The evolution of the of TV family sitcom
I’ve been watching TV since I was a baby, but since I’ve been old enough to remember I’ve been watching family dramas or sitcoms. Since I’ve had my own family, I’ve been thinking about the turning point of the family sitcom from the core values that were shown in The Cosby Show to the ones now shown on Parenthood or Modern Family. I watched Little House on the Prairie (not nearly as much as my wife), but I got the point… I have a better memory of Family Ties or Full House and of course the Simpsons (still on and creating new episodes – wow!).
Married with Children is clearly a memory point for me as well… I remember Al having his shoe salesman job, his wife he couldn’t stand and kids that used him and never really respected him. Most importantly his hand down his pants drinking a beer. I think of this show as the game changer in 1987 it changed the love-y dove-y family images into something I have to imagine is now more real (or was back then) it also put fear into me of what life could become if you become apathetic to your wife and family and only focus on maintain (and not striving for something better). That show gave birth to The Simpsons because without Married with Children’s success I doubt The Simpsons would have been well received.
Today we have a couple of family sitcoms Modern Family which truly lives up to some of today’s modern dynamics of blended families, remarriages, siblings separated by a generation (either with marriage or birth during a secondary marriage). Parenthood is the next show I’ve been watching which is twisting the drama, morals into the sitcom. Dealing with issues that many struggle with from Children with asperger’s syndrome to entire families having to move back in with parents/grandparents because of circumstances (economic or personal).
I watch both shows with a desire to see if they try to instill the moral compass that The Cosby Show tried to put there or Family Ties or Growing Pains or even Full House. Will Parenthood shift into more drama then humor like Brothers & Sisters or will it curve back to Modern Family? What are you watching in the Family sitcom/drama? Ps. Dont worry we’ll cover Mad Men once its getting into its new season!