider living there.

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