Roseanne

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In the article "Class Dismissed? Roseanne and the Changing Face of Working-Class Iconography" the author, Julie Bettie, explores the role of class, race and gender American sitcoms. This article was interesting to read. It had a similar message to the last one we read in regards to role of the average working class man. However, this one was very different in one major way. It wasn't investigating the lead role as a buffoonish man, but rather a woman. It was centered on Roseanne and she was a woman who was unlike any other on TV at that time. The first thing that really stuck out to me in this article was a quote by Roseanne herself. This quote was in regard to the original male writer and it said "he could not get it into his head that a woman was the main character and she was not passive. He couldn't understand that the female could drive scenes, that the family functioned because of her, not in spite of her." Today we see women in empowering lead roles in television series such as Bones, Sex and the City, Grey's Anatomy and several others. However at the time this was a new concept. It's strange to think of such a major shift in the last 25 years. Another area of interest that was brought up quite frequently in this show was economic struggle. Bettie says in her article that this may be a major reason that Roseanne was successful. It offered something that a large number of Americans could relate to. This series was completely centered on the struggles of the average American working class family. They use comedy in ways that most other sitcoms didn't. An example of this is when Roseanne was five minutes late to work in one of the episodes. Her manager said that she would be docked five minutes pay to which she responds "wow that's almost 30 cents. Here's a dollar, I'm going to the bathroom." In many sitcoms around that time, the lead characters were middle-class. This most likely meant they were paid on salary and a situation like this would never come up. Overall, this was a really interesting look at the role of women as working class lead roles in American sitcoms. However, it seems today in that non-animated TV series the working class is less common. In most series in the last 4 years, the individuals are middle class and college educated. Do you think that there will be a return to the trend of working class families in sitcoms? Or is it possible that because the amount of people that attend college has increased, we will not see this? Finally, how do you think Roseanne has impacted women's roles in television today?

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This page contains a single entry by lomas004 published on October 2, 2012 9:34 PM.

Class Dismissed? Blog Post and DQ was the previous entry in this blog.

10/3 Discussion Question: Class Dismissed? is the next entry in this blog.

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