Sitcommentary : television comedies that changed America

by Robinson, Mark A., 1973-

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 791.456 ROBINSON
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  791.456 ROBINSON
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 791.45 Rob
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  791.45 Rob
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 791.45617 R56
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  791.45617 R56
Wilkinsburg Public Library New Non-Fiction ENTERTAINMENT 791.45 ROB 2019
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  New Non-Fiction
Call Number  ENTERTAINMENT 791.45 ROB 2019
From I Love Lucy to Black-ish, sitcoms have often paved the way for social change. Television comedy has long been on the frontline in how America evolves on social issues. There is something about comedy that makes difficult issues more palatable-with humor an effective device for presenting ideas that lead to social change. From I Love Lucy which introduced the first television pregnancy to Will & Grace, which normalized gay characters, the situation comedy has challenged the public to revisit social mores and reshape how we think about the world in which we live. In Sitcommentary: Television Comedies That Changed America, Mark A. Robinson looks at more than three dozen programs that have tackled social issues, from the 1940s to the present. The author examines shows that frequently addressed hot-button topics throughout their runs-such as All in the Family, Maude, and Black-ish-as well as programs with special episodes that grappled with a societal concern like ageism, class, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Among the important sitcoms discussed in this volume are such beloved shows as The Brady Bunch, A Different World, The Facts of Life, The Golden Girls, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, Modern Family, Murphy Brown, One Day at a Time, Roseanne, and Soap. Each has broken down barriers and facilitated discussion, debate, and social evolution in America. Arranged in chronological order, these TV shows have influenced the masses by tackling tough topics or shining a spotlight on taboo subjects. With discussions of some of the most popular shows of all time, Sitcommentary will appeal to fans of these shows as well as anyone interested in the cultural history of America and American television.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Robinson takes a look at the social relevance and progressivism of popular sitcoms airing over the last 70 years, beginning with Mary Kay and Johnny in 1947, which starred a real-life married couple and took the big step of showing them in bed together. Other early pioneers pushed boundaries by showing a pregnant woman (I Love Lucy), a woman wearing pants (The Dick Van Dyke Show), and a blended family (The Brady Bunch). While many of these examples seem quaint by today's standards, others are remain timely, such as when All in the Family depicted a harrowing attempted rape or when, in Maude, the titular character made the difficult decision to have an abortion. Robinson looks at progressive contemporary sitcoms, including Black-ish, which addresses the issue of racism against Black Americans, from police brutality to a lack of representation in children's toys; and Mom, which follows characters grappling with alcohol addiction and other substance abuse. With short, pithy chapters, this is an excellent, pointed look at the impact and relevance of popular entertainment.--Kristine Huntley Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Robinson (The Disney Song Encyclopedia) delves into the social and cultural changes that have stemmed from 40 influential sitcoms in this solid history. This compendium uncovers how fictional characters changed American's perspectives on serious topics-- sex, race, politics, depression, war, gender roles--through humor. Coverage of each show, from 1950s and '60s classic such as I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show to today's Modern Family and Black-ish, runs around half a dozen pages, so these aren't comprehensive histories or analyses. Instead, Robinson focuses on the element of each show that made it groundbreaking, such as in 1968's Julie, which "centered around a black widowed female who juggled parenthood and a career." In other cases, Robinson touches on smaller aspects such as the concern that the pants Mary Tyler Moore wore on The Dick Van Dyke Show "wouldn't create any panty lines or noticeable crevices or creases in the wrong places"; the show--one of the first to show women wearing pants--sparked a trend in pedal pushers. Though sometimes leaving the reader wanting more detail, Robinson's astute history of groundbreaking sitcoms will likely have readers searching out reruns. (Oct.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Situation comedies (Television programs) -- United States.
Television broadcasting -- Social aspects -- United States.
Publisher Lanham :Rowman & Littlefield,2019
Language English
Description xvi, 219 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-208) and index.
ISBN 9781538114193
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