Re: The Other Huxtable Effect

1

Only now can we see that "Jackee" from "227" was a televised version of bell hooks, broadcast right into the living room of white America.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:49 AM
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Yeahbut the feminism part is noteworthy, but having a working mother is just part of making this a show about a black family made by actual black people who grew up in black families rather than Norman Lear, right? Obviously #notalletc., just going by generalities. I'm reading this 1980s feminist anthology that had some data on the amount of cooking and cleaning black husbands were doing and how it far surpassed what white husbands were simply because it had been normal for black families to have two wage-earners for so long. (Again, not implying at all that there wasn't huge sexism and patriarchy involved there.)

I mean, I like Clair Huxtable tons whenever I've seen the show and Phylicia Rashad seems even more impressive, but I don't think a black person would have written the linked piece that way.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:44 AM
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I recently re-watched a couple episodes of A Different World (a Cosby spinoff), and, just as much as when I was a younger, I really wanted a pair of flip-up sunglasses/eyeglasses like Dwayne Wayne had. So cool.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:46 AM
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Inside of a Norman Lear, it's too dark to grow up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:59 AM
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2: That ties in to them being upper class, though, which was certainly ground-breaking. There were plenty of black families on TV. I can't remember whether the moms worked. They certainly weren't lawyers though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:10 AM
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I'm not sure if there were any "housewives" on TV in the 1980s. Certainly there were plenty of moms with jobs outside the home.

Still, The Cosby Show had a strong mainstream feminist message.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:13 AM
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Working outside the home is a great reason to need hired help, and I think every 80s sitcom besides The Huxtables depended, plotwise, on hired help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:18 AM
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I guess not the Seavers, either. But hired help turns up a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:19 AM
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And look how the Seavers kid turned out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:24 AM
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8: Not the Keatons, either.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:25 AM
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Remember when Tom Hanks visited and drank the vanilla extract? Good times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:26 AM
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I guess not. I still can't come up with any stay-at-home-80s-moms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:26 AM
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"Happy Days" was still on in the 80s. I think she was a stay-at-home mom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 AM
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Based on the wikipedia synopsis, the mother in ALF may have been a stay-at-home mom.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 AM
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From the article,

The most prominent women on television were the conniving dragon ladies and hapless victims of prime-time soaps like Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing. The other shows rounding out the top 10, including The A-Team, Simon & Simon, and Magnum, P.I. , were barely concerned with women at all, except as occasional ornamentation.

That seems about right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 AM
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Also, "Married with Children."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 AM
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The mom on "Step By Step" stayed at home, but she worked at home as a hairdresser.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:32 AM
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Marge Simpson.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:34 AM
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I don't even remember "Step by Step".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:34 AM
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The show with Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy! I guess none of the kids were famous or became famous.


Posted by: CRyptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:36 AM
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Remember when Tom Hanks visited and drank the vanilla extract? Good times.

No, that was Family Ties. Good Times was a different show.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:37 AM
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And by "famous," you mean robbed a liquor store.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:37 AM
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5: it's like you never saw the Jeffersons. Rich, black, mom didn't work. Even an interracial couple next door.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:39 AM
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No only did she not work, they had a maid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:39 AM
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I don't remember anything about "Step by Step" except the entire theme song, complete with lyrics. Good use of real estate, brain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:42 AM
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You're the one who keeps exposing me to people talking about butts.


Posted by: Opinionated Brain | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:43 AM
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re: 2

I'm reading this 1980s feminist anthology that had some data on the amount of cooking and cleaning black husbands were doing and how it far surpassed what white husbands were simply because it had been normal for black families to have two wage-earners for so long.

That has also been true in working class British households for a couple of decades. Partly linked to not just the fact that households have to have two earners, but the fact that during the Thatcherite recession, in many families only the women had jobs.

