Green Velvet


| November 21, 2000

Green Velvet, Mark Wigley, 2wice
Media critics often hold 1950s television responsible for implanting Westerners' desire for the suburban American Dream. In sitcoms like 'Ozzie and Harriet' and 'Father Knows Best,' all laden with status symbols that radiated a perfect middle class sheen, subliminal civic and consumer messages crept though. Mark Wigley of the arts and culture magazine 2wice digs to find what lies beneath the symbol of the domesticated lawn. In his article, Wigley juxtaposes the idyllic sitcom imagery of the perfectly manicured lawn with the dystopian suburban nightmare in David Lynch's 1986 film 'Blue Velvet.' In rose-tinted sitcoms, the 'association between the well-maintained lawn and the well-maintained family is reinforced in all forms of advertisement for suburban life,' writes Wigley. 'An endless array of aggressively happy families poses on perfect grass--eating, drinking, cooking, sleeping, and playing. Clothes change but the lawn remains the same. Healthy families have healthy lawns.' 'Blue Velvet,' on the other hand, shows what can happen when the lawn, so meticulously controlled and domesticated, takes over:a breakdown of social, natural and technological order.
--Amanda Luker
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