Television Shows

TV shows and movies have evolved during the last fifty years. Did this have a positive

effect on the society or did the society change the values shown on TV? TV shows and

movies in the fifties show this idealistic family where everything is a routine you follow and

there is no escape. However, now a day’s media deals with the real life issues. The main

factor to this is: Humanism. Our values have changed. What people considered horrific

back in the fifties, is now acceptable. The common thing between the show in the fifties and now is that they both depict the reality of the American World.

Leave It To Beaver, is a prime example of what TV shows were like in the fifties. This

family comedy focused on the misadventures of little boys and the family life. The

characters wore plain suits, dresses, shirts, pants, and loafers. Parents were very much

involved in their children’s lives and were dedicated in bringing them up the proper way. The wife stays home, while the father works. When the husband comes home, dinner is waiting for him. The characters always seem very pleasant and satisfied with their lives. The children do not deal with stress or depression. The children obey their parents and they do not use slang. Slang was unacceptable back then. This shows that families back then had tight boundaries and the children back then were unworldly and did not know as much as we do today.

On the contrary, 7th Heaven depicts the reality in which we live in. The show constantly deals with drug issues, sex, abuse, drinking, and divorce. Clothing they wear are very different. Girls wear tops that show their mid drifts, short skirts, etc. Children are rebellious and want to fight for their freedom and want to follow their dreams. There is no longer a one-way path for them. Boundaries have extended. Unlike shows in the fifties, violence and slang are present in today’s shows. It has become part of our reality.

In Billy Elliot, although it shows life of a boy in late 1980s it deals with today’s issues. Billy deals with the death of his mother, which makes him skip his childhood. He is depressed with what he’s got and ballet becomes a way for him to express his anger and pain. Not only is depression prominent in our lives but sexuality. Billy’s dad was worried about Billy’s sexuality when he took up ballet. This stereotype that boys doing things that are not manly are gay was what Billy’s father believed in. Slang is prominent in this film and people are not satisfied with their lives, something you won’t really find in the fifties’ shows or movies.

Compare I Love Lucy and Miss Match. I Love Lucy show us the life of a wacky wife who is happy being a housewife but wants to do more with her life. However, her loving husband just wants a simple wife who will cook him meals. No matter, what happens, the couple are fond of each other. Every episode deals with possible situations touched with little absurdity. Issues on sex are never dealt and divorce is out of the question.

“When I see the bride, I see a future client.” - Divorce lawyer in Miss Match - Our values have changed over the years. The relationship between her father and Miss Match is like the ones today. Her father, like most parents, is a firm believer in his views and doesn’t accept the child’s view. He is too occupied with his priorities that he becomes distant with his daughter. Housewives no longer stay home, they make their own livings. Marriage is portrayed as a funny situation or an unhappy one. Divorce is portrayed as an easy option to get away from this surrounding. It reflects the growing reality this new type of marriage.

Back in the fifties, people loved fairytale like stories. People still do today. It is away for them to escape reality. Roman Holiday (1953) is a delightful romantic comedy shot entirely in Rome. It is about a naïve princess who suddenly wants to be rebellious and explore how the other half of the people lives. While doing so,