New Themes in 1980 Sitcoms -Sarah Boyce

One thing I particularly liked about this week was the introduction of characters, settings, and equality. The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Cheers all introduced something new to its audience. The Cosby Show, gave the viewers a new perspective of African American family life and provided a new kind of acceptance in television. In addition, we have not really seen any family sitcoms since the 1950s, therefore, it was nice to see that The Cosby Show reintroduced the domestic sitcoms.

Roseanne is another show that reinstated these 1950s family sitcoms. The show, however, introduced a new element into the mix. This transgressive character whom happened to be the main character herself, was something people had never seen before. I think it was interesting to see the outcomes of a mother that weighs more than previous characters in television. It presented a type of family dynamics that were new to television, broadened people’s perspectives, and reassured viewers that they are not failures. I like how there was a difference in this family than the “cookie-cutter”/“perfect” families we saw in the 1950s.

Lastly, I like how Cheers was one of the only shows we have seen that is stationed in one location throughout most of their episodes. It is interesting that they focus more on the dialogue which, ultimately focuses on discussions of social issues outside of television. This also was one of the first shows we have seen where men of all different social classes are together and treat each other equally. Women were also present participants in the discussions and were treated differently than what we have previously seen. This era of television might have been my favorite because it did not ignore social problems that were in discussion outside of television like birth control, gay rights, and race, and it also introduced new themes into sitcoms.

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One Response to New Themes in 1980 Sitcoms -Sarah Boyce

  1. marymdalton says:

    Good post!

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