Gifset Assignment: Final Project

Since early television and other sources of media have become popular, gender roles have been depicted. The Broadcast Era of television began in the 1940s and ran until the 1980s. During this era women were typically housewives who stayed at home and did all of the childrearing, cleaning and cooking. Most of them did not get jobs or receive a college education. This continued through majority of this time period, although eventually women began to have different ideas about the typical role they played in society throughout this time period. This role that women assumed was depicted in the media created during that era. Some of the most famous shows that showed women in their housewife roles include “I Love Lucy”, “Leave it to Beaver”, and “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Television scholars have written about how television impacted family life and family dynamics. One of the works we looked at in class, Television in the Family Circle, written by Lynn Spigel, discussed how the television changed how families interacted with each other as well as the overall societal impacts it had. One can look at shows created during this era through a feminist lens by examining character’s gender roles and the impact this had on women, as well as others watching. This can shed light on how the opinions of women’s roles, rights, and treatment were shaped. It can also be related back to how women are currently depicted in modern day television and show the transformation through the decades.

In Television in the Family Circle, Spigel writes about the role of television in the home and family as well as society. Her main claim is that television brought the family together and united them. The T.V. soon became the center of the American home. It replaced the fireplace and the piano. It brought all of the family together and made it possible to do something they all enjoyed at the same time. This was especially true because the Broadcast Era debuted T.V. shows that were family oriented. Spigel also discusses how this affected women. When the broadcast era began it was right after men returned home from the war. This caused a shift in societal roles and expectations. She says, “Women were given a highly constraining solution to the changing roles of gender and sexual identity. Although middle- and working-class women had been encouraged by popular media to enter traditionally male occupations during the war, they were now told to return to their homes where they could have babies and make color coordinated meals” (Spigel 41). This change in women’s’ roles in society eventually led to the baby boom and housewives. Due to this becoming many women’s reality it was soon depicted on television. It was also seen in almost every form of media/art. Writers began discussing women’s roles as well. In The Modern Woman: The Lost Sex by Marynia Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg it claimed that “…the essential function of women was that of caretaker, mother, and sexual partner. Those women who took paid employment in the outside world would defy the biological order of things” (Spigel 42). This was portrayed again and again in media and specifically television. This can be seen in many Broadcast Era shows, but I specifically analyzed, “I Love Lucy”, “Leave it to Beaver”, and “The Dick Van Dyke Show”.

The show, “I Love Lucy”, first aired in 1951, it was about Lucy Ricardo who is married to Ricky Ricardo- a Cuban band player who is trying to make it in show business in New York. Lucy is a housewife, who eventually becomes a stay at home mom throughout the duration of the series. Their best friends are Ethel and Fred, who are also their landlords. Lucy and Ethel get into all kinds of trouble while their husbands are at work. Despite their husbands being typical 1950s men who believe a woman’s place in the house/kitchen the women defy their overbearing nature by constantly creating mischief. The show brings many gendered based issues to light through discussions and humorous depictions. For example, they have conservations all together about women’s rights, jobs, and many others. In the particular episode I chose to examine, “Job Switching” (season one, episode two), the men, Ricky and Fred, think that doing household chores, otherwise known as “women’s work”, is much easier than going out and earning a living. Lucy and Ethel think otherwise, they decide to switch roles for a week. Although it goes poorly for both parties it shows that women were beginning to think they were more than capable of doing what men do. It also provides a man’s perspective of women and their value and place in society.


The show, “Leave it to Beaver” was a classic American sitcom that first came to television in 1957. It was the definition of a wholesome family show. The dad, Mr. Cleaver, worked a 9 to 5 job and was always home for dinner. Mrs. Cleaver cleaned the house and cared for the two kids: Beaver (Beav) and Wally, and she looked good doing it too. She always wore dresses, heels and pearls. The episode always ended with the “problem” being resolved and the two children learning a valuable lesson. With the series depicting a classic American family in the late 50s and early 60s, it also reflected American ideals and values during this time period. The Cleaver family was a middle-class family with two kids, a nice but not over the top car and a suburban cookie cutter home complete with a yard. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver tried to teach their children life lessons throughout the episodes equipped with humor the whole family could enjoy. In the episode I analyzed, Mr. Cleaver is grilling outside when he is approached by his son, Wally, who asks him why he does the outside cooking and his mom does the inside cooking. Mr. Cleaver projects his views that American men shared in this time period about the women’s place in the home as well as society. He is telling these opinions and ideals to his young son which can show how sexism spread to many generations. It also is on a television show that families typically watched together and therefore more young boys and girls not only grew up with these ideals in their own household, but they were further instilled through nearly every aspect of their life, including television.

Considered to be one of America’s classic television shows, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” debuted in 1961. It revolved around the lives of Rob and his wife Laura. Most of the episodes focus on problems at Rob’s job as television writer with his coworkers Buddy, Sally and Mel. The show also showed his family life with his wife and their kid, Ritchie. Typically, they overlapped in a comedic fashion. Laura stays at home with Ritchie and cooks and cleans. However, the episode I looked at does not necessarily focus on Laura’s role but instead his coworker, Sally. Sally works in an office as a secretary with all men, and therefore, she has fallen subject to being treated like one of the boys. Laura realizes this when she has Rob’s coworkers over for dinner and points out to her husband this is not how Sally should be treated. She says that she should not be called as “strong as a bull”, be invited to cigars and drinks in the den “with the boys” after dinner, be included in crude jokes, and overall treated like one of the boys. This illustrates that women were supposed to behave and be treated a particular way and everyone in society thought so. Throughout the dinner Laura kept trying to prove that Sally was like all females so her date would be swayed instead of the way the men were treating her. Laura tried to compliment how she dressed, that she was a good cook, etcetera. Laura thought it was odd in the beginning of the episode that Sally would be picking up her date instead of vice versa, this also shows the expectations for men and women during this time period. Women were supposed to be soft, gentle, good cooks, and be treated with care.

