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Tv Portrayal of 1950s Housewives vs Today

  • Date Submitted: 04/04/2013 05:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.4 
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I Love Lucy vs.
Desperate Housewives

The 1950s housewife was the epitome of a woman. She had poise and grace and cared for her family more than having a career. She had a smile on her face, dinner on the table, and her child always used please and thank you. At least on TV. Fast forward 50 years and much has changed in our history and the way that women are portrayed on television. With women no longer expected to give up their careers in order to raise a family, working moms are represented more with each passing decade. Two television shows that can be examined to explore the difference in television’s portrayal of housewives are I Love Lucy from the 1950s and Desperate Housewives from the 2000s. While the shows premiered more than a half a century apart, there are many similarities in the shows. And that’s not on accident.
After World War II ended, men came home and families started growing and prospering, able to buy things they had to go without during the rough wartimes. With servicemen home and the baby boom well underway, women were expected to reclaim their dominance over the home, while their husband’s reclaimed dominance over them.1 Housewives were to be seen more than heard, all while keeping a smiling on their face. No one talked about their problems, because they didn’t really have any. The white picket fence was always perfect and no one ever raised their voice or drank too much, at least on the outside. The rapid expansion of TV sets entering homes for the first time propelled the creation of programming to fill the television screen. The motto of the decade was happiness and perfection. Thus, I Love Lucy was born.
I Love Lucy is an American sitcom that was first broadcasted on October 15th, 1951 on CBS. I Love Lucy was loosely based off of the real lives of stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. I Love Lucy was the most watched television show in America in four of its six seasons...


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