Statistically speaking, working class men do a lot of child care, and a lot of the housework, when compared to the average middle-class family. Sort of ironic given the media portrayals of each, and the stereotyping of Dads spending quality time with their children as being middle-class Guardian reading types.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:46 AM
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Designing Women, Moonlighting, Who's the Boss?, Golden Girls. I don't think the article's description of of the dominant strain of mid-80s TV is all that accurate.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:56 AM
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||

Slightly OT:

How soon is too soon to threadjack? It's a personal bleg/mini-ATM related to feminism that needs to stay in the comments.

|>


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:08 AM
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Could I suggest one of the older threads about butts? We have a new butt thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:12 AM
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5: My other image of a black family came from the 70's: Good Times, which was not upper middle class at all and which I watched as a re-run. I still remember the theme song. "Good Times. Easy Credit Ripoff.."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:13 AM
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31: I recall that the young boy on that show was one of the characters that I most strongly related to as a kid -- I guess that was the beginning of my lifelong affinity for imaginary black friends.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:18 AM
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30 was in no way meant to discourage posting an ATM. I was just suggesting on older thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:34 AM
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33: That felt squicky somehow, since the question involves a kid.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:37 AM
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27: Both my grandmothers were the first in their families to be imprisoned in domestic slavery, boo/knock off getting up at zero dark thirty to head to the Metro-Vickers assembly line, yay. My mother worked until I came along and then started again a few years later.

So the era of men being breadwinners and women housewives lasted from 1980 to about 1987 (mum goes back to work, both sets of grandparents having retired) in our personal history, because in the 1970s although both grannies were queen-of-the-house my mum was a civil servant, having just missed the era of mandatory resignation when you got married.

A generous half a decade.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:39 AM
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29, 34: There's a swimming post that's seems to have run its course. Maybe post it there?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:41 AM
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36: All right, then. I'll try that.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:57 AM
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A Russian prof of mine told the story that when she moved to the US she knew fairly little English but she would sit at home watching tv on a little black and white set because she had nothing else to do. She watched The Jeffersons a lot in particular and it just gave her the warmest feeling about her progressive new home that you'd have a tv show about a black woman married to a little Jewish guy.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:07 AM
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This article reminded me of the existence of Three's a Crowd, which, God, I watched so much garbage in syndication as a child. (It's kind of fun to remember Jeffrey Tambor as That Guy from The Ropers though.)


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:14 AM
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Who's the Boss?
Angela. Angela is the boss.


Posted by: Opinionated Abed Nadir | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:16 AM
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38: She saw Sherman Hemsley as a "little Jewish guy"? She just thought he had a tan?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:17 AM
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Black and white tv, and the actor's pretty light-skinned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:18 AM
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Designing Women, Moonlighting, Who's the Boss?, Golden Girls

The Cosby Show was a family sitcom. Designing Women and Golden Girls come from the Norman Lear tradition of consciously social-minded sitcoms. Who's the Boss? was entirely unconcerned with feminism, and wore it's retrograde values hanging on it's title.

To me, the thing about Claire is not that she works it's that she's tough and outspoken about it.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:21 AM
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42: Also, he was cheap.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:21 AM
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Who's the Boss? was entirely unconcerned with feminism, and wore it's retrograde values hanging on it's title

This was a show about a guy working as a housekeeper for a working mom who was a successful ad executive. It was so revolutionary they had to temper it a bit with humor.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:25 AM
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28: were those around when the Cosby show premiered? Because the author seems to have a pretty comprehensive sense of what else was on at that single moment in time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:28 AM
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Anyway, 43 last is right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:30 AM
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Some of those shows were on in 1984-1985.

She's a great character. I'm just questioning the premise that she normalized the figure of working women for the middle-class American masses.



Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:52 AM
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I wonder if she hasn't been as recognized as a feminist role model because she is mostly regarded as an example of the "strong black woman".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:58 AM
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48: but that's not the claim, at all. First, she's not working class. Second, working women have been a common plot point since the 60s. What she is, is witheringly feminist. She doesn't even suffer fools or act as though this is new territory that she must pussyfoot around.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:02 AM
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Look, I love the Cosby Show, but the article is just plain crappy cultural history. In addition to everything pointed out above, the notion that the 80s dramas weren't full of strong powerful women is also ridiculous. Has this person ever seen Dallas, Dynasty, or Falcon Crest?

