Television has been hardwired into our cultural vocabulary for decades, so it’s not surprising that shows can change the way we behave and challenge social norms.
When you spell out all their effects, though, it can be staggering. The good people at mental_floss put together an interesting list of television shows that have influenced society outside of their own popular spheres. There are a surprising number of shows that have affected politics, changed our vocabulary, or made us healthier people. Some of these are a little weak — Celine Dion does not count as a world-changing milestone — but the stories about subversive Dutch reality shows and CSI‘s effect on criminal trials are proof of TV’s inescapable grip on our subconscious.
Many of the shows on the list are international programs or shows without home media releases like America’s Most Wanted, but a number of them are available at Media Services. Judge for yourself whether our world is different because of them.
The Simpsons – HU DVD 6581 – 6591
Glee – HU DVD 7621 – 7633
SpongeBob SquarePants – HU DVD 8451 – 8459
Star Trek: The Next Generation – HU DVD 6401 – 6449
Curb Your Enthusiasm – HU DVD 5211 – 5226
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – HU DVD 2821 – 2859
Friends – HU DVD 8501 – 8540
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – HU DVD 10291
Sex and the City – HU DVD 3901 – 3919