Not long ago, they would show us a waterfront scene.
To impress us with how "rough" the neighborhood is
we would see a hooker helping a drunken, staggering
sailor down the street.
Today, they show us a residential area at night.
(Maybe the hero is sneaking up on a meth lab,
or the villain is approaching his victim's house.)
To remind us that the area is truly "residential",
there is always a barking dog somewhere.
There is always some unshaven slob, sitting in
front of his TV in his undershirt, with a can of beer,
oblivious to everything around him. .And to show
us just how "lowbrow" this guy is, we get a sample
of his viewing tastes.
A few decades ago, it was a cowboy-and-indian
movie, complete with war-whoops and thundering
hooves. .(Or a scene from "The Untouchables"
with a careening car and tommy-gun fire.)
Later on, the popular genre was Roller Derby.
Today, it's Jerry Springer or Judge Judy.