Reality TV's Working Class Heroes

On Deadliest Catch and its followers, the biggest drama comes from pulling down a paycheck

Cameron Glendenning / Discovery Channel

The Time Bandit crew working on deck in Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.

One of the most amusing spectacles this election season has been watching highly paid TV hosts embrace their inner Woody Guthrie and rediscover the workin' man. What do blue-collar Americans want? Can they save Hillary? Is Obama out of touch with them?

The irony is that TV networks have been out of touch with the working class for years. Blue-collar TV characters used to be routine: Ralph Kramden, Fred Sanford, Laverne and Shirley. TV was the people's medium, after all. But now network dramas and sitcoms have been gentrified. The better to woo upscale viewers, TV has evicted its mechanics and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!