Television series from the Broadcast Era (1940s-1980s) show the gender roles of men and women and how women were portrayed and considered as nothing more than housewives in this period of time. This can be seen through some of America’s classic shows like, “I Love Lucy”, “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Although they do not have the same exact concepts or themes, they all share the portrayal of women. Television scholars like Lynn Spigel discuss how this change in women’s purpose in society occurred and how it was developed in media and other forms of art. It also explains how sexism was spread to multiple generations not only because of ideals of their parents but it was further enforced by television and other forms of media. Thankfully overtime women’s role in society and portrayal in media has changed. Women now play strong, independent, fearless roles on television. They are of all different sexual orientations, economic classes, races, education levels and so on. However, we still have a lot of progress to make for women’s rights and imaging.

Television Programming Activity: Throwback to the 2000s

Network: Throwback to the 2000s

Group: veverica, boomer327 and huey

Streaming Line Up

If you watch:

SpongeBob (30 mins)

You might like:

Fairly Odd Parents (30 min),

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (30 mins),

Courage the Cowardly Dog (30 mins),

Powerpuff Girls (30 min),

Lilo and Stitch (30 mins),

Lizzie McGuire (30 mins),

Kim Possible (30 mins).


If you watch:

Hannah Montana (30 mins)

You might like:

That’s So Raven (30 mins)

Zoey 101 (30 mins)

Suite Life of Zack and Cody (30 mins)

Cory in the House (30 mins)

Wizards of Waverly Place (30 mins)

Big Time Rush (30 mins)


If you watch:

Victorious  (30 mins)

You might like:

Degrassi (30 mins)

iCarly (30 mins)

Drake and Josh (30 mins)

Ned’s Declassified (30 mins)


Clip of Drake and Josh


Social Media Posts:

For our streaming network, we decided that using Instagram and Twitter would be the best social media to use in order to reach our target demographic. Since our shows are from the early 2000s, we decided that our network would appeal to people as young as 16 to as old as 22. This group of people is still very young and in-tune with social media, and it is often rare to find people of this age group that do not have an Instagram and/or Twitter. These platforms are also instant and short, making them both easy to project to followers and quick to read. Our posts will attract young adults that have grown up with these shows over the years that have social media!



One company that would appeal to our network’s audience is Nintendo. This would be a great company because the target audience is a young enough age where games still appeal to a lot of them and old enough to play with this kind of technology. Also for some audience members Nintendo technology will be nostalgic and something from their youth that they enjoyed. And because the target age is late teens early twenties, the games Nintendo offers are still fun to play and just as tricky as when younger because of the variety of games offered. This should be advertised in the middle of streaming content for shows like Victorious and icarly because technology is used a lot in the shows and would therefore make Nintendo relevant enough to advertise during these programs. Another company to advertise that would be appropriate for our streaming service is Apple with itunes. For example, itunes could advertise artist’s new albums from singers that are on theses shows like Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Selena Gomez. They are all creating new music still and are featured on a lot of the shows that are being streamed. If the audience enjoys the shows then they will likely enjoy the music that the actors produce. Itunes should have ads in the middle of shows like Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly place because the featured artists are on those programs.


Violence, Nudity, and Vulgar Language in Rick and Morty

Nikki Hoseus

A recent television series that shows how the end of the television code affected the portrayal of sex, violence and other “risqué” scenes is Rick and Morty.

Rick and Morty is a cartoon that involves mythical creatures and worlds that are surrounded by violence, profanity, alcohol abuse, and dysfunctional family relationships. This is typical of television in this day and age. However, this show would never air, let alone get approved by a network before television code was done away with. Television codes were standards that networks followed for their shows in regards for family viewing purposes, adult approval, and steered clear of nudity, violence, or bad language. These standards were instilled because television was so new and centered around family values.

One specific episode that includes vulgar language, nudity, and extreme violence is Episode 6, Season 3, titled “Rest and Ricklaxation”. This episode aired August 27, 2017. The specific scene I have chosen to analyze is the fight scene between the main character, Rick and his evil self, Toxic/Evil Rick. In this clip, Evil Rick begins by swearing at Rick. These curse words are not censored, unless they include the F word. After Evil Rick and Rick cuss each other out they begin to physically fight. Blood splatters everywhere and furniture is destroyed. At times, the fight occurs in front of Rick’s younger grandchildren.

Before the end of the television code a show, especially a cartoon, would not include any of these indecent aspects. The Network Era, also known as the Broadcast Era, was between the 1940s to the 1980s, only aired television shows that were created specifically household viewing. These series were centered around family. They typically depicted a house wife, her husband and their family. They had kid-friendly humor that also related to the adults. Even during the Post Network Era, which occurred between the 1980s and 2000s, television was not taboo.

Rick and Morty, is a series that definitely shows how standards, values, and entertainment have changed since the end of television code. The specific episode I analyzed has scenes and events that networks, and producers would never dream of airing or writing. In a matter of forty years people consider this type of television normal and do not consider it shocking at all. Whereas, people would riot or boycott television if this was broadcasted in the Network Era or Post Network Era.

Privacy Statement