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.
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