I'll grant that Magnum PI wasn't notably feminist except inasmuch that, as the platonic form of awesomeness, it must contain feminism as a matter of logic. But the introduction of the working woman on TV was a 70s thing and not in any way pioneered by the Cosby Show, except to the limited extent that the Cosby Show was the first mainstream sitcom to focus on UMC black professionals (the Jeffersons were rich, but the premise of the show was that he was a feisty lower class Jew who worked his way up to the East Side).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:06 AM
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50: Right -- think of her in contrast with the mother on Family Ties, who had a job for at least some of the show? Maybe all of it? But within the plot of the show, she was primarily in the kitchen, being housewifely and maternal. Huxtable was engaged in the family, but firmly identified as a lawyer/professional.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:09 AM
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who had a job for at least some of the show

Architect, right? That 80s job that you have to show that you're arty, yet grounded, and also entirely make your own schedule.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:12 AM
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39: I didn't think that There's A Crowd ever made it to syndication, because it wasn't on long enough. I did have a Latin professor in college ay that Roman comedy was basically Three's Company-style slapstick.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:12 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_(TV_series)


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:15 AM
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53: He worked for public television, and his career was portrayed as kind of effeminately liberal. His Dad came to visit when he was dying, and the theme of the show was about how the Michael always thought that his Dad wasn't proud of him, because he wasn't manly enough.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:18 AM
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52 is just ludicrously wrong. There were whole arcs of Family Ties that centered on MBB's professional job.

The ur-UMC female professional comedy was the 70s Mary Tyler Moore show, after which it was generally slightly retrograde to have stay at home mom characters. The wife on the Bob Newhart show worked outside the home, as a teacher and later school principal. As for lawyers, early female lawyers on TV include "Kate McShane" (mid 70s, I think the first top-billed woman lawyer). The girlfriend on "Greatest American Hero" was a lawyer and that was a significant plotline. And of course LA Law was roughly contemporaneous with the Cosby Show, though I think it premiered a year or two later.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:22 AM
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He worked for public television and lived in Columbus, Ohio. You've got to give even a parent something to work with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:22 AM
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the Jeffersons were rich, but the premise of the show was that he was a feisty lower class Jew who worked his way up to the East Side).

I can't decide if the George Jefferson was Jewish thing is more anti-semitic or more racist. I guess the two things blend together seamlessly.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:22 AM
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53 was about the mother.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:22 AM
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It's like you people didn't grow up watching ¿Qué Pasa, USA? on repeat and see "Juana Gets Smart" 50 times from age 7-12.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:25 AM
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There were whole arcs of Family Ties that centered on MBB's professional job.

The only thing I remember about her job was an episode where Peter Scolari was a younger co-worker who had a crush on her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:25 AM
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58: I forgot that show was set in Columbus! I think the writers of the show forgot that too most of the time. Is there a single mention of the Buckeyes in the shows' entire run?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:26 AM
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The girlfriend on "Greatest American Hero" was a lawyer and that was a significant plotline.

My father still has a nasty tendency to refer to all female lawyers as "Counsellor" while doing a Robert Culp impression.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:27 AM
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But everyone saying that there were loads of working women and working mothers on TV before the Huxtables is right. There's a point to be made about her, but saying that she was breaking any particular new ground isn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:29 AM
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Despite 61, I had forgotten this line:

"Marta gets her Master's and lost her Mister"

Cultural differences exist for some first generation U.S. Latinas entering the workforce and seeking higher education, as noted in Episode 12 (Juana Gets Smart) of ¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?a bilingual situation comedy about a multi-generation Cuban-American family living in Little Havana (Miami, Florida), and filmed in the late 1970′s. This particular program pokes fun at the "machismo" mentality of the stereotypical (and old fashioned) Hispanic male. Juana is encouraged by her boss to attend night school and acquire accounting skills in order to be promoted to bookkeeper. The new position would come with a pay raise - she would now make more money than her husband, Pepe. When Juana announces that she will be going to night school to get her bookkeeping certification, her father informs her that "Marta got her Master's and lost her Mister". Juana's parents live with her, Pepe and their two teenage children. She persisted, received her certification and salary increase and as an added bonus, in the process started a paradigm shift in the Latino community.

