Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cheers - 80's Sitcom

was about a group of unlikely friends who found comfort and refuge in their local neighborhood bar. the quick wit and mocking exchanges were fun and funny. Sam's (Ted Danson), attempted exploits of women often formed the basis for the sitcom's plot.

The Cheers scripts often centered or would touch upon multiple social issues and use humour to make them acceptable to watch. Toasting Cheers puts it,

"The script was further strengthened by the writers' boldness in successfully tackling controversial issues such as alcoholism, homosexuality, and adultery."

The show included the integration of 'Upper Class' with characters such as Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) with 'Working Middle Class' - Sam Malone (Ted Danson), Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman), Norm Peterson (George Wendt) and Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger). The Character of Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson) ended up marrying a millionaire's daughter.

The role of Feminism was a theme that played out through the whole series. The writers would show each of the female characters as a 'flawed feminist in her own way.'

Diane - Initially she loathes the well-meaning Sam, finding his ways with women brutish and direspectful. In return Sam and the rest of the bar make fun and oftenignore her because she is inteligent, witty, snooty and opinionated. Diane was a waitress who considered herself a step above everyone else, but who was forced to work in the bar as a waitress when her fiancé jilted her.

Carla insulted people, but was respected because of her tough attitude, wit, and power. She is the mother of 8 kids and her full name is Carla Maria Victoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec.

Rebecca - Originally she comes off as calm, cool and collected business woman who likes relationships with weathly men however it is later revealed that she's as neurotic as the rest of the characters in the show.

Sam - Used to play for the Boston Red Sox. Although handsome he is a narcissist, shallow, and vain. Sam has a little black book in which he keeps all the numbers of girls he has dated. Although he was once married he has failed at relationships.

A book in 2011 called Primetime Propaganda by American Conservative writer Ben Shapiro called Sam,
"a dog, a feminist caricature of men," and a cultural representation of "lower-class conservative."
However Glen Charles, who was one of the creators of Cheers, stated that he thought Sam was,
"a spokesman for a large group of people who thought that [the women's movement] was a bunch of bull and look with disdain upon people who don't think it was"

The Second-Wave of Feminism lasted from the 1960s to the 1980s. They were interested in ads on television that ridiculed women and treated them as sex objects for the "male gaze." This term is used by the movement to describe male dominance that was found in film and television. This idea of sexism and gender stereotypes was applied to television commercials and television shows.

Previous shows like The Mary Tyler Moore show and The Dick Van Dyke show didn't really create their male characters in the way Sam was. At the time when Cheers came out in 1982 a character like Sam who was considered a 'hero' in the women department hadn't been seen on TV. However due to viewers of the 80's acceptence his characters traits it paved the way for characters such as Joey Tribianni in Friends, Howard Wolowitz in Big Bang Theory and Barney Stinson in How I met Your Mother.

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