Professor Sze’s brief mentioning about the idealized suburban lifestyle reflected in American pop culture in lecture today made me think of the neighborhoods in Tim Burton’s movie Edward Scissorhands and the work he put into making them appear so pristine and almost unreal. Burton wanted to reflect the suburbs he grew up in as a kid in Burbank, CA and the generic and unified feeling they had that was so familiar in shows like Leave it to Beaver or The Wonder Years. The setting of the movie was meant to remind us of the brainwashing media that portrays these idealized lifestyles and makes us believe that they are the key location to a wonderful and happy life. However, anyone that has seen Edward Scissorhands knows there was a lot of darkness hidden behind those pinks walls and perfectly manicured hedges. Burton likely wanted to exploit those ideals and reveal to the world that under that immaculate facade, the world is still imperfect and holds lies, hatred, and hegemonic ideals that are continued to be covered up by institutions like our suburbs.
How else do you feel suburban living has influenced (or brainwashed) us as a society, and has the image of a perfect suburban life influenced your family in any way?
*I could not find an original interview from Burton about the set; all of the facts I found were on the films’ Wikipedia page