Television Is Like Chewing Gum Essay Research

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Television Is Like Chewing Gum Essay, Research Paper The golden age of television is a time when television united the nation as a whole. It reflected the way of living for a majority of Americans. The standard way Americans lived during this era involved a strong sense of values and morals. The structures and relationships of television linked people to a community and that fulfilled their social nature. The viewers of television in the fifties and sixties held similar beliefs to what the sitcoms portrayed. The programs that were available to view reinforced their standards. There were not a huge variety of different shows to watch as is today. Television was fairly new in the fifties and although cable had been discovered in 1948 it was not readily accessible to all

households (Cashmore 121). The shows that were available were wholesome and lighthearted. The content of these shows were family oriented and were also realities of everyday life. Yes, comedy was utilized and people were entertained but in a tasteful form. Television of this time generated many firsts and historical moments. It has been said that the golden age is the time television truly evolved. Since family bonds were strong and people just enjoyed being together television was just a way to relax and enjoy each other s company. Unexpectedly the American nation was in for a big surprise. Television would change the lives of people from here on out. It was amazing how people could view society and the world around them from there living rooms. One of the most radical ideas

that television presented, was comedy. I Love Lucy was the most popular TV show of all time. The reason, I love Lucy stands above all the rest is because it was the first show, were the superstar was a woman. The I Love Lucy show was the first for many things on television. Lucy was the first sitcom to become a hit, the first show to make number one three years in a row, and the first show to be produced live in Hollywood. Lucy s popularity lasted through the greatest change in the perception of women in America. Women in America at that time bonded with Lucy. She attempted to start her own business, get out of the house, wear men s clothes and make her husband appreciate her more. Lucy portrayed something important about women. Women expressed themselves differently than men;

they focus more on emotion, seek consensus not conflict and disclose more of themselves in conversation. Early TV sitcoms were far closer to stand up comedy then they are today. This style of comedy bordered realism and that is what made the shows entertaining.(Stark 27) Lucy was only one sitcom of the many that shaped TV. Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, and Father Knows Best were also history making shows. The existence of these programs may not have lasted very long but definetely reflected the attitudes of the decades. After I love Lucy, networks abandoned ideas of making sitcoms starring women. They were afraid lucy s wildness would be offensive. Women weren t supposed to act in this manner and it might begin to change their attitudes. (Stark 28) Is it possible

television characters could actually change shape the role of American people? Another first for America in the fifties was the presentation of news. The primary source of news was basically newspapers and magazines. The first actual viewable news event was Movietone News. It was aired in segments before movies and it was the first show to capture breaking news from all over the world. (Barnouw 55) In 1951 its competition would be a show called (See it Now) on CBS. Edward R. Murrow was the commentator for the documentaries on See it Now. Murrow was the patron saint of television news. He confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy in one of the mediums more celebrated moments. Murrows courageous broadcasting reached many people with great impact. See it Now premiered on Sunday afternoons