How ordinary – Finland’s Funniest Home Videos


Kaarina Nikunen

Recent technological developments have resulted in increased use of home video material in various television programmes including American Funniest Home Videos. The article discusses the representations of the ordinary in the Finnish version of the America’s Funniest Home Videos, Hauskat kotivideot. The article examines the production of ordinariness especially in terms of family, body and whiteness.

Although home videos seem to challenge the representations of respectability they do so within limits. Home videos depict moments of rupture in construction of family ideals. However the displacement is only temporary and not substantial enough to shake the ideal. The article also discusses moments of silence and exclusion in the videos and traces down the similarities in the representations of the real between funniest home videos and family documentaries.

Home videos are seen as an interesting intersection of both idealist and parodical representations of the everyday life of the lower middle class. As such they seem to be especially reassuring imagery of ’the normal’ way of living.