Sitcom Essay

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Ezequiel Ortiz Jonathan Kyei Eng11-D13 10/2/12 Sitcoms During the last 50 years the representation of women in a sitcom has changed. Sitcoms have been around and are an important aspect of television for a number of decades. They can represent the beliefs, attitudes and values which were demonstrated in their era. Over time, sitcoms have demonstrated social changes such as how much families and family life has evolved over the years. Therefore, sitcoms can entertain and provide useful evidence about society at that time. In the past few decades, sitcoms have changed in ways that would never have even been thought about in the 1950’s. There is a lot more talk about issues such as sex and family separations which weren’t as common in the beginning sitcoms. The two sitcoms that I will be comparing to show how society has evolved in the past fifty years are “I Dream of Jeanie,” which was produced in the 1950’s and the recent sitcom, “Cougar Town,” which began in 2009. These two shows reveal definite social changes over time which I will clarify in this speech. I will show to you how not only the entertainment but the moral values and beliefs changed in the past fifty years and I will explain and compare the dominant discourses, gender stereotypes and social issues within these two sitcoms. In the 1960’s the typical dominant discourse of sitcoms was a white, middle class American professional young male. In “I Dream of Jeanie” this was reinforced clearly. This sitcom is about “Captain Tony Nelson” who is a young bachelor working as an astronaut who finds a 2000 year old female genie in a bottle. He soon becomes, as Jeanie calls it”her master” and Jeanie dedicates her life to him. Most of Jeanie’s problems arise from her obsessive devotion to “please” her so called “master”. The idea of a female “Genie” serving a male “master” was almost symbolic of the

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