from link


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:34 AM
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62: There was another one which highlighted her professional interests when she befriended one of Mallory's classmates who was an architecture student. It was a nice mentoring relationship and showed her passion for her profession. Of course, Mallory got jealous, and, in the end Elyse emphasized how important being a Mom to Mallory was.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:49 AM
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60: Yes. I was just saying it wasn't as though they were portraying a family where she was the arty one, and he was in a tough hard-charging field.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:52 AM
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Michael Gross on Family Ties was the core example of the neatly-bearded liberal, a look with surprising staying power that's taken us to Paul Krugman. Definitely a cultural history to be written about the neatly trimmed bearded liberal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:14 AM
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Has to be gray. A neatly trimmed beard that is not yet graying is not the true neatly trimmed liberal beard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:16 AM
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69: Michael Gross played a character on Law and Order who was cheating on his sick spouse who murdered her. He was clean shaven then which helped him pull off creepy, evil guy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:18 AM
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Cri de coeur in Esquire, saying among other things, "Fuck that Two and a Half Men single-handedly keeps the worst of seventies television alive."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:18 AM
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I'm still irked that I can't grow the full-on mountain man/hipster beard. It just stops growing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:18 AM
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I find the giant shaggy hipster beard remarkably offputting -- half the cute young men who I'd normally be objectifying look like someone glued a wolverine to their faces. Nothing against facial hair, but trim it into some kind of shape, would you?

Then I remember that they probably aren't shaping their facial hair decisions around appealing to me, and sulk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:28 AM
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Wolverine-like is a shape.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:35 AM
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Actual wolverines are often tidy and well-groomed, come to think. I was trying to avoid 'shrubbery' as cliche.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:36 AM
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Actual wolverines are often tidy and well-groomed
They become dramatically less so after being glued to someone's face.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:39 AM
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I'd not like anything on my face to be compared to a wolverine. Just for college football-related reasons. Aesthetically, I don't have a problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:40 AM
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The musk ox should really be the go-to comparison for untidiness. No animal is as ill-groomed as a molting musk ox.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:42 AM
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Come to think, while musk ox is pretty good, yak beats it as monosyllabic. The young men I'm bitching about being insufficiently well groomed for my tastes look as though they got stuck to a yak.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:50 AM
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Musk Ox are sexy by definition. Where else does Jovan get his power?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:50 AM
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All you shmucks who are counter-arguing that Clair didn't break ground by being a working mother clearly didn't click through. That's not the claim whatsoever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:57 AM
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82: I sort of wish that Clair had been the doctor and Cliff the lawyer. It sort of seemed to me at the time to be saying that boys do science and girls do literature.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:03 AM
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The central claim is here:

[T]his is what made the Huxtable household unique on American television in 1984. It wasn't just that Clair Huxtable was a strong, liberated woman with a career. It was that she had a husband and family who supported and valued her endeavors.

This is a super specific claim, but even in this narrow respect, Clair was not unique. In Family Ties, Elyse Keaton was definitely portrayed as a strong, liberated woman with a career and a husband who supported and valued her work. Growing Pains was less explicit about feminism, but a primary plot point was that the dad worked from home so that the mom could fully pursue her career. Who's The Boss featured a mom who pursued a career, while Tony Danza, who ultimately became her husband, took care of the kids (I concede this one is a stretch).


