The Family Sitcom

By: Bradley Sawyer

As a fan of many family sitcoms, I was looking forward to this week’s material. I am very fond of many sitcoms that come from the 1950s and 1960s and grew up watching I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, and The Andy Griffith Show. With that being said, I enjoyed learning about family dynamics, gender, and the roles they played in the aforementioned sitcoms. Before this week of class, I did not realize how groundbreaking I Love Lucy was when it first came out in regards to the content and comedy. After reading Lori Landay’s chapter in The Sitcom Reader on I Love Lucy, I was intrigued that Lucille Ball attributed the show’s success to the general public’s ability to identify with the show. This was shocking to me due to the many bizarre events that went on throughout the show.

In my own experience, I enjoyed watching Leave It to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show more than I Love Lucy. This was due to the fact that I related more with the comedy as well as the characters. Transitioning to family sitcoms of the present, my favorite is Two and a Half Men. This show is radically different from the family sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s (as one would expect). To comment on the content of Two and a Half Men, I find it very interesting how the family sitcom has changed over time. The fact that I consider Two and a Half Men, Leave It to Beaver, and The Andy Griffith Show all a family sitcom can be attributed to the ever changing dynamics of society.

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5 Responses to The Family Sitcom

  1. I really think I Love Lucy was a great show to study so deeply this week- even knowing a lot of material on the show beforehand, it was more groundbreaking than I realized. It really seemed to affect all aspects of the typical American’s life during its time.

  2. I agree with Bradley and MacLean. I didn’t realize how ground breaking I Love Lucy was as a sitcom. I never really even considered it a family sitcom since the majority of the show was just Ricky and Lucy. I related more to I Love Lucy than the other shows, but that may be because of the gender themes in I Love Lucy.

    • I agree with everyone that I had no idea how influential Lucy’s character was during this time era. I also agree with Maddy of relating to I Love Lucy more than the rest of the shows. This may because we watched the most episodes of it or because the reading but to me it was the one that made me think about family roles the most. It left me thinking about the roles even after the episode ended because of how powerful Lucy’s character was.

      -Sarah Boyce

  3. This was a great post, and I also really enjoyed studying these shows. When looking at these shows I always find it interesting to look at how the shows from the 1950’s compare to current shows. What I found was the role of women changed significantly.
    — Sam Beckerman

  4. I really liked your comparison with Two and A Half Men. It was really interesting to see how the clips we have watched so far for class have compared to those that we see on tv now. There are not many instances of the same stereotypical family. The role of female characters have drastically changed over time as well as the roles of men, work, and money.


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