CounterReformation

CounterReformation

Lecture 11: Welcome to the Social Sitcom 1 Lesson 11 Agenda The Sitcom Staple: The DomCom Form & Function A Short Guide to the Seventies: Disillusionment Abounds Maude (CBS 1972-78)

Political, Social & Cultural Is the Personal Political (in Industrial Terms)?

The Social Sitcom: DomCom Revised The Lear/Yorkin Sitcom Machine Workplace Comedies (before Cubicle Humor) MTM: Creators of Urban Middle-Class Comedy Rhoda (CBS 1974-78) Lets Watch Some TV! All in the Family and Good Times: Social & Political

Critique in 22-Minutes Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Womens Libber Next Door Chico & The Man: The Man is Alright M*A*S*H: Introducing Dramedy 2 Section 1: The Sitcom Staple: The DomCom Father Knows Best (CBS 1954-60) Leave It To Beaver (CBS 1957-63)

3 Form & Function The Brady Bunch ( ABC 1969-74) DomCom Conventions The Three Cs Social Instruction

Reframing & Reassurance Step by Step (ABC 1991-98) (Above) The extended cast of Step by Step, a part of ABCs TGIF family programming; (Left) The Family Stone of The Donna Reed Show (ABC 195866) 4 The Three Cs: Consumerism

Conformity Containment 5 Social Instruction: Tales of the American Dream Desire for Mythic Norm Naturalization (& Erasure) of

Difference 6 Reframing & Reassurance: Making Middle-class Whiteness Normative Solving Social Problems in 22 minutes Re-inscribing the tenets of a consumerist American Dream The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (ABC 1952-66) 7 Section 2 A Short Guide to the 1970s:

Disillusionment Abounds The Fall of Saigon (1975) The Fall of A President (1974) 8 Political Disillusionment: The End of Great Society Programs The Fall of Saigon & Peace with Honor The Watergate Scandal & The Jading of The American Populace

9 Social Disillusionment : Sexual Revolution: Hedonism Focus on the Individual (for good & ill) Fragmentation of Social Consciousness Studio 54: The masses trying to get in. Studio 54: Beautiful People trying trying to stay in. 10 Cultural Disillusionment :

Disco Jiggle TV The New Cynicism 11 Section 3: Is The Personal Political? Maude (CBS 1972-78) 12 Social Sitcoms:

The DomCom Revised Dealing with Social IssuesAll in the Family Family Function As Dysfunctional Not Father Knows Best: Generational Gap Humor Kitchen Sink Comedy: [Dis]embourgeoisiement Naturalizing Social Discourse Spinoffapalooza 13

The Lear/Yorkin Sitcom Machine: In 1958, Lear teamed with director Bud Yorkin to form Tandem Productions. In 1968, Tandem made All in the Family pilot with Jean Stapleton and Carroll OConnor, another pilot in 1969. Turned down by the three major networks. In 1970, CBS offered to put it on for thirteen weeks. Tandem produced Maude, Sanford and Son, and Good Times. 14

The Lear/Yorkin Sitcom Machine II The Jeffersons (CBS 1975-85) 1974: Lear & agentbusiness exec Jerry Perenchio formed T.A.T. (entertainment consortium). First T.A.T. project: The Jeffersons. Also, One Day at a Time,

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Fernwood 2Night & America Tonight. Shift to Workplace or DomCom left TAT out of step: a.k.a. Pablo (1984) 704 Hauser (1994) short-lived. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Syndication, 1976-78) 15

Workplace Comedies: Before Cubicle Humor Dealing with Social IssuesObliquely Work Families: Just as Dysfunctional Work Families: Just as Gendered Middle Class Malaise Naturalizing Social Discourse Spinoffapalooza II WKRP in Cincinnati (CBS 1978-82)

16 MTM: Creators of Urban Middle-Class Comedy MTM Enterprises: independent production company est. 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore & Grant Tinker to produceThe Mary Tyler Moore Show for CBS. MTM programs almost exclusively on CBS until 80s (Rhoda, Phyllis, The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati ) Post Tinker as NBC president, NBC picked up a number of MTM shows (Tinker stepped down as MTM head avoid a conflict of interest.) Initially comedy: shift to dramatic programming in

1980s (Hill Street Blues: key player in redefining Quality TV Programming). 17 MTM, The Workplace & Friends as Family contd Female Protagonists

Play with Expectations of the workplace Urban Spaces not Family Places? Commentary on World of Work defining Identity New Familial Ties that Bind New Femininity? New Masculinity? 18 Section 4: Lets Watch Some TV! Download Reading/Screeni ng

Sheet 9 from Learning Tasks M*A*S*H (CBS 1972-83) 19 70s Televisual Landscape From 1971-1979, Sitcoms Reigned Supreme! Top Rated Shows: All in the Family (197176) Happy Days (1976-77)

LaVerne & Shirley (1977-79) The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, Chico & the Man, M*A*S*H: All Top 20 During the height of their popularity. 20 Late 70s Televisual Landscape Pt. 2 Between the Jiggle & Nostalgia, [left] Threes Company (ABC 1977-84); [above, left] One Day At A Time (CBS 1975-84 );

[above, right] Barney Miller (ABC 1975-82); [right] Happy Days ( ABC 1974-84) 21 For Your Viewing Pleasure: The Mary Tyler Moore Show Why Mary Couldnt Be Divorced

30-something Womanhood Easily Digestible Urban Femininity & the world of Work The Clothes Make the Woman Is Love Really All Around? 22 In The Episode The Womens Libber Next Door Sexual Agency Made Safe Mother, Sister, Lover: Sometimes All Three (for the Love of Mary)

NOT a feminist show A Show about choices 23 For Your Viewing Pleasure: All in the Family The Lovable Bigot The British Connection The DomCom As Social Discourse 24

In The Episode Sammys Big Save Could You Say This on TV today? Progressive & Regressive Coexisting Edith, Gloria and the marginalizing of womens voices Archie & Mike: Both have issues Generational Gap= Educational Gap?

25 For Your Viewing Pleasure: Good Times The Revolutionary Evans Family Welcome Back Working Poor Florida & James: Ideal Couple Post Great Society: Society Not So Great 26

In The Episode Black Nuclear Family This aint no time to be Black Definitely not DYNOMITE: Bringing J.J. to the center Cabrini Green? Not so much Progressive & Regressive Coexisting 27 For Your Viewing Pleasure: Chico & The Man

The Lovable Bigot, Part Deux: The Man (Jack Albertson) Komack vs. Tandem Freddy Prinze: Star & Stereotype 28 In The Episode The Man is Alright Sense of Place/Performance of Identity

Could You Say This on TV today? Progressive & Regressive Coexisting Chico the Vet? Generational Gap= Its Chicos job to teach the Man 29 And, finally M*A*S*H Cinema for the Small Screen Its About Korea but Hawkeye As Flawed Hero

War is Helland Funny What is dramedy? 30 In The Episode Liberal Social Instruction Anti-War Show Another Kind of Historical Erasure Moralizing Moral Ambiguity Flaws as Virtues

Sermons & Sarcasm Black Comedy turned Dramedy Palatable Edginess Turn Towards Melodrama 31 Final Thoughts Can comedy be an effective form of social discourse? Is the sitcom always a domestic comedy on some level? Can social satire be maintained on network television?

Can texts be progressive & regressive at the same time? 32 End of Lecture 11 Next Week: The New Faces of Quality: Earnestness & Excess 33

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