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:10 AM
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The claim is that somehow it was the first show to be supportive of the work role, or to openly discuss as non-feminist men who were criticizing her for working. And the show did a very good, fun effortless-seeming job with that -- it was a good show! (though at the same time did not really address realistically at all the actual toll that work can put on family life). But that wasn't especially groundbreaking -- the Mary Tyler Moore show had done it years earlier and almost all of the working women of the 70s shows had feminist set-pieces. That's why the Cosby Show was great, and why Slate Magazine is where A-/B+ Ivy League undergrad cultural studies papers go to die.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:11 AM
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Since the dawn of time, A-/B+ Ivy League undergrad cultural studies papers have gone to Slate to die.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:13 AM
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84: Who's the Boss? *is* a bit of a stretch. Judith Light's character was pretty flighty until she opened her own company, and it was frequently her mother, with her wily, sexy, hyper-feminine ways, who solved important problems.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:17 AM
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Speaking of her mother, I sort of want to watch episodes of Soap again. I don't think Jodie will hold up very well to the passage of time, but Mona probably will.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:19 AM
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I actually tried that back in the early days of Netflix. YMMV, but it didn't hold up for me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:21 AM
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In all of Control, there was only 1 agent who was any good at being a spy.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:23 AM
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Nobody's mentioned yet that Markie Posts's role on Night Court started in 1985. Also, Captian Janeway.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:23 AM
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No Star Trek.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:24 AM
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Janeway was late '90s.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:25 AM
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I watched some of Soap a few years ago and thought it held up fairly well, but not as well as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. It's hard to believe that the latter was a Norman Lear production.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:27 AM
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Watching Star Trek as if it were a family comedy would be interesting.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:27 AM
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Watching Soap as a mind-bending sci-fi adventure also.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:28 AM
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88: Given how groundbreaking and risque Soap was considered in it's day, it would probably be pretty interesting to go back and watch it now.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:28 AM
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I never really got how time travel worked on Soap. Does it violate the prime directive or not?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:31 AM
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96: There were explicitly sci-fi elements, weren't there? There must have been an alien abduction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:32 AM
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Benson was a high-stakes political thriller masquerading as a family sitcom.

Soap and the Cosby Show are related, in that both were Marcy Carsey (a successful professional woman!) shows. I haven't seen Soap in maybe 30 years, I wonder if the Billy Crystal character comes across as funny or as Stepin' Fetchit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:33 AM
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I'm reading a book Halford recommended about TV in the 80s, Inside Prime Time, which might be relevant for what made it onto TV and what didn't. Digested read: It takes a chain of companies to make and broadcast a show, and each of these companies has its own narrow-minded asshole or internal dispute to disable anything novel or controversial.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:34 AM
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I wonder if the Billy Crystal character comes across as funny or as Stepin' Fetchit.

I don't remember clearly enough to be sure, but I do fondly recall a scene where someone is going to beat him up, he grabs them by the shoulder, and they collapse to the ground as he says with amazement "The Vulcan neck pinch! It works!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:38 AM
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Confirmed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:40 AM
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if the Billy Crystal character comes across as funny

Billy Crystal is inherently unfunny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:58 AM
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I think I watched The Cosby Show every week for years, but I can't remember a single plot detail of a single episode. Wait, one. I remember one. Claire broke her foot and they were going out for a fancy dinner and, eh, she decorated the cast or something.

Friends saw Rashad in an interesting bit of replacement casting in August: Osage and said she was actually quite good.

All the action is on another thread. I will go read it. I also have to watch Sunday's Good Wife so I am as usual the world's worst co-host.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:52 PM
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2, 27, 49, others: There's a longstanding critique that mainstream American feminism presents itself as being about women generally when actually it's pretty closely tied to the experiences of middle and upper middle class white women. So the fact that many women who don't share those backgrounds have always worked doesn't really get a lot of attention.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:58 PM
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This dynamic will soon be explored in a new sitcom, Intersectional Strokes, which will become popular in its first season for one of its character's catchprhases: "What are you interrogating, Willis?" Unfortunately, ratings will decline in later seasons to the point that network executives will demand a Very Ironic Episode guest starring Stephen Colbert, which will backfire and result in the show's cancellation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:00 PM
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My recollection is that at least a season or 2 of A Different World was more more direct in addressing racial/political issues than you would expect of a prime time sitcom from that era, but it was so long ago that I can't be sure.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:14 AM
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