Analytical Exposition - Comparison of the domestic sitcoms "Brady Bunch" and "My Wife and Kids"

Essay by Miss_AcademicHigh School, 11th gradeB+, December 2006

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The popularity of domestic sitcoms is increasing. Certain shows usually address issues relevant to the lives of their viewers. It could be suggested that certain television shows contribute to the development of viewer's attitudes and beliefs. Despite the differences in the eras that these sitcoms come from, The Brady Bunch (produced 1970) and My Wife and Kids (produced 2000-2005), represent family as a place of love, protection, support and affection. However the producers present this image through different technical, symbolic and language strategies. The representations of family presented in the two sitcoms reflect the eras of production.

The Brady Bunch is a classic situation comedy. The Brady Bunch is an all-white all American patriotic family. Mike Brady, a widowed architect with three boys marries Carol Martin, a single young mother with three young girls. The couple and their formerly-separate families conjoin to become one close-knit blended family. The Brady family also consist of Alice Nelson who serves as the family's live in housekeeper.

The themes revolve around family unity, sibling rivalry, dating and misunderstandings.

My Wife and Kids is the ideal situation comedy representing today's society. My wife and kids is based on the African American Kyle family. The Kyle family could be described as a dysfunctional family. Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet "Jay" threatens his idea of the ideal family scenario. Michael and Janet have 3 children, their gangsta rap-worshipping son Michael Jr. and brooding daughters Claire and Kady. My Wife and Kids tackle issues such as substance abuse, sibling rivalry, relationships, and teenage pregnancy. Both of these shows depict traditional marriages with masculinity and femininity. In The Brady Bunch Mike is the only source of income in the family, yet he earns enough for the family to live comfortably. This is...