Sitcoms And Sexism
This post discuses, analyzes and compares the feminism-related TV sitcoms of 1950-70s with present sitcoms. Both groups of sitcoms are focused on the life of thirtieth, unmarried, working women and their network of friends and co-workers in USA. Their authors had been described by reviewers and critics as an example of original programming both during and after its seven seasons on TV.
The claim to originality was based, amongst other points, on production aspects, such as its status as the 1st of a series of highly successful programs that would be created by its parent businesses, on its contribution to the scenario comedy format as an exemplar of the move from domestic or house-based situations to situations based in the workplace, and on its social sensitivity and timeliness as a program focused on the life of a career-oriented, single woman.One of the most popular journalist-author of sexism-related sitcoms is Mary Tyler Moore. Mary Tyler Moore is normally acknowledged as the very first well-liked and lengthy-running television series clearly to feature the influence of feminism. Though the show’s creators consistently claimed that Mary Tyler Moore was about character, not politics (an implied contrast to All in the Loved ones), writer-producer James Brooks observed that «we sought to show an individual from Mary Richards’ background becoming in a world where women’s rights were becoming talked about and it was having an impact».
Mary Tyler Moore was not the initial working-woman sitcom (Fraiman, 1999). But it is typically acknowledged as the initial to assert that function was not just a prelude to marriage, or a substitute for it, but could form the center of a satisfying life for a woman in the way that it presumably did for men. This was, perhaps, the most consistent and explicit pro-feminist statement made by the sitcom.
One more such sitcom is Brady Bunch. Other «single woman on her own» programs that followed Brady Bunch would take this basic theme in distinct, much more progressive directions, but the shadow of Brady Bunch hangs over them. Brady Bunch was not just innovative, it was also tremendously effective. It launched three spin-offs and is still well-liked in syndication nearly twenty years after it left prime-time.
The television producers recognized the power of its formula is evident in the numerous attempts to duplicate its premise throughout the 1960s and 1970s and in the reality that Brady Bunch still serves as a regular, or starting point, against which progressive television representations of ladies are judged, at least in popular media (Butler, 1993).