By: Alex Giacco
The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Cheers all took different approaches to stereotypes in sitcoms. I think the 80s sitcoms educated America on topics of gender, masculinity, and sexuality in ways that had not been done before this decade.
Obviously now The Cosby Show has a dark shadow over its importance, but still provides value on how the 80s viewed masculinity. It was special also because there was finally a black man in a lead role of the most popular show. Roseanne is trailblazing because the sitcom is not about a perfectly idealized woman, and yet the Roseanne character still provides compelling narrative to the sitcom despite not looking like a model. Cheers shows these masculine ex-MLB players who are being confronted with homosexuality and ultimately being accepting of it. The 80s taught America to be open about accomplishing things in more than one way.