Television Shows of the 1950's and Mass Culture

Topics: Television program, I Love Lucy, Television Pages: 2 (996 words) Published: November 27, 2013
Cherie Fanelle
Introduction to Pop Culture
27 November 2013
Television Shows of the 1950’s and Mass Culture
During the 1950s, the average American was an optimistic reflection of the traditional values of the times. Then as the world around them began to change, so did the types of television programming they were exposed to. The era of the 1950s was an extremely confusing time as America was trying to adjust to its new role as a competing superpower and still trying to maintain the strong foundation of American society while at the same time trying to reinforce its traditional values. But how were the powers that be going to be able to reach the masses in order to get this message out? That is when the situation comedy was born. “One of the preliminary phases of the 1950s sitcoms was their transition from the realm of radio to broadcast television.” (Montoya, Kyle 2013). The introduction of the situation comedy or ‘sitcom’ to the television screen has taught America that in order to survive, one must adapt just as the sitcom has. Unlike the “increased liberation, as well as social, economic, and political advancement opportunities for women that prevailed during the period of post-WWI, post-WWII America built itself around the idea that a woman’s place was in the home raising a family.” (Moody, Meredith 2013). Once the 1950’s sitcoms started to reflect this new change in how women were expected to project themselves, it was not long before the American public was overly-inundated with subtle media-delivered messages geared towards indoctrinating women into the new role society had chosen to cast them in. There were also numerous newspaper and magazine articles that also helped to encourage this “women returning to the home” theme. The popular television programs of this era that best exemplified this example were shows such as ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘Father Knows Best’, and ‘The Honeymooners’, although I never felt that ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Honeymooners’...

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