Please respond to this week’s screenings, readings, and lecture materials in an organized post that cites specific details from the programs and articles under discussion. You do not have to talk about all the texts for this week but should actively engage two (2) screenings (choose from East Side/West Side, “No Hiding Place”; The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Love is All Around”; All in the Family, “Lionel Steps Out”) and at least one (1) reading (Aniko Bodroghkozy’s “Negotiating Civil Rights in Primetime” AND/OR Jane Feuer’s “The MTM Style”) – please write about the texts that you find most interesting or compelling. Below are a few questions that you may opt to address (though you are welcome to reply in any way that makes sense and about other topics not posed here):
How does East Side/West Side (1963) differ in its tone, narrative conceits, or aesthetic sensibilities from the 1950s programs from last week and/or “relevance sitcoms” from the early 1970s? How does Bodroghkozy discuss the program as either approaching or failing to meet FCC chairman Minow’s mandate to “elevate” TV programming?
What are some of the limitations, possibilities, and social consequences inherent in trends toward “relevance” programming during the 1960s and 1970s? How do our authors locate contradictions within the political logics of both 1960s social dramas and 1970s “relevance sitcoms”? Where in the episodes does the messaging seem most pronounced and/or most confused/convoluted?
Which characters do these programs narratively privilege (with whom are we, as viewers, emotionally and or/ideologically aligned) and why/how so? How does this identification (or lack thereof) affect the episodes’ social/political discourse?
How do All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show reflect (or not) the branding conceits of their respective production companies, Tandem Productions and MTM Enterprises? How do the aesthetic and narrative logics of these two episodes speak to their modes of political address? Which viewers do the shows seem to target and why/how?
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