Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Green on the Small Screen

Random musings from The Conscious Shopper

Awhile back I watched a really funny episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall watches a documentary about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and then gets obsessed with going green. I tried to find a video clip of the episode to share with you all, but apparently the youtubes did not deem that episode as one that needed to be preserved for posterity. So relying on my hazy memory of a show I saw two months ago, it went something like this:

Marshall is so distracted by coming up with a green initiative for the company he works for that he isn't paying attention to his wife Lily. Finally one night she buys a six pack of beer, puts on some lingerie, and attempts to seduce her husband, but as he's kissing her, he starts glancing at the beer cans.

"Lily," he says. "What did you do with the plastic rings around the cans?"

Lily shrugs and goes back to kissing, but Marshall pushes her away. "What did you do with the plastic rings??!!"

"I threw it away," Lily says.

Marshall goes ballistic. "Don't you know about Garbage Island!!!"

Then instead of having a nice evening with his wife, he goes dumpster diving for the plastic rings in the dumpster behind his apartment.

I found this episode hilarious because I've been there. Not that particular scenario, but I've been in situations where I've been so distracted by all the trash that I can't enjoy whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. But after the show was over, I started thinking...

Does an episode like that basically making fun of environmentalists help the green cause or hurt it? I've noticed green issues popping up on television shows all over the place lately, and often those shows take a light-hearted and even skeptical approach to what are to me very serious issues. In the case of the How I Met Your Mother episode, I'm sure many viewers were hearing about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time, but at the same time, the show made it seem like people who care about recycling or protecting the earth are complete wackos.

What do you all think about green issues making an appearance on the small screen?

While you think about that, you can watch this episode of Portlandia that I also find hilarious:

2 comments:

Green Bean said...

I think it is a very good question to which I have no answer! I too have noticed more and more green issues cropping on in the media but often the people who are being "green" are not portrayed in a positive light. Sigh.

Changing Normal said...

I've only been reading the Green Phone Booth for a short time, and it's my first time to comment :-). Your post reminded me of a show called the "The Goode Family", the show only aired one season but it's entirely about a "green" family and their daily struggles to be "good". As an eco-conscious person myself I found the show to be really funny since I can relate to a lot of the issues, but, I can see why it only aired one season, I'm not sure the average person can relate to their issues. If you have time to check the show out all the episodes are in two part sections on youtube.

I wish there was more green humor out there, but sadly I do feel like it turns the average person off since a lot of the time they don't like to be faced with their own shortcomings in being eco-friendly. Thanks for the post!

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