Modern Society and Impact of Television Essay Example

Television and film broadcasting are used to channel and exaggerate the norms of modern society. As you watch television shows and films from throughout the decades, it is very evident to see the changes of societal beliefs. All of the films I chose to analyze are centered around the common theme of families, but each one chooses to show the family in a different light.

The 1969 sitcom, The Brady Bunch, follows a family of six siblings as they trek their way through their teenage years, facing the difficulties of combining families, sibling quarrels, young love and inevitable heartbreak. The They were able to make the trials and tribulations of teenage years appear so simple. The family is an example the gender roles and expectations of the time period. The girls were beautiful, attractive, smart girls who had the attention of boys, but also the confidence in themselves to do what they wanted. Their three brothers were your typical teenage boys, interested in cars, sports, fishing, and of course the occasional girl. All together the family provided a wholesome, simple, tight-knit family show exemplifying how to overcome struggles and tackling things as a family.

It is intriguing to see how the idea of a family change and evolves through the decades. The Brady Bunch is the ideal family, with each person in the family aware and active in their role, both in the family and their expected role in society. In stark contrast, the 1994 drama, Party of Five, represents the ideal of family and teenagers in a drastically different light. As alluded to in the title, the drama focuses on five siblings. Sadly, it is the story of five adolescents facing their lives after their parents’ tragic death. Ranging from ages 1 to 24, each mature member of the has to step up and take a new role in the family. To run effectively, a family needs a source of income and a caregiver. The three older children (ages 15, 16, and 24) step into these role, naturally they are bound to make mistakes. As teenagers growing up by themselves in the late 90s, they fall victims of the vices of the times. They suffered deeply from the loss of their parents. In an effort to find their, they are faced with drug abuse, suicide, abortion, and alcoholism. Although they appeared to be doing the best they could with the resources they had, the family was an emotional drama directed to expose the vices that were becoming accepted in the society.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, they portrayed how teenagers were compliant to society's expectation of genders, to the struggles faced by teens who suffer from a lack of family structure. Lastly, the modern sitcom Last Man Standing is the portrayal of a 21st century family. Mike Baxter is the father of three uniquely different girls. All of whom seem to stand for something varyingly different. The oldest is a driven, career girls who has a sub career as a mother. She is a confident and smart girl with well developed views of her own. The middle daughter is the airhead of the family, more interested in boys and the newest fashion to pay any mind to schooling. Her views often differ from her fathers and are used to show how she merely accepts what is valued a acceptable behavior in today's society. Whether it is jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend or dressing in a provocative manner to attend the latest college party. Lastly, the youngest daughter is the tomboy of the girls. In the dynamic of the family, she is her father’s favorite, always tagging along with him eager to make him proud either in her sport achievements, hunting and shooting ability, or military career choice. Although the girls are shown as drastically different, often getting into disputes and harassing each other, they all make up the intricate family dynamic of the Baxter family. Even though they all experience the teenage years differently, they are all successful. This is the direct projection of the beliefs held today. One does not have to agree with everything that happens in their life. Society today is big on pushing that you are your own person, not determined by your family, ethnicity, or financial background. Families of today are breaking the traditional bonds of gender and family roles.

Throughout the decades the image of adolescents and teenagers has changed and evolved as the ideals and views of society continue to evolve. From traditional to modern, television and film has helped to move the ideals of individuals to conform to the ideals of society, motivating the change we see in the teens and adolescents of today from traditional to non-conformists.


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