Throughout the years TV sitcoms have made drastic changes. Not all of these changes have been for the better. We are now left wondering what happened to the morality in sitcoms. While changes in TV sitcoms are not always welcomed by everyone, the changes will keep coming. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do except make the decision which sitcoms are acceptable for our families to view and then turn off the rest.
Over the years we have seen many TV sitcoms come and go. While some of the sitcoms lasted years there were a few that only made it for one or two seasons. You can still find some of the older sitcoms showing reruns like “Mash”, “All in the Family”, and “The Jefferson’s”. How sad it is that our younger generation won’t watch the reruns because they consider them boring. At least our older generation can still watch reruns of their favorite sitcoms.
In the past, most of the TV sitcoms like “Leave it to Beaver”, “Father Knows Best”, and “Andy Griffith” would show the viewers about strong family values and morals. The episodes would show things like a father teaching his child how to ride a bike, parents teaching their children that their actions will always have consequences, or parents comforting an upset child. Viewers could always rely on the sitcom like “I Love Lucy” for a good laugh. You could always depend on Lucy and Ethel to do something hilarious and crazy. While sitcoms like “Bewitched” or “I Dream of Jeannie” could show viewers how to use their imagination. Viewers could imagine themselves being able to twitch their nose and end up in Paris or fold their arms and blink their eyes with a nod of the head and turn someone into a puppy. TV sitcoms in the past taught us the value of the things in our daily lives like money, family, and homes. They also helped teach our children right from wrong.
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In the present we have TV sitcoms like “The New Christine”, “Two and a Half Men”, and “How I Met Your Mother” that don’t have any morals. In these sitcoms the episodes will show viewers how it’s okay to drink all day regardless of what time it is, mothers embarrassing their children, or the characters will talk about their sexual encounters. Sitcoms like “Mike and Molly” or “The Big Bang Theory” can give you a laugh or two while watching. Our present sitcoms just don’t offer morality of any kind. They tend to teach us that it is alright to get what you want when you want no matter what.
TV sitcoms feel they have to make these changes to keep up with the times that we live in. They have networks like CBS, NBC, and ABC putting a lot of pressure on them to keep their ratings up or take a chance at being cancelled. They try to keep viewers interested enough that they keep tuning in day after day. Sitcoms are trying to lure in the younger generation while at the same time trying to keep the older generation watching.
The changes that TV sitcoms have made caused them to lose their innocence and morality for the most part. The changes have also made it harder to control what our children are seeing on TV. Nobody seems surprised to turn on their TV and see a group of teenagers setting in circles smoking marijuana or even having sex. Our children can no longer see stories of wholesome family affairs or how important it is to have a strong moral background. The biggest effect has been that we can no longer escape from real life anymore because our sitcoms have basically become reality.
What ever happened to leaving some things to the imagination? For instance, Ricky and Lucy had a baby in the sitcom “I Love Lucy” without ever showing any sexual activity or even hinting at it. You have to wonder when it became acceptable for a mother to steal and then try to convince her son she didn’t do it. In the sitcom “Roseanne” there was an episode where the appliance shop delivered a new stove not once but twice and Roseanne never spoke up she kept the second stove and sold it all in front of her son.
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In this day and age children are learning how to be a drug dealer, how to drink alcohol, and what violence is all before they hit their teenage years. All this because sitcoms have forever changed us as individuals in how we think, act, and speak. It has even been shown in the newspapers and media how bad violent crimes have gotten because a child got the idea from a sitcom or even a movie on television. I believe that the sitcoms just like any other mediums are making the changes to keep up with real life. It’s just too bad that real life has children killing their parents, school shootings, and drug use.