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Thursday, August 5, 2010

week 7 - television, what a big deal!!

Throughout the history of television writers and actors have models shows after their interpretation of the American family. Although it may not be the most contemporary show, I chose to compare “Married with Children” with “All in the Family.” This comparison, I feel shows just how much our world can change in a short period of time. “All in the Family” ran from 1971 until 1979. With eight years in between, “Married with Children” ran from 1987-1997.

Probably the most recognizable culture difference between the two shows is that Archie, the main character in “All in the Family” is openly racist. As a matter of fact, racism is the main part of the plot in the episode that I watched. Archie meets Sammie Davis Jr. and they sit right in Archie’s living room and discuss it. It doesn’t appear that race is even an issue in “Married with Children.” It’s really amazing that not that long ago television was able to exploit such issues. They couldn’t get away with that these days. Another noticeable difference, culturally speaking, is that even though both families are typical middle class families we see that both men have very different jobs. Somewhere in this time period malls became an important part of culture in America offering men like Al from “Married with Children” the opportunity at dead end mall jobs as shoe salesman and the like. In Archie’s time real men worked in factories and plants.

The women in these shows are somewhat typical housewives both reflecting their culture pretty well. Edith in “All in the Family” is the typical submissive loyal housewife. In fact Archie tells her in the episode that I watched to just sit there and not say anything. This had become very politically incorrect by the time “Married with Children” came about. Also, Peg became a very different kind of housewife who really does nothing all day but sits around and watches television.

I probably didn’t pick the two best shows to compare but through this assignment I realized how very ground breaking "All in the family" was and what an impact it must have had and really it led to shows like "Married with Children" because we got all that other stuff out of the way. A little more evolution for us as humans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_UBgkFHm8o&feature=related –All In the Family. Archie meets Sammie Davis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DESYcU9zWpg – Married with Children. So this is how Sinatra felt.


  1. In reading your post is stated that "The women in these shows are somewhat typical housewives both reflecting their culture pretty well." What makes you think that Peg Bundy is a typical housewife? In the same paragraph you stated, "Peg became a very different kind of housewife who really does nothing all day but sits around and watches television." I feel that these two statements are slightly contradictory in themselves. Unfortunately, I do not feel there is a definition of the "Typical Housewife" but that is my opinion. However, I do not want you to think I did not enjoy your post, I enjoyed it very much. You outed Archie as a "Racist" and boy was he the worst. Nice of you to comment on how not that long ago television did allow these antics. Unfortunately, I watched this show every week with my daddy when I was a little girl and did not quite understand "Racism" at six years old I thought it was just funny. Not that I am ashamed of myself or my daddy for watching this show but that it was allowed to happen. I know in real life Carroll O'Connor who played Archie Bunker did a lot for the NAACP and was a strong advocate for them later on. Married with Children was one show I never cared for at all, and never understood what people thought was so great about this show. A womanizing, crotch scratching, shoe salesman just could not cut the muster. Overall, your blog was researched quite well and I did enjoy the read. Keep up the efforts and thank you.

  2. Monica,
    Thanks for the great feed back. I didn't mean to offend in any way. I guess I just meant that from one time period to the next the day to day of the woman in the home shifted a bit and that is portrayed in each show. And this was probably partly to do with television. Edith Bunker didn't have the option of daytime tv. Before daytime tv what else was there to do but live and do things. I agree I didn't state my case very well.

  3. You did not offend me in any way! If it seemed like I was offended I apologize. It was more or less sarcasm about Peggy Bundy, when I have seen the show she tickles me. Peggy Bundy gives housewives a bad name in general. She is more like a gold digger only Al does not have any gold. Ha ha! You did a fine job on this blog and I enjoyed the read. Keep them coming and I will keep reading.