Full House : Safe, Nostalgic, & Impactful

Full House, a classic show that made its debut on ABC in 1987 in the center of the Post Network Era it was a courageous take on what we had all known the traditional family to be. It is evident that with the ever booming rapid growth of cable television, networks such as ABC were scrambling to find something that would stick, re-imagine how we viewed family, appeal to core audiences while still being universal thematically at the same time. Each character on the show was crafted with a particular audience in mind. When you look back you can see that the cult following for Full House consisted of a majority of females. Women swooned over heartthrob Jesse Katsopolis, girls could identify with the daughters as they grew up and dealt with teenage struggles, boy problems, and who could forget the cute and funny moments with adorable baby Michelle. With this revised idea of what we deemed the nuclear family, networks such as ABC drove family narratives in their sitcoms that didn’t rely on style to captivate audiences.

Life lessons were the core of Full House which made it timeless. The scene below demonstrates how social issues were tied with relatability. You had 3 male parental figures that presented themselves as non-threatening. Whenever an emotional scene took place the adults would address it. In the scene below DJ is dealing with body issues and her father speaks to her encouraging her. Scenes like the one below exemplify family struggles, which is why from a narrowcasting perspective one could see why this show was a hit with its core audience.  Teen girls specifically ,could identify with DJ and her struggles.

Narrowcasting induced a wave of nostalgia that we see today. Full House is the phenomenon that it is because of its hit success back then and its current rerun syndication viewership today with females in the 18-34-year-old range. Nickelodeon still airs it every night and is remembered because of the societal issues. Where other TV shows in the post-network era had style and outrageous graphics, ABC struck gold with a different kind of sitcom and different kind of family. Full House was safe wholesome television that touched on issues without pushing the envelope. It was a show that would teach life lessons in households for years to come.

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The Post-Networking Era: Saved by the Narrowcasting!

Saved by the Bell is a classic television show that ran through the 1980s until the early 1990s. The show takes place at Bayside High School in California and is about a group of teenagers and their high school lives. Plots in the show revolve around the group of friends weaving their way through typical high school issues such as relationships, tests, school dances, and things of the sort. The main theme of the show is that the friend group always ends up making up and putting their friendship above everything else. The theme proves the show to be episodic since none of their issues carry into the following episodes.

Saved by the Bell is a prime example of Post-Network Era television, not only due to the years that the show was active, but also due to themes of the show. During this time in television history, the rise of hundreds of channels and the cable boom affected television forever. It was in this time period that producers and companies began to narrowcast or target specific groups or demographics with their productions and channels.

The show itself is a great example of narrowcasting since it appealed to high schoolers in the eighties and nineties. It was full of plenty of drama and it had a high school setting that would catch the eye of young adults, but not older family members. Teenaged girls would probably watch this show for the relationship drama and to see current fashion trends. On the other hand, teenaged boys probably watched more for the comedy and absurdity of the show. The show is narrowcast, and it is easy to see this simply by the setting of the show.

The clip I chose for this assignment is a great example. In this clip, we see that two of the main characters have gone through a high school breakup. Through my short clip, there is only one small scene change but all of the characters still remain in their school. There is also some witty humor, but it is easily understood by high schoolers and young adults. There are also snarky comments made towards both male and female characters in the show. We also see an awkward classroom scene where the teacher cannot understand her students. Overall, Saved by the Bell is a solid example of Post-Network television due to its narrowcasting through its humor and setting.

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