Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Top Ten Television Occupations

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This does not include shows that revolve around professions (like ER or West Wing), or shows where the profession of a main character is a big deal (like Frasier, Murphy Brown, or Cheers). Instead, to make the list, the show needed to be about a character outside of work, but still make that character's profession known. I originally had many more professions, but as I thought of more and more characters, I had a hard time coming up with more than two people for many areas that I originally thought would be more prevalent (like I could only come up with Carl Winslow, Eddie Sutton, and Robert Barone for "law enforcement officers").

10. CEO (Phillip Drummond, George Jefferson, C. Montgomery Burns)
9. Writer (Ray Barone, Maggie Malone-Seaver, Carrie Bradshaw)
8. Advertising (Angela Bower, Chandler Bing, Darrin Stephens)
7. Finance (Jim Walsh, Derek Morris, Barney Stinson, Ward Cleaver)
6. TV Personality (Tim Taylor, Danny Tanner/Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis, Hilary Banks, Joey Tribbiani, Robin Scherbatsky)
5. Lawyer (Clair Huxtable, Greg Montgomery, Phil Banks, Miranda Hobbes, Will Truman, Marshall Erikson)
4. Construction (Mike Brady, Fred Flintstone, Dan Connor, Frank Lambert, Ted Mosby, Elyse Keaton)
3. Teacher/Professor (Ross Geller, George Feeny, The Professor, Dick Solomon, Zelda Spellman, Lily Aldrin, Mark Cooper)
2. Retail (Al Bundy, Howard Cunningham, Frank Costanza, Alan Matthews, Rachel Green, George Juergens)
1. Food Service/Restaurateur (Monica Geller-Bing, SpongeBob SquarePants, Chef, Roseanne Connor, Cleveland Brown, Betty DeVille/Chas Finster, Luke Danes, Sookie St. James, Jack Tripper)

Now, a few points of interest...
- when I started what later became the most popular career, I didn't think it would end up making the cut, since I only had Monica, Spongebob, and the Chef from South Park. But then they just started flying and it ended up having the most!
- there are not many doctors aside from those whose show centers around that (Cliff Huxtable was the only one I came up with! and Grace's dad but he's dead)
- All five of the major characters on How I Met Your Mother have jobs that made this list. All other shows that center around non-family twenty- or thirtysomethings seem to have at least one "rare job" (think Phoebe Buffay or Charlotte York)
- at first I was going to have "homemaker" as a profession, but once I began thinking of shows older than the 1990s, nearly every wife acts as one, so in the end I removed it. Not because I don't respect it as an occupation, but because it was overly shown in the 60s and 70s, and it would tip the scale.
- I was surprised at how many "tv personalities" were out there. At first I couldn't decide of Joey Tribbiani should count, but then it was mentioned to me that Dr. Drake Ramoray was famous in his own right within Friends, since several characters recognize Joey as such, so in the end I counted him.

So, I'm crazy curious. Can you think of main characters I'm missing that should fit into one of the above ten categories? Can you think of a fourth cop? Are there other professions where at least three characters share that career that I just overlooked?
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: