Primetime Television Assignment
For this assignment, we were required to watch an episode of the famous 50’s TV Show: The adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and compare it to an actual TV show from now-a-days. The episode that we had to watch from Ozzie and Harriet was “The Kappa Sigma Party” and the series I am going to compare it to is Gossip Girl.
The main thing that I realized when watching The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is the social position of women during the 50’s and how different it is from our actual world, 50 years later. Even though women were portrayed mainly as housewives during that time, they were much more respected than they are today. TV shows from our generation have devalued women’s image so much, that it is starting to become “normal” among our society. Today, it is true that women are capable of doing much more things than 50 years ago (professionally speaking), but this freedom, ironically, has caused society to see us as an object in many ways. For example: In “The Kappa Sigma Party” episode, women were treated with respect, they behaved with class and men were trying to actually commit to a lady and cause the best impression to her family. There were no drunken girls at the party, any sexual harassment or dirty dances. It was, a healthy college party and social event, with actual conversations, dialogue, food, games, fun dances, where parents and family members were strongly involved.
On the other hand, in programs such as Gossip Girl, the party scene, the family situation and respect towards women is completely different. It has become a must to have alcohol and drugs at a party in order to be called a “decent” party (and no, I am definitely not against alcohol but against the dependence on it to “have fun” or “be cool”.) There are some episodes where sexual harassment and rape situations towards women have been present in party and non-party scenes. The family implication in the show is almost non-existent with a lot of dysfunctional family problems such as: single moms, cheating, separated families, fights, lies and non-involvement/apathy. The show does not illustrate the value of having a true friend, but instead, it promotes un-ethical actions, jealousy. A show doesn’t need to highlight the worst of society in order to be successful. Yes, maybe the plot is interesting and the show does not lie among the worst, but what really alarms me is how this has changed and the negative impact this is generating into society. What are these shows really telling the people on the other side of the TV? What about values? What about respect (self and mutual)? What about family importance? Are all